Three participants suffered heart attacks during last week’s Behobia-San Sebastián half-marathon while 33 others required hospitalization, reports El Español. 125 other runners required medical attention.
30,000 participants overall joined the annual 20-kilometer race from Behobia to San Sebastián this year, which had its first race in 1919. Since then, six runners have lost their lives, including one in last year’s marathon who died of a sudden heart attack. The last fatality prior to that was in 2015.
While Spanish media are calling the number of casualties “unprecedented,” they are chalking it up to the day’s temperature which reached 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Media outlets have also blamed the heat for other marathons this year marred by tragedy.
In August two runners died and 74 were hospitalized during the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, reported America’s Frontline News. At least one of the fatalities suffered a sudden heart attack.
News media blamed the local weather, which was recorded as partly cloudy at 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tragedy follows a similar one in May when America’s Frontline News reported that sixteen people were taken to the hospital after running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, including four runners who collapsed and a 30-year-old runner who died of cardiac arrest. The media blamed the weather, which ranged from low 60s to high 70s with high humidity.
A meta-analysis conducted by York St. John University in 2016 reviewed sudden cardiac deaths in marathons in the 34 years between 1976 and 2010 and found that incidence rates ranged between 0.6 and 1.9 per 100,000.
The total number of runners in the Comrades Marathon was capped at 15,000, and around 20,000 runners reportedly participated in the Brooklyn Half Marathon. That would put the incidence death rate per 100,000 at 13.3 and 5 respectively.
But not everyone is blaming the weather for the casualties in last week’s half-marathon.
“Marathon in northern Spain ends with 2 cardiac arrests and 125 athletes collapsing with severe fatigue symptoms, yet presstitutes have the audacity to blame it on heat stroke when the temperatures at the event never exceeded 26deg. The vaccine is a genocide bioweapon,” one netizen commented on the event.
“Last week. Behobia’s half marathon in San Sebastian, Spain. Balance: – 2 heart attacks – 125 runners treated for heat strokes. Heat strokes in November, with around 15ºC. New normality,” tweeted another.
“Fit sporty people falling like flies with heart issues at semi marathon in Spain… because of heat in November! All normal, nothing to see,” wrote another.
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