Runner died of cardiac arrest during half marathon

The 30-year-old male runner never regained consciousness after falling near the finish line during the Changning International Half Marathon on Sunday.

A male runner died of cardiac arrest while taking part in the inaugural Changning International Half Marathon on Sunday morning.

The 30-year-old runner was seen falling to the ground about 120 meters from the finish line at Shanghai Yan’an High School. He was immediately attended to by medical staff, but never regained consciousness.

According to sina.com, citing runners who witnessed the tragedy, medical staff took emergency measures including using an automatic external defibrillator. The AED device is usually used to restore normal heart rhythm after a sudden cardiac arrest.

The runner was also said to have received an epinephrine injection.

Shanghai Donghao Lansheng Event Management Company, the  organizer of the event, was not available for comment on Monday. The firm also runs the annual Shanghai International Marathon.

Earlier the company said that 10 medical stations and service spots had been set up for the half marathon. A total of 110 medical staff and eight ambulances were on duty for the event.

Sunday's marathon featured a total of 4,800 runners — 4,500 in the 21-kilometer half marathon and 300 in the 3km mini marathon.

According to the regulations, runners who apply to take part in the half marathon should be in good health, and have been practicing long-distance running on a regular basis.

Those who have congenital or rheumatic heart disease, hypertension or cerebrovascular problems, diabetes, myocarditis, coronary artery disease or serious arrhythmia are advised not to take part in the event.

Sunday's tragedy was the third fatality at Chinese marathons over the past month. On November 6, a male runner fell to the ground just 2km after the start line in Xinxiang, Henan Province.

On November 19, a 33-year-old male runner suffered cardiac arrest about 2km from the finish line when taking part in the Chongqing International Half Marathon.

Cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death at marathon events.

In the 2015 Shanghai International Marathon, a 26-year-old runner suffered cardiac problems and was attended to by volunteers and doctors running in the race. The runner recovered consciousness after receiving cardiac defibrillation and intravenous infusion.

Ti Gong

The inaugural Changning International Half Marathon features a total of 4,800 runners.

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