Funeral Arrangements for Ryan Shay, Courtesy of Walt Murphy

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Dear Readers,

Walt Murphy, a long time track fan and long time fact finder for most major track and field broadcasts, as well as publisher of XC Xpress and Eastern Track, has compiled the following information on Ryan Shay, his life, and the reactions to his surprising death during the Olympic Trials marathon, as well as his funeral arrangements:

Walt Murphy's News and Results Service
(c)Copyright 2007-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.

I've sent out a lot of death notices this year, but this is certainly one of the saddest. I'm sure you all know by now that former Notre Dame star Ryan Shay collapsed less than 6-miles into the Olympic Trials Marathon in NY's Central Park on Saturday and was pronounced dead less than an hour later at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Shay's death has hit the running community hard. Said Brian Sell, who was ecstatic after making the U.S. team with his 3rd place finish, after the race, "I'd trade my Olympic spot in a split second to have him back".

Funeral Arrangements
From the Detroit Free Press
The funeral for Ryan Shay will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Harvest Barn Church in East Jordan, MI(Shay's hometown). There will be a candlelight vigil in Shay's honor through Thursday from 6-9 at Central Lake High School athletic complex track field. There will be 300 luminaries around the track lit every night.
Visitation for Shay will be at the Mortensen Funeral Home, 5-8 p.m. Friday and noon- 8 p.m. Saturday.

People can sign a guestbook at (click on Ryan Shay on the right side)

On Sunday, there will be a one-hour visitation prior to the funeral.

Notre Dame Mourns the Death of a Champion
"Ryan was here just last week at our practice, before he headed out to New York for the Trials," says (Notre Dame coach) Joe Piane. "All the kids on the current team know who he is - he's an inspiration to them."

Check out the links below for more details and reactions.

Sports Illustrated(Tim Layden has done a wonderful job of capturing the scene on Saturday)

NY Road Runners

Detroit Free Press

USA Today
Father--Son diagnosed with enlarged heart at age 14

Still no Answer

NY Times

Associated Press

Coach Joe Vigil Devastated

Deena Kastor
After a Death, Time for Life and a Race


USATF Report on the Trials race(Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein, Brian Sell Make Team)

NY Road Runners Trials Report

The Quiet Man Gets Excited(Ryan Hall)

USATF comment on the death of Ryan Shay
NEW YORK - Ryan Shay, a five-time national champion on the roads, died Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon. Shortly past the 5-mile mark of the race, Shay collapsed and was immediately given CPR. An ambulance transported him to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m.
"We all are devastated over Ryan's death," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "He was a tremendous champion who was here today to pursue his dreams. The Olympic Trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan's wife, Alicia, and all of his family. His death is a tremendous loss for the sport and the long-distance running community."
A 2002 graduate of Notre Dame and a native of Michigan, Shay was the 2003 USA marathon champion, the 2003 and 2004 USA half-marathon champion, the 2004 USA 20 km champion and the 2005 USA 15 km champion.He won the 2001 NCAA 10,000m title, winning the first national individual title for Notre Dame, and was a nine-time All-American. After college, he trained with Team USA California, a group that includes Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor and now includes 2008 Olympic Trials champion Ryan Hall. In 2003 he won the USARC racing series after winning national road running titles in the marathon and half marathon, and taking third at 5 km and 20 km.
Shay's wife, Alicia (Craig) Shay, was an NCAA champion and record-holder while attending Stanford University and is a professional distance runner.
For a bio of Ryan Shay, visit:

Shay was also a 2-time All-America in x-country (12th-1999, 6th-2001).

1 Comment | Leave a comment


I am heart broken over this tragedy. My prayers to the Shay family and to Ryan’s wife, Alicia, as they mourn this great loss. Please post any information about where to direct memorial donations.


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