CHICAGO -- A Michigan police officer died and dozens of
others needed medical care while running the Chicago Marathon as
record heat and smothering humidity forced race organizers to shut
down the course midway through the event.
Chad Schieber, 35, collapsed Sunday while running on the city's
South Side and was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. at a
hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
An autopsy on the Midland, Mich., man was scheduled for Monday.
"Obviously very sad news, and our thoughts and prayers are with
the individual's family," said Shawn Platt, senior vice president
of LaSalle Bank, the marathon's sponsor.
Schieber was a 12-year police veteran in Midland, a city of
about 42,000 in central Lower Michigan. He worked as a field
training officer and community relations officer and implemented
the department's child DNA identification program, the Midland
Daily News reported.
At least 49 people were taken to hospitals, while another 250
were treated onsite, many for heat-related ailments. Chicago Fire
Department officials said they used 30 ambulances from area
suburbs. Three people were in critical condition at Northwestern
Memorial Hospital late Sunday, according to spokeswoman Jennifer
Also on Sunday, an unidentified runner died during the Army
Ten-Miler race in Arlington, Va., near the finish line at the
Pentagon. The runner collapsed about about 200 yards from the
finish line. Medics responded immediately and took the runner to
George Washington University Hospital. The cause of death was not
About 10,000 of the 45,000 registered runners never even showed
up for the 30th annual Chicago race, while another 10,934 started
but didn't finish, officials said.
The high heat index prompted organizers to stop the race at
11:30 a.m., about 3½ hours into the run. Runners who hadn't reached
the halfway point were diverted to the start and finish area, while
those on the second half of the course were advised to drop out,
walk or board cooling buses, Platt said.
Race director Carey Pinkowski said organizers were concerned
that emergency medical personnel wouldn't be able to keep up with
heat-related injuries as the weather turned more cruel.
"We were seeing a high rate of people that were struggling,"
Pinkowski said. "If you were out there at 1 o'clock, it was a hot
sun. It was like a summer day, it was just a brutally hot day."
Kenya's Patrick Ivuti won, leaning at the finish line to edge
Jaouad Gharib of Morocco by 0.05 seconds. Ethiopia's Berhane Adere
rallied to successfully defend her women's title.
By 10 a.m., temperatures had already reached a race-record of 88
degrees. The previous marathon record of 84 degrees was set in
1979. Pinkowski said it was a tough decision to stop the race, but
a prudent one.
Lori Kaufman, a runner from St. Louis, said she was told to
start walking by mile No. 14. She said she didn't have enough water
"We had a lot of spectators just handing us bottles of water
which helped a lot," Kaufman said. "Every medic station that we
passed was full of people. I mean, they were not doing well."
Some kept going and helicopters hovered over the race course
while police officers shouted through a bullhorn and warned runners
to slow down and walk.
Fire hydrants were opened along the course and some residents
who live along the race route used garden hoses to spray water on
the weary runners.
Paul Gardiner, a runner from England, said the weather made for
a "brutal" run.
"We were at about 18 miles and we heard they canceled it and
that kind of sent a little bit of concern through the crowd,"
Gardiner said. "It's just it's impossible to run."