Runner Dies During Barcelona Marathon of Heart Attack

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 09:37 AM

By Megan Anderle

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A marathon runner suffered a heart attack and died during a Barcelona race Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

The athlete in his 40s died shortly after crossing the finish line of the Barcelona Marathon on St. Patrick Day's, one of the Spanish city's biggest events annually. Barcelona marathon officials identified the runner as X.J., a man who lived in Barcelona.

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“The Catalan athlete who had completed the test in a time of 4:05:10 and participated through the AESE Running Club, was an expert popular runner,” officials noted on a translated version of the marathon’s website. “X.J. fainted after crossing the finish line of the Zurich Marató de Barcelona, being treated immediately by the unit of the Barcelona Red Cross. He was later transferred to the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, where he died later.”

The exact age of the victim is unclear, as the Clinic Hospital identified him as 47 but marathon officials identified him as 45.

On Monday, the Barcelona City Council activated a counseling service to help family members in need.

Tens of thousands of fans lined the streets of the metropolis to watch the 26.2-mile race, featuring runners from all over the world.

More than 8,000 competitors ran past city landmarks like Camp Nou, the home base for the soccer team FC Barcelona, the famous building La Pedrera, and the basilica Sagrada Familia. The race began in front of the Magic Fountain.

Heatstroke was not mentioned in reports as a cause of death, but the incident comes two days after a soldier died of heatstroke after competing in a marathon in Tel Aviv, the AP reported.

The temperate during the race reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, causing four other runners to collapse from heat stroke, all of who were put in medically induced comas and put on respirators at the Tel Aviv hospital. In total, more than 50 were treated that day.

Ethiopians Gezahgne Abrera and Lemelen Berha were the men's and women's winners on Sunday. Abrera won in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 17 seconds. Berha finished in 2:34:39, ESPN reported.

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