USATF comment on the death of Ryan Shay


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

NEW YORK - Ryan Shay, a five-time national champion on the roads, died Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon. Shortly past the 5-mile mark of the race, Shay collapsed and was immediately given CPR. An ambulance transported him to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m.

"We all are devastated over Ryan's death," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "He was a tremendous champion who was here today to pursue his dreams. The Olympic Trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan's wife, Alicia, and all of his family. His death is a tremendous loss for the sport and the long-distance running community."

A 2002 graduate of Notre Dame and a native of Michigan, Shay was the 2003 USA marathon champion, the 2003 and 2004 USA half-marathon champion, the 2004 USA 20 km champion and the 2005 USA 15 km champion. He won the 2001 NCAA 10,000m title, winning the first national individual title for Notre Dame, and was a nine-time All-American. After college, he trained with Team USA California, a group that includes Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor and now includes 2008 Olympic Trials champion Ryan Hall. In 2003 he won the USARC racing series after winning national road running titles in the marathon and half marathon, and taking third at 5 km and 20 km.

Shay's wife, Alicia (Craig) Shay, was an NCAA champion and record-holder while attending Stanford University and is a professional distance runner.

For a bio of Ryan Shay, visit