Sunday, October 07, 2007

Army Ten Miler

I have a full, whiney race report all ready but then I read this and I couldn't publish it.

"Runner dies at Army 10-Miler near Pentagon"

A runner from Fairfax County died Sunday during the Army 10-Miler race near the finish line at the Pentagon.

The runner collapsed about 10:40 a.m. about 200 yards from the finish line, said Col. Jim Yonts. Arlington County medics responded immediately and took the runner to George Washington University Hospital.

The cause of death was not known. Yonts said he did not know the runner's age. The runner was a civilian, not a member of the military, he said.

"It's a tragedy nonetheless," Yonts said.

The race started in 70-degree heat and high humidity. Race officials said there was plenty of water and first aid stations along the course.



Well, I was there. After promising water every two miles, they ran out at miles 4 and 6. So that last statement? Either someone is ignorant or someone is lying. Half my post was about the lack of water.

But you know what? I didn't die. Didn't PR, but I didn't die.

43 comments:

David said...

That happened a lot today. See Chicago.
Not dying is a small victory. I would not have expected a PR today in those conditions either.
Do you feel stress relieved?

David H. said...

Not a good day to race anywhere. This makes me feel like my complaints about a race today are completely needless. As a member of the media, I am appalled by that last statement. I question what race officials said vs. what a journalist interpreted. It's a paraphrase, not a direct quote ... I have to wonder if race officials realized what was going on out there.

Laufenweg said...

you're right! no water at miles 4 and 6! what was UP with that? poor planning? someone messed that up big time.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

How horrible!

That's total crap that they would run out of water. Mouse was saying they ran out of water and she brought some to friends of hers that were running. I'm not sure it was the same race. I think they shut down Chicago too due to heat.

LBTEPA said...

how upsetting
((hugs))

21stCenturyMom said...

Having someone die on the course is really sobering, isn't it? How awful. And someone died in Chicago, too.

We're glad you are still with us.

Rainmaker said...

From a friend who was further back in the field - he said they had plenty of water, just no cups. He said people were dunking thier heads in the water as a substitute. Pretty poor.

It was weird, when I came by I thought it was interesting that the water was pre-setup in levels - but I didn't see any spare cups around at mile 6. No issues for me, but I think water at more locations would have been ideal. One of the problems they probably had is that I'm sure they followed some standard equation known to race directors for water - and with people likely taking 1-2X the amount of water normally (due to heat), it probably broke the whole system. I felt bad for the volunteers too; they all had long sleeve shirts on, because that's what was ordered for them.

Strangely enough - I did actually PR, which I was somewhat nervous about given the heat.

Nancy Toby said...

Ugh. Glad you're okay. I heard that from other runners, too.

Their lame website that PROMISED results by 7PM tonight is also refusing connections now.

Glad the military is in charge of the situation.

Nancy Toby said...

Just in case they take it down: "We know results are important to you! Complete Individual and Team Results will be posted by 7:00pm on 7-OCT." Bah. Nothing by 9:00pm.

Anonymous said...

Right Rainmaker. People were taking more than usual for pouring over their heads to cool down and just drinking more. I ALWAYS run with my own water bottle to ensure I have water. Seems like everyone is trying to access the site at the same time and it has crashed.

Anonymous said...

There was plenty of water. There was a time after the five or six mile point, there was not as much water, but the OLD GUARD soldiers where running around and doing there best to make sure we all had water.

Susan said...

I'm glad you made it! Horrible running out there, from what I hear.

Anonymous said...

I ran today and did pretty well considering the heat and considering it was 39 seconds better per mile than my goal marathon pace.

As for the water, I had no problems at either mile 4, 6, or 8. But I think I was in front of a majority of the people. Sadly, as the day got warmer more water was needed. And the slower runners/walkers were the ones out in the worst heat.

I commend the Army and the volunteers for their hard work. Sadly one person died. And that's a tragedy. But what level of fitness do you think this runner had if he was finishing at 10:40 AM? That was 2.5 hours into the race! 150 minutes for 10 miles is the "minimum" pace. And a 15 m/m pace usually means you're moving fairly slowly. Like 4 MPH to be exact. A fast walk. And regardless of the heat, a healthy person should not die at 4 MPH. Nonetheless, my thoughts and prayers are with this runners family and friends and the race officials who surely must bear the burden of a death occurring on their watch.

