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Runner in Las Vegas race dies

A Las Vegas resident who collapsed near the end of Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half-Marathon died Tuesday at an undisclosed local hospital.

Eric Reitman, 32, who has competed in several other local races in the past year, received immediate medical attention near the half-marathon finish line at Mandalay Bay, according to witnesses who requested anonymity. Those witnesses said he was then transported by ambulance to the hospital.

San Diego-based Competitor Group, in its first year as owner of the event that drew more than 27,000 participants, issued a statement Tuesday evening.

“We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” said Dr. Lewis Maharam, medical director for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “On behalf of everyone involved with the event, our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the participant’s family and friends. We have spoken with the family, and they have asked for their privacy during this difficult time.”

Although sources said Reitman collapsed before finishing the half-marathon, race results showed him completing the event in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 45 seconds.

All entrants have a chip attached to their shoelace that automatically activates when they cross the start line and the finish line, and the chip also logs splits throughout the course. Reitman’s chip probably logged his time as he was taken to the ambulance near the finish line.

Late Tuesday evening, Reitman’s family released a statement. “Eric was a wonderful son and brother. He was loved by his family and his friends. He loved running and the outdoors, and he will be missed.”

Reitman’s girlfriend, Faith Lutheran Junior/Senior High School teacher Katie Dargatz, also issued a statement. “Eric was an amazing man, and he died doing everything he loved most,” she said.

Dargatz also competed in the half-marathon, finishing in 2:48:10.

The cause of death had not been released.

Various studies estimate the death rate for a marathon is between 1 in 50,000 and 1 in 75,000 participants, with that number lower for half-marathons.

Three runners — ages 26, 36 and 65 — died in the Detroit Marathon/Half-Marathon on Oct. 18, out of a field of 19,000. On Oct. 4, two runners in their 30s died at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in San Jose, Calif., in a field of about 10,000.

Contact reporter Patrick Everson at peverson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0353.

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