OT - Freep Marathon Fatalities

Submitted by Robbie Moore on October 19th, 2009 at 2:37 PM

First of all, my sympathy to the families and friends of the three people who died running the Freep Marathon yesterday. Very tragic.

Has anyone else noticed the muted coverage the tragedy has received in the Freep today? I'm at a loss to imagine any circumstance in which three participants in some event perished where less print coverage would have occured. Could it have to do with the Freep's sponsorship association with the marathon? It get's huge coverage in the days leading up to the event. Yet when something negative (and quite tragic) is associated with the event, it gets the quiet treatment.

And the print media wonders why it has sustained such a loss of credibility.



October 19th, 2009 at 2:44 PM ^

I remember being mildly horrified a few years ago when three people were killed in competition at the Isle of Man TT. One would think a half-marathon would be comparatively safe, but I guess not.

OMG Shirtless

October 19th, 2009 at 2:48 PM ^

It was the top story on the Freep website all afternoon yesterday. They even updated it to include the names once families were notified. It's still the second story now right below the finish line/results link. I'm not sure what more you want them to do. Yes the Freep is the devil but I think they handled this fine.

I don't know how much they put in the print edition if they even still have one on mondays. Perhaps they're waiting for the autopsies to be completed today.

st barth

October 19th, 2009 at 3:05 PM ^

I don't bother reading the Free Press anymore but I was really surprised to see the results. The winning times were pretty slow and how unusual to have three deaths. My first thought was that maybe there was a snow/ice storm or something crazy but it looks like the weather was decent enough.

The deaths are really unfortunate. I did the full marathon a few years and it's really a wonderful event. One of the best ways to see Detroit and I recommend participation for everyone. Hopefully it will be along time before another tragedy strikes this race.


October 19th, 2009 at 3:49 PM ^

Never heard of it.

I did hear about the 26 year old, though. Former Campbell-Ewald employee, or so says my sister-in-law who used to work there, (and ran yesterday's race). Sad day for that family.

MMB 82

October 19th, 2009 at 5:55 PM ^

But this is just weird- they were running a half-marathon, not the full 26.2 miles, and the weather conditions were actually pretty good. You want cool-cold weather, it is actually safer because your body can't overheat. Unless someone was poisoning the gatorade, this was probably a bizarre and tragic co-incidence. The deaths that I am aware of in marathon running (and they are very rare, for instance I can only think of four in the past ten Chicago Marathons (three heart-related, one from hyperthermia), and that race is much bigger than Detroit's) are usually heat-related, over-hydration, or cardiac disease. Condolences to all the families.....

The FannMan

October 19th, 2009 at 6:02 PM ^

It lead the 6:00 Sunday news in Detroit. IIRC, it also made the NBC Nightly news yesterday. It didn't get the silent treatment and, other than the name, I don't think the Freep has anything to do with the race.

Also, it isn't like the Freep or the race organizers did anything wrong that would need to be silenced. The reports are that the EMS peolpe and doctors were on scene and got to the guys quickly. Not to diminish the tragedy here one bit, but anytime you run 13 plus miles you put a lot of strain on your system. (I used to do the whole distance running thing.) Sometimes it can be a small or hidden biological problem that gives under the strain - even in well trained runners. You may recall a runner named Ryan Shay who died suddenly at the US Olympic Trials in 2007. He was a world class runner, but had a heart problem that had gone undiscovered.

I really hope this doesn't come across as cold, but sometimes your number is just up. It is tragic, but I would be shocked if this is anything other than three guys whose numbers came up at the same race.