My only gripe was not getting my finisher coin when I got through the chute. I have no idea how I missed it but it was not obvious. I eventually went back and got mine. It seemed like they had one person handing them out as an after thought after everyone fanned out after getting rid of their timing chips.

The food and water at the finish was plentiful. Although some runners seemed to be grocery shopping. I saw many runners with boxes of food being carried around. To me, that's just wrong. Take what you can eat. If you still want more, come back. But don't take a box home with you.

Anonymous said...

I was also at the race today and got to an empty water station at mile 6, though it sounds like I was lucky that the other stations I passed were still well-stocked when I got to them.

I wanted to comment on an earlier poster who was curious whether the paraphrase at the end of the piece was misinterpreted. I wondered that, too, until I read this article

Anonymous said...

Sorry--
my article link doesn't seem to be working.

Here you go:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/05/AR2007100502065.html?nav=hcmodule

Neese said...

lots of strange news coming from the running world today and i'm grateful it's *not* that you died. whew. xo

Anonymous said...

My wife was running at I was at the finish waiting for her. The guy collapsed in front on where I was standing. The time was a lot closer to 9:45, not 10:40. My wife also said she didn't get any water after mile 2, and she was a slow runner.

The guy that died didn't look to be out of shape. I was kind of shocked to read the article and see the time they said he died (most likely pronounced time of death at the hospital). The medics were working hard on him, CPR from moment 1, and tried to defib him a few times. What ever happened, it sure wasn't lack of care from the medical staff.

Also, not everyone started at 8, there were 3 starting times.

Anonymous said...

I started in the 2nd wave (blue) and finished in 88 mins. When I reached the 6 mile water station they only had two tables of water left and I knew there would be trouble. Indeed, they did as my husband who was behind me by at least 10 mins. found no water from mile 6 on. They did have Gatorade but it was very strong. We saw them hurrying water out to the course with police vehicles as we were leaving the race area. I've done many, many races including ultras. There are basics that a race has to provide and one is fluids on the course. This year the race organizers failed at that in this race.

jeanne said...

Just fyi: my finish time was 2:01. I started at 8:20. At mile 6 the tables were turned over and the military was giving high fives, and apologizing for no water. They assured us there would be water and gatorade at mile 8, but we couldn't be certain. People stopped in front of the Capital building and formed a line in front of the fountain there.

and Nancy: 10:30 p.m. , still no times posted.

Old School Runner said...

Not a good day for racing, in DC or elsewhere. Glad to hear you endured the race without any residual physical problems.

Anonymous said...

This being my third ATM, I was actually disappointed in the number of medics available. I know that there were more in years past, and I know that there were some in places that there weren't this year because I was looking for one from the Kennedy Center to Constitution Av because I had seen someone (possibly SGT (Ret.) Steele, age 91) who looked pretty bad. Last year there was on eat the base of the steps just past the Kennedy Center, but it was missing this year. Considering the fact that you have to climb a flight of steps to get off the course to the side (or use a boat) at that point, that's an important place to have one.

No water at miles 6 and 8 for me either. My worst time, after I twisted my foot stepping on a reflector in the road and limped the rest of the way. Blech.

Laufenweg said...

hey!i looked for you too. ha.
i was waaay behind you tho i'm sure. i thought about you tho and telepathically wished you a good race. :-) i was in the back of the purple wave when we started about 8:20. i think i finished round about 2.5. with LOTS of walking.

at mile 8, i actually missed the water fountains on the left near the capitol. there was a marble fountain on the right, and i wanted to jump in it! i only submerged my water bottle instead.

it surprised me that it was still so HOT now. you have to take that HEAT seriously. high temps and high humidity can be deadly for anyone regardless of their physical condition.

anyways...here's to you! what's your next running project?

Anne said...

