Fairfax County Man Collapses Near Army Finish Line, Dies

By Jim Hage
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 8, 2007

A male runner collapsed near the finish line of the Army Ten-Miler yesterday and later died, the second death in the 23-year history of the event.

The runner, a Fairfax County resident, was transported by Arlington County medical personnel to George Washington University Hospital, according to Army spokesman Col. Jim Yonts.

"The medics worked on him on the spot, and he was responsive," Yonts said. "But when we called the hospital to check up on him, that's when we learned he had passed away. We're all saddened by that, for sure."

As of last night, the runner's name had not been released by his family.

An 8 a.m. start-time temperature of 70 degrees, humidity of 94 percent and the lack of any breeze made conditions oppressive for running.

The runner collapsed at about 10:40 a.m. and had averaged about 16 minutes per mile.

Retired Army sergeant Fay Steele, 91, dropped out near the eight-mile mark and was also taken to GWU Hospital. He was given intravenous fluids and quickly released.

Steele, along with other runners, said that aid stations on the second half of the course had run out of water.

"I was dehydrated," Steele said. "I'll not run in heat like that again. But I do look forward to my next one."

A record 26,000 runners registered for the event and, according to Army officials, more than 17,000 finished, also a record.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company