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Photo credit: Whiteface Sky Runs.

Runner dies of heatstroke


By Alice Morrison

If we need any reminder to be cautious when running in very hot conditions, then the terrible news that a runner has died during the Whiteface Sky Race in Wilmington, USA, is a tragic warning.

Temperatures were in the 90s ºF (32ºC) when Nick Marshak, 30, took on the challenge of the Sky Race which involved running both up and down the steep trails of Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.

He collapsed around 2 p.m. Sunday, according to Jan Wellford of Keene, who organized the event through Red Newt Racing and spoke to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Marshak had almost finished the race, which involves three loops, and was descending the Lower Parkway ski trail on his third and final loop.

He was about half a mile from the finish line of the 15.5-mile race.

An ambulance crew responded and took Marshak to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid, where they continued CPR and put him in an ice bath, but he could not be resuscitated.

Essex County Coroner Frank Whitelaw told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that the ambulance crew initially measured Marshak’s body temperature at 104ºF (40ºC), and it had risen to 108ºF (42ºC) by the time of his death. The cause of death was determined to be heatstroke.

Our condolences go out to Nick Marshak’s family and friends.

Please take running in the heat seriously and make sure you are well hydrated and if you start to overheat, take time to cool down. The following articles may be of help:

Managing heat stress

Heat chamber acclimation

Hypothermia and hyperthermia: Part 1, Part 2

Top tips to keep hydrated

The battle of the packs

Salt, the missing link to performance success?


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