Looks like it was a rough day to run for a lot of people. I've been reading about the mayhem in Chicago too.

When are race officials going to recognize there are now slower fields and thirsty runners in the back of the pack too?!

Laurie said...

I have no words.

((Hugs))

John said...

People need to understand that this is a 10-mile run, not a "fun run", walk, or charity event. It takes proper training, nutrition, and hydration to successfully run this event. I spent the first 3 miles yesterday dodging fat asses and other completely out-of-shape people while trying to maintain my pace. Although I admire their pluck, there is no point in endangering yourself for a t-shirt. When I see people running in long-sleeve cotton t-shirts with Bluetooth devices in their ear that screams disaster.

jeanne said...

i agree john. that's why i spent all summer training, properly hydrating two days before, getting proper sleep, etc. I'm a slow runner. I seed myself properly and stay to the right. I don't come to a dead stop in front of you. Don't paint us all with a broad brush, please.

surely you're not passing judgment on this fellow who had the bad sense to die--especially when we have no info to go on?

What we do know is the army failed to deliver on its promise.

Dori said...

Hey, congratulations on your time! Twelve-o-one is pretty good considering the conditions. I didn't realize that your race was yesterday until I saw a blurb in the paper about some poor soul dying in the Army 10-miler. "That's Jeanne's race!" I exclaimed as I rushed upstairs to read your blog. Good job!

Mark I. said...

wow. I am speechless at both the death and some of the comments here.

Glad you are ok.

Nancy Toby said...

John,
How are runners (of ANY fitness level) supposed to stay hydrated on course when there is no water provided (as promised) after mile 5, only Gatorade concentrate?

Anonymous said...

I have to just say that the man who died in the 10 miler yesterday was one of my best friends. He had just turned 25 and was in good shape as far as any of us know. I don't know many of the facts, as I was not there, but please keep his family and friends in all of your prayers.

jeanne said...

thanks. we surely will. so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I have to reiterate anonymous. The young man who died yesterday - at 25 - was a good friend to many, including my son. He was not out of shape and indeed had weekend plans with his buddies. Before you start to criticize "all of the people you think are out of shape... berating them for not realizing this is not a fun run" perhaps you should try a little compasion and keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

David H. said...

Coming back a day later to read other comments, I am shocked and appalled at what people have said. I have been complaining about the heat for much of the summer, and may have come across as whining at times. Nobody is safe from the heat no matter how you prepare yourself. I highly doubt that "John" and an earlier anonymous person could come back here and defend their statements. And John, these races are open to all people, all all sizes and all athletic abilities. If want to avoid "dodging fat asses and other completely out-of-shape people" then start up front.

Anonymous said...

The Army 10 miler is a great race (with poor water planning this year). With 26,000 runners, it's a hard race to find your stride, but it's a good race to feel the family spirit so important in the Army! I am always impressed with the guys running 'with missing parts!' What heroes! For me, no water at mile 6, some at mile 8, but you had to go to the table to get it, no way to keep running. If you want to run a PR and not worry about 'fat asses' pick a different race. I understand that there are few fat asses in the olympic trials (or are you really too slow to run with the big boys?)

peter said...

A tragedy, any way you look at it. No runner dies b/c he (she) is "out of shape", he dies b/c events overwhelm his situation (Jim Fixx died after a run due to a congential heart condition). In Chicago a 35 y.o police officer died b/c of the confluence of circumstances, and we all mourn. And running, ultimately, makes all of us continuing participants better (lifestyle hoices) and we have the choice to continue or to retire (no shame in that!). Friends are looking out for us, who can't say that! That's what running can be about for other than the self-posessed, friendship. I have never run a race where there was not an very high high level of care, concern and dedication put out by 99.9% of the administrators. Occasionally bad things happen, as it does in all of life.

Anonymous said...

So we have a couple of people here who know this young man yet we don't know his name, his training history, or the events that lead up to the race. Only that he was "in shape." His family has not released his name. Why not? I certainly understand their right to privacy.

I have a personal connection to the runner from Chicago and his name was released almost immediately. I think there would be an outpouring of support from the running community for this young man if his name were released.

