Runner Dies at Brooklyn Half Marathon Finish Line, 15 Others Taken to Hospital
By Melissa Klein and Dean Balsamini
One runner died Saturday morning after finishing the Brooklyn Half Marathon, authorities said.
The 30-year-old man, who was not identified, possibly suffered cardiac arrest around 9 a.m. and was taken to Coney Island Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.
The runner collapsed after finishing the race, according to the New York Road Runners club which held the event. The runner fell on the boardwalk, a source said.
The FDNY said 16 people were taken to the hospital including the man who died and four others with serious injuries.
The race, which took the 22,000 runners from the Brooklyn Museum through Prospect Park to the Coney Island boardwalk, was held under unseasonably warm conditions. The temperature at 9 a.m. at Coney Island was already 70 degrees with 83% humidity, according to Fox Weather.
One police officer said four other people collapsed near the end.
“Maybe an organizer or health official should have called it,” the cop said.
A participant also died at the race in 2014.
John Peterson, 26, said he has run the Brooklyn Half Marathon multiple times, but Saturday’s was the hottest and most grueling one he had experienced.
“You have to be aware of your own body’s limits. Sometimes you wanna go for it and push yourself,” he said. “And it’s awful sometimes you push yourself too far and this kind of thing happens.”
Anamaria Flores, 42, of Howard Beach said the race was exhausting and she had to walk the final leg.
“It was brutal,” she said. “As a back of the pack runner, that last five miles were really rough. There’s just no shade anywhere. It was definitely one of those days where you have to slow down. With the humidity and once the sun came out, forget about it. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
New York Road Runners said it had “medical staff placed from start to finish throughout the race course, who are ready to respond immediately to the medical needs of all runners, spectators, volunteers and staff.”
“The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, partners, and staff remain the top priority for NYRR. In coordination and consultation with the city agency partners and weather experts, NYRR was closely monitoring weather conditions leading up to and during the race,” the group said in a statement.
The event was held in person for the first time since the pandemic started.
Celebrities including NBC’s “Today” weatherman Al Roker, “Good Morning America” anchor T.J. Holmes and “Bachelorette” alum Zac Clark were expected to participate.