Runner who died at Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon identifed

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 9:08 PM

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VIRGINIA BEACH -- An out-of-town runner who died Sunday during the Virginia Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon at the Oceanfront has been identified.

Larry Wegner, 50,  of Glen Allen, Virginia went down shortly after passing the 1-mile mark on the course near 24th Street and Pacific Avenue.

"I was on Pacific, and I was looking ahead and I saw, like, it was almost like something happened. You could tell something happened," recalled Jonathan Harris who was about 100 yards back when he saw the commotion on the course.

"He had a big cut, I want to say on this side of his head," Harris said, gesturing, "and there was quite a bit of blood."

Harris, a personal trainer and running coach, added, "When you see races like that you're always seeing people treated for heat and injuries and things like that, but to see somebody down like that, blood on his head like that, you don't see that very often."

Although no one has said how the runner died, the heat and humidity did keep medical crews busy throughout the day Sunday.

Chief Ed Brazle with Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services told 13News Now  13 people had to be hospitalized at Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital. Most of them experienced dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

14 ambulances with 80 Virginia Beach medical personnel were at the event

Dale Gauding, spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said more than 100 people were treated for heat-related injuries at Sentara's Mobile Command Center at 15th Street and Atlantic Avenue.

The race's medical director, Dr. P.Z. Pearce, wrote in a statement emailed to 13News Now:

"We regretfully confirm that the participant who collapsed early in today’s race passed away this afternoon at the hospital. This is a tragic loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the runner’s family and friends. We are grateful for the rapid response of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, who were immediately on the scene. We have been in touch with the family and ask everyone to respect their request for privacy, and to keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

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