When more than 17,000 other runners (or whatever the official number is) complete this 10-miler and one person dies, there's a strong liklihood that something else was amiss. We will know for sure only after an autopsy.

And the time of his falling seems to be in question. The news reported 10:40 making him a pretty slow runner but someone here reported 9:45 -- just a little slower than when I crossed the line and yet I distinctly remember the ambulance call being well after my 10 minutes across the line and an hour is not at all unreasonable. Going back to an updated article at the Washington post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/07/AR2007100700868.html?hpid=moreheadlines
it says "The runner collapsed at about 10:40 a.m. and had averaged about 16 minutes per mile." So I think an earlier poster who said 9:45 was clearly wrong or misinformed. The article goes on to tell that the 91 year old retired Army sergeant fell out around mile 8 and was taken to the hospital but recovered.

I think we need more facts here and less speculation and opinion.

Anonymous said...

I was a runner in the ATM yesterday for the first time. I started in Wave 3. I finished the run with a chip time of 94 minutes. I remember running past the runner who died. He was receiving medical attention by several medics. I believe that the time of 10:40? is incorrect as published by the media. I read that he was later treated and died at the GW medical center. So, we do not know the reason for his death (e.g. medical error, preexisting medical condition, etc). Personally, I do did not feel the need to rehydrate along the course, until crossing the finish. All runners should know their limits and adjust their training to meet expected and unexpected conditions (i.e. clothing attire, conditioning, training environment). I wouldn't be too quick to blame the runner or the planners for his death as we don't know the circumstances. The lack of water may not have been the reason he died. I don't believe that lack of medical attention was the cause, based on the level of care I observed. Overall, I thought the race went well considering it was the largest ATM to date, the largest 10-miler in the States and the unusually hot weather this time of year. I am sorry for the runner and his family. Hopefully they can find some peace in this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I was watching the race near the finish line when the runner who died collapsed. I had seen him lying on the ground. Then the first medic came, then another. Then a wheelchair was brought, but it wasn't going to work--the poor man was in no condition to sit. I watched as they began giving him CPR. Then a golf cart with stretcher arrived and they worked on him more. At this point, I was feeling lightheaded from the shock and stepped out of the crowd to sit down. I made a call to a friend on my cell. The time then was 10:22am. At 10:30am my friend who was still watching from the fence called to check on me, and the ambulance had arrived.

I would guess that he collapsed closer to 10am. It was probably 10:40am when the ambulance left with him.

What a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Josh said...

In response to some comments seeking more information here is an article from the Washington post with more details on the runner. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/08/AR2007100801447.html?nav=hcmodule

He was my college roommate at Rensselaer. Although he didn't run at college he was still an active person. We are all awaiting more information, hopefully determining what caused this tragedy. Although I have heard many accounts of poor race conditions, a 25 year old man would most likely not die in a 10 mile race if not for some pre-existing unknown medical condition.

I appreciate the many people who have posted here with their condolences and their support. For those who also knew him I am sorry for your loss.

Rae said...

Wow!! How did so many people find your blog??? I am so seriously sick of races not having adequate runner support. What's the deal??? Screw worrying about headphones and spend that energy getting people the water they have paid for!!! Jeez.

I'm glad you came through ok. What a weekend of screwed up races....

Anonymous said...

I think we should all pray for the Banner family, if any of you did see the sequence of events I would keep them archived in a file for it may be helpful to the family of Michael Banner to know what happened shortly after 10 am on Sunday....it was a difficult scene to watch and it may help them to know that we was attended to...

Anonymous said...

John I couldn't agree with you more. I have posted on another blog and people were trashing me because I was making the point to be responsible for your own well being. This is not being insensitive to the family and friends of the young man that died. It is a horrible what happened and the circumstances behind it are unknown. I too passed people slugging along in black long sleeve shirts complaining it was hot. I was flabergasted at the lack of preparation from some atheletes running the course. That is uncalled for, this is a race.

Anonymous said...

Michael Banner was a brother to me, for my sister is married to his brother.
On behalf of the Banner family I would like to say thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
~Tara