UPDATE: 21-year-old runner who died from heart attack in Elche half marathon was a Spanish soldier

Image of marathon runners. Credit: Pavel 1964 / Shutterstock.com.

A 21-year-old runner who died from a heart attack after the Elche half marathon has been identified as a Spanish soldier.


Monday, March 13 at 21:40pm

A young runner who suffered a heart attack and died yesterday, Sunday, March 12, after the Elche half marathon has been identified today, Monday 13, as Fernando Ayala Collado. The 21-year-old was a Spanish soldier at the San Javier General Air Academy and had been studying to be an aviator, according to laopiniondemurcia.es.

Fernando was also a was a player for the Elche Handball Club. “We want to convey our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Fernando Ayala.  We will always remember you as an athlete who grew up giving everything for our shirt. Rest in peace”, they wrote in tribute to him this morning on social media.

Sunday, March 12 at 8:58pm

A young 21-year-old runner died of cardiac arrest this afternoon, Sunday, March 12, immediately after participating in the Elche half-marathon in Alicante province. This 50th edition of the event was held in unusually high temperatures for the time of year.

As reported by TodoAlicante, the young athlete collapsed when crossing the finish line. Health personnel immediately went to his assistance, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for approximately forty minutes. Unfortunately, they were unable to help him. He was subsequently transferred by ambulance to the General University Hospital of Elche where his death from cardiac arrest was certified.

According to health sources, in addition to the deceased athlete, three other runners had to be transferred to the same hospital. One of them was afflicted with an arrhythmia, another with a heart attack, and another had to be intubated.

A total of 3,200 athletes took part in today’s race, including 2,527 men and 622 women, plus another 34 runners with functional diversity.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com