Chris Wright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Several fellow runners have identified the man who died in the Williams Route 66 Marathon Sunday as Marcus Takach.
Avid runners like Shawna Simpson are the first to admit that they are a special breed. It's a shared passion, so she says when a runner dies, everyone feels the loss.
"Many of our runners were affected. Many of the runners I trained with were posting last night that I ran with this guy, I went to school with this guy," Simpson said. "We'll band around each other."
Marcus Takach, 27, collapsed and died in the tenth mile of Sunday's half-marathon. Witnesses say a doctor and a nurse, runners themselves, immediately performed CPR.
"He almost seemed responsive. We were telling him hang in there, come on wake up wake up," said Chris Tall Bear.
When first responders did arrive, they couldn't revive him. Runners say that these rare tragedies are often impossible to predict or prevent.
"The odds are one in one hundred thousand that you will pass away during a race, and for every race we put hours of training into that race, so it is a very strange phenomenon," Simpson said.
But the Route 66 Marathon continues to defy the odds. Kjell Tovander, 21, died during the race two years ago. He had recently taken up running.
Fellow runners say Takach was not a novice. According to onlineraceresults.com, he ran in a number of races over the past year.
Authorities have yet to determine the cause of his death, but runners hope this tragedy does not deter people from participating in their sport.
"Running is so incredibly safe," Simpson said. "As runners, we put hours and hours of training in. It seems like a sad coincidence when you have fatalities during races because it's so rare."
According to his Linked-In page, Takach had a bachelors and an MBA from the University of Tulsa and had worked as an accountant for the past three years.