Tragedy strikes as two runners die in Philadelphia Marathon

Two runners died during the Philadelphia Marathon yesterday morning.

The first death occurred when a 21-year-old Asian male, reportedly a University of Pennsylvania student, collapsed at the finish line in the 2200 block of the Ben Franklin Parkway. The second death occurred when a 40-year-old white male fell a quarter of a mile before the finish line.

Both were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and pronounced dead of apparent heart attacks. They had been competing in the half-marathon, according to reports.

At least 10 other runners were reportedly hospitalized, as well, in unknown conditions due to the strain of the long run. Some runners expressed surprise at the deaths and injuries considering the near perfect weather conditions. The temperatures were in the high-50s and low-60s by the midmorning.

The Philadelphia Marathon was founded in 1954 and is the culmination of weekend-long health and fitness expo. More than 25,000 runners participated in the sold-out event this year, which also includes a half marathon and an 8k.

Race director Melanie Johnson said in a statement, “Philadelphia Marathon and Philadelphia Half Marathon organizers extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the two runners who lost their lives at the Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon today. We are deeply saddened and our thoughts are with their families and friends.

“We cannot at this time disclose the identities of the runners pending notification of the families. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

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