Philadelphia (CBS) – Two runners died during the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday morning.
Authorities say 40-year-old G. Chris Gleason of Clifton Park, New York collapsed a quarter mile from the finish line. A spokesperson for the University of Pennsylvania confirmed the 21-year-old victim was senior John Lee, a nursing and business major from California who was competing in the half-marathon.
“He was the kindest person I knew,” said Yang Hu, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania who had known Lee for about a year.
Both runners were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital where they were pronounced dead. It is believed Lee suffered an apparent heart attack. Authorities say the exact cause of Gleason’s death will not be known for another week.
Philadelphia Marathon Race Weekend Executive Director Melanie Johnson said, “We are deeply saddened and our thoughts are with their families and friends.”
Fire officials say at least 10 others were rushed to the hospital by ambulance, and the extent of their injuries and current status is unknown.
At least 25,000 participants, along with 60,000 spectators turned out the for the 18th annual race.
Reported By Stasia DeMarco, CBSPhilly.com; Mike Dougherty, KYW Newsradio