Korean Dies Competing in Nyahururu Marathon

  • An attempt by a South Korean to race against Kenyans in a marathon on Sunday turned tragic after he collapsed and died.

    The 61-year-old Yoo Byungwon was a participant in the second edition of Nyahururu 10km Road Race that was sponsored by another Korean.

    Being among several Koreans who arrived in the country on January 8 for the marathon, the man was reportedly in high spirits as the race kicked off.

    However, according to the account of Ken Kasimili, one of the local runners jogging with the deceased, after doing several laps on the 5km earth road loop that formed the route of the weekend competition, the old man suddenly stopped and started shaking.

    "When he started to shake, we supported him off the road, but we realised he had serious difficulties in breathing. We called for help and a vehicle came and took him to hospital," the witness stated.

    After being rushed to a private hospital in Nyahururu, the South Korean was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Byungwon was reportedly attempting to cover 42km, the full marathon course, in the race held at Siron village in Maili Saba in the outskirts of Nyahururu town.

    Before collapsing, the 61-year-old reportedly appeared to enjoy his own race and kept waving to bystanders.

    The unfortunate incident was reported at the Nyahururu Police Station with the Korean embassy in Nairobi and relatives of the deceased back in Korea being notified immediately.

    The body of the deceased was later transported to Nairobi for preservation awaiting a decision of the relatives on whether cremation would be done in Kenya or the body would be transported back to Korea.

    Although uncommon, runners at times collapse and die during races mostly due to heart problems.

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