This post should have been published in my blog last week.
Last May 28, 2009, I posted a blog entitled “What If…?” and I made some predictions on what the public or the running community reaction would be if in case there is a case of death of a runner caused by joining a marathon or road race. Reading back at the said post, I think my predictions did not happen and will not happen now that we have a reported case of death in a road race.
A day after the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race, I got an information/status update from Facebook that a runner died during the race. It was confirmed by other runners that there was such a case of death on the said road race.
Reading back on the posts/blogs after the MILO Marathon from takbo.ph and other runner-bloggers who participated in the said race, the topics that I’ve read were all about frustrations, cheating, injuries, lack of medals, lack of hydration needs on the last 10 kilometers of the race and prevention of heat-related injuries or cases…but nobody tried to inform the running community about the case of death during the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race or wrote a detailed account about the death of this runner. What I’ve read is about the death of a (Malaysian) runner in the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon last month! Why do you have to blog and re-post the death of a Malaysian runner and keep silent on the death of your co-Filipino runner? I think that is not fair!
I wonder why nobody among the Filipino runner-bloggers wrote about this Filipino runner who died at the 34th MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations? I wonder also why the traditional media outlets in our country kept “silent” about this incident. I hope one or two runners who tried to help the victim would be able to say something about this case or maybe, an officemate or co-running club member would be able to say something about the person…maybe, his name, age, number of years of running, and health condition before the run. A simple interview with the family, relatives and friends would be better to find out the background of this runner. I hope the frontRUNNER Magazine will do its work to find out the details and write about this case so that the running community will be aware of such cases in running.
Or maybe, the runner died because our Medical Support are not properly trained or well-equipped to react appropriately to running cases and injuries such as this. The same case that happened to my former classmates who died due to heat stroke.
I may not be an investigative reporter or member of the CSI but a detailed information about this case should be heard from Team MILO/NESTLE, Phils and the Race Organizers on the details to answer the questions WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO, WHY, and HOW…and the ACTION TAKEN by the people responsible on the said road race.
Guys, this is NEWS! The public, especially the running community, deserves to know the TRUTH! ( This is the “overused” line you always here from the media! Right?). We have to learn something from this case with the hope that we could prevent this thing from happening again.
Cheating, Death, Frustrations, Redemptions, Happiness, Friendships, Betrayal, Power, etc….the Marathon Race offers a lot of DRAMA…like LIFE!
(Note: While trying to find details about this death and while waiting for the Official Statement from MILO/NESTLE, Inc, I happened to discover the Official Statement from Mr Rudy Fuentes, the father of the casualty, posted on the Internet. I will post the Official Statement of MILO/NESTLE, Inc. soon).
17 thoughts on “Death!”
This is very sad indeed, and my heart goes out to the family.
“Despite what some may think, deaths during marathons are very rare. It is extremely unlikely that someone without a pre-existing heart condition would suffer a heart-attack from running, particularly if they participated in a proper training program. While I would certainly recommend anyone considering running a marathon get an OK from their doctor, for most people, the benefits of distance training/running far outweigh the risks.”
Above was a comment made by an OC Register reader in response to the reported death of a runner during the OC Marathon last May 2, 2010.
I witnessed Mr Chao collapsed as he was infront of me and about 100 meters from the finish line. I forgot about the incident until 2 days later, I received an e-mail from the OC Marathon organizers about the sad news. The organizers set-up a bank account where runners, friends and the community can send donations. The organizers also presented to the wife the finisher medal and certificate during the memorial service of Mr. Chao.
I like to know more about this sad incident that happened during the Milo Marathon.
I will restrain myself from commenting until I know sufficient facts regarding this incident.
arthur & jonnifer, i have with me a summary of report from the father of remus about the incident taken from the statements/information he gathered from witnesses. i will publish it in my blog but i am still waiting for the Official Statement from MILO Philippines. thanks for the comments.
There were many complaints in the written accounts of Milo finishers about the extreme humidity. Though I did not run this, in all the races I’ve been in I normally use all water stations as a public bath to avoid heatstroke. Of course some runners do hate getting their feet wet.
What is the threshold at which an organiser may be called on to stop a race — even one that is already in progress? One major US marathon last year, I think, was stopped in mid-race due to the heat.
yes, lakay. i think it happened in the chicago marathon sometime in 2007 or 2008 when the race organizers stopped the race after one or two hours after it started. i think the threshold is the prevailing average temperature or it might be that all the ambulances/medical support could no longer cope up with the number of casualties to be brought to the hospitals or to be attended. on the other side, many of the runners complained also why the race was stopped.
Hi Sir Jovie,
Remus is a good friend, office mate and running mate of mine.
I tried calling you since Monday (July 5) to report this while he was still in coma but i was unsuccessful to get in touch with your mobile phone. Anyway, all is said and done already. I just hope fellow runners support this untimely death of Remus to correct and improve running events.
albert, maybe you can e-mail me on the things you know about remus..thanks!
Hi Sir Jovie,
As a runner-blogger, I refrained from making any comment on the case because I did not (and still do not) have full information about the incident. There have been incidents in the Philippine blogging community in the past where only one side was covered and made viral based on just one original post, only for everyone to realize they had the story backwards due to incomplete information.
I’ve just been waiting for Milo’s official statement before making any comment on the matter. My condolences to Mr. Fuentes’ family aside, we have to remember that his father’s story is only one side and as such cannot escape bias. We also cannot put the blame squarely on Milo Marathon’s shoulders when so many factors are working — the hospital Remus was brought to, his condition before starting the marathon, his own management of his hydration, etc.
As a runner-blogger who does not have complete access or resources to find out news matters for herself, I trust that the more outwardly journalistic members of our community (e.g. FrontRUNNER Magazine) will help bring all sides to light.
noelle, thanks for the comment. i really understand your opinion on this matter. however, i am still wondering why MILO has not issued an official statement on this matter. i e-mailed the Team Milo and they promised me that they will send me one but up to this time, i haven’t received what they promised.
This might help.
thanks, atty jon..for the sake of awareness and information to the running community, i will repost this article in my blog.
indeed a very sad news. RIP Remus and condolences to the family and friends.
I hope this would open the eyes of the organizers on the importance of providing the basic needs that the runners paid for, more than anything else.
and come to think of it that these race organizers had been with us for the past 20-30 years. they have not learned their lessons. thanks, tin!
nabalitaan ko yung may 2 daw na bumagsak during the race noong dumating ako sa finish line sa mga ka team mates ko pero di ko inakalang ganoong pala ka grabe yun.Last sunday sa UP ko unang nalaman na namatay pala sya.Taos puso po akong nakikiramay sa mga kaanak.Isa pa Sir dalawa yata yung na injury during the milo marathon pero wala na balita doon sa isa pa.maybe may makuha rin kayong balita.
yan ang mahirap at wala tayong alam sa isang casualty. i hope i’ll be able to know the details.
Sir Jovie, in response to Miraclecello’s mention about a U.S. race…..on October 7, 2007, the Chicago Marathon was stopped after three and a half hours due to high temperatures and high humidity. There were reports of a lack of or no water at water stations in the latter part of the race. Though I didn’t do the marathon there, I was there working on behalf of New Balance at the Marathon Expo. In that race, there was one death and at least 315 runners were taken to local hospitals in an ambulance. Also, over 10,000 runners failed to complete the marathon either by dropping out or were told to stop by race organizers.
The organizers were aware several days before the race that the chances of a hot and humid day were likely. Unfortunately, it happened. All this overshadowed what was the closest marathon in history by .05 of a second, closer than what happened at the NYC Marathon in 2005!
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