According to the race director, at least 74 participants who experienced medical issues during the 2022 Comrades Marathon were sent to various hospitals in Durban, South Africa.
The Comrades Marathon is the biggest and most prestigious ultramarathon in the world.
The KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa hosts the Comrades Marathon once a year between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The event is approximately 89 kilometers long (55 miles).
The race for this year took place from Aug. 27-28.
Marathon competitions have raised concerns concerning uncommon mortality and medical emergencies among these fit athletes.
According to the Comrades Marathon Association, nine of the 74 Comrades Marathon competitors hospitalized on Sunday still receive care there.
Tragically, two runners died, Phakamile Ntshiza (37) and Mzamo Mthembu (31).
Two additional athletes who were initially admitted to the ICU are still being closely watched by medical professionals, albeit one of them is no longer on life support.
In a statement, the association claims that Mthembu suffered a heart attack while running in Pinetown. He was sent to the Westville Hospital, where he subsequently passed away, according to Sabcnews.
Phakamile Ntshiza reportedly passed away after collapsing.
Jeremy Boulter, the race doctor, claims that the second incident’s specifics are unknown. Ntshiza reportedly ran into trouble at Drummond about the halfway point and passed away before being sent to the hospital, according to the association. In addition to finishing a qualifying marathon, runners must register for the event and submit a detailed medical questionnaire, according to the event’s organizers.
According to Rowyn James, the race’s director, they did everything they could to reduce potential risks from an organizational standpoint.
The medical screening procedure is pretty comprehensive, but its primary function is to flag the athletes as red, yellow, or green, depending on their responses. Before any racer begins the race, the medical staff consults with them if they fall into the red category.
The last time a person died during a Comrades race on race day was in 2012. There have been eight fatalities on race day overall over the past 40 years.
Mqondisi Ngcobo, the chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association, said they would like to extend their sympathies and condolences to the athletes’ families, friends, and running partners.
“We will keep them in our prayers and assist them as they cope with their loss. We would also like to thank the medical staff and volunteers who helped in swiftly offering whatever assistance they could to these participants.”