Male Bicyclist, 50, Dies During Marathon's LA Bike Tour

Thursday, Jul 16, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Male Bicyclist, 50, Dies During Marathon's LA Bike Tour

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A male bicyclist died during one of the races at Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon -- the second year in a row that there were fatalities during the event, a fire official said.

The 50-year-old bicyclist went into apparent cardiac arrest and died at 7:41 a.m. at South Catalina Street and Exposition Boulevard during the 22-mile-plus L.A. Bike Tour held in conjunction with the marathon, said Melissa Kelley of the city fire department.

The fire department responded to more than 100 reports of injuries, mainly heat-related or from falls, and about 20-25 people were hospitalized, she said.

Last year, retired Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy James Leone, who was 60, and Los Angeles Police Department Detective Raul Reyna, 53, died at mile markers 3 and 24, respectively, of apparent heart attacks, becoming the second and third fatalities in the marathon's history and the first since 1990.

The 22nd annual marathon, which was run on a point-to-point course instead of a loop with a common start-finish line, as in the past, attracted 24,715 entries, about the same number as last year. Organizers initially expected about 18,000 people to sign up.

In conjunction with the marathon, there was a five-kilometer run and walk and the 13th 22-mile-plus L.A. Bike Tour, which is where the fatality occurred.

Because of the deaths last year, more automated external defibrillators - - portable machines that restart stopped hearts -- were stationed along the race course.

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