Chicago Marathon death has Boilermaker officials talking race safety

By Dave Dellecese

One man is dead and hundreds have been hospitalized after running in the scorching heat during the Chicago Marathon.

Jim Stasaitis is the new Race Director for the Boilermaker - one of the largest 15K races in the country. He said when you have some of the world's most elite runners in your race, not to mention thousands of other running enthusiasts, a lot goes into making sure everyone stays safe.

Race officials are coming under fire for not having enough water available to the runners - especially during a record heat wave.

One person collapsed and died during that race - and hundreds more had to be taken to the hospital. But Stasaitis said he believes it was more than just the heat and humidity, especially concerning the death of the runner.

That was the case in the death of Sean O'Neil- who collapsed during this year's Boilermaker. It turned out the young man had an undetected heart condition.

Regardless of what the outcome is for the Chicago Marathon said race officials shouldn't be the only ones taking the heat.

"The runners have to realize if it's a hot and humid day they have to take responsibility for themselves to slow down and not push it," Stasaitis said. "Even though there's enough water on the course you're going to get some people who try to push the envelope more than they should and things will happen."

Stasaitis said when anything happens during a race that all parties involved are consulted. Everyone from the medical team, to the police, to the volunteers.

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