Good morning! I pulled this from my friend Deans blog but wanted to share it with you all.
Mike Wardian, friend and coaching student stood next to Shay at the starting line of the race. Let us all pay tribute to a great champion and run a few miles in his memory today. Life is so precious. One breath, one moment, one step at a time. I am constantly drawn back to this way of thinking.
TRIBUTE TO A CHAMPION
For those of you who have experienced it, you know the enchantment of the New York City Marathon. There is nothing quite comparable to the magic of this race, from the spirit of the international field who gather here, to the thousands of cheering spectators who line the streets, NYC is arguably the world’s greatest marathon.
This year, however, a shadow of sorrow was cast over the event. The US Olympic qualifiers for the marathon were held the day prior to the main race, and one of our country’s greatest runners tragically died during the race.
Ryan Shay collapsed just past the five-mile mark and was immediately transported to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Shay was considered a top contender and was in remarkable physical condition going into the race.
I’m sure many of you are asking some of the same questions I am, principally: how could this incredibly fit 28-year old national road racing champion simply collapse? Although an autopsy report is not yet available, Ryan’s father, Joe Shay, said his son had been diagnosed with a larger than normal heart . “What made him such a great runner,” Mr. Shay said, “was probably what killed him.” Ryan Shay seems to have died of a big heart.
As you can imagine, there is lots of debate in the media today about the dangers of running and marathoning. Our sport has recently had much visibility cast upon it with Alberto Salazar suffering a massive heart attack and Chad Schieber dying during the Chicago Marathon.
Yet now is not the time to debate the hazards of running long distance, now is the time to remember and pay tribute to this tremendous athlete and great man, Ryan Shay. Let us remember Ryan not for the way he tragically died, but for the way he courageously lived.
Ryan is survived by his wife his wife Alicia Shay, who is also an elite runner.
On another note:
I wanted to take a moment to say Thank You for all the prayers and positive energy that were sent out on behalf of my Dad. I am very happy to report that the prayers were heard and the energy received!
After a 10 hour surgery, that the Dr. reported was the most challenging of his career, my Dad spent 11 days in the Critical ICU. The first couple of days he seemed to be doing better than expected, given his reduced overall health and age, and had everyone surprised and hopeful. Then, on the third day, he started to rapidly decline and developed some serious issues with liver, heart and future kidney decline. I can not say enough about the superb quality of care that the LSU medical staff provided during this very tenuous and stressful period; they saved his life more than once.
Bottom line is he has been moved to a private room in the Telemetry Unit and is recovering with the help of Dialysis, modern medical science, great care and answered prayers. We are hopeful that he will be moved to a temporary rehab facility early next week and recover enough to return home by Thanksgiving.
David is a real fighter and this was one hell of a tough fight. On behalf of my Dad, and the entire Smith/Batchen family, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for the thoughts and prayers that were sent our way. With them, he has climbed off the mat from what surely could have been a knockout punch.