Nfld. & Labrador

'It's a sad moment,' says N.L. runner on Ottawa marathon death

A man in his 30s, originally from this province, died over the weekend after going into cardiac arrest.

A man in his 30s, originally from this province, died after going into cardiac arrest

Flowers were left near where the runner collapsed along the Ottawa marathon route on Sunday. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

A runner from this province who now lives in Ottawa and took part in the Ottawa Race Weekend says news of a man dying during one of the events is tragic.

Tim Powers is a longtime runner, who says he's participated in races across the world.

When he heard news that this weekend a runner — another man originally from Newfoundland and Labrador — had died after taking part in a race, he was shocked.

"I think whenever something tragic like this happens it makes people mourn, it makes people stop and think. It's a sad moment," Powers told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

Ottawa police said the man, who was in his 30s, went into cardiac arrest near the Pretoria Bridge on Sunday, and was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.

The man has not been officially identified.

Ottawa Race Weekend runners cross the Alexandra Bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., on Sunday. (CBC)

Powers said the weather in Ottawa over the weekend was humid, and he saw a number of runners who were struggling with the hot temperatures.

"It was a tough weekend. It was humid, I saw many people stopping, getting more water, or just walking out of the race," he said.

"At one point during the race I even stopped at 29K but it was because of a leg injury, so these races can be tough. But ultimately the individual has to be aware of whether they train properly and whether they've consulted their doctor before they go out and do them."

Powers emphasized that he doesn't know what happened to the man who died.

"We have to learn what happened specifically in this case," said Powers.

"Was this something that could have been prevented or not? If it could have been prevented, what could the race have done?"

Through his experience and years of running marathon races, Powers said, he knows the Ottawa Race Weekend was a safe place for runners, and there were plenty of resources at the scene to help anyone in trouble.

"I would tell you as somebody who's trundled along many paths in many different countries and done this Ottawa Race Weekend a number of times, there are aid stations every two kilometres, there are aid workers riding around on bikes. People are very easily accessed," Powers said.

"I have to say, I've done races in Peru and New York and St. John's and Miami, all over the place. This is the most safe race for runners because there is aid, water and help available just about everywhere on the course."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show