Runner dies during 8K race in Bartlett

BARTLETT, TN (WMC) - A runner died while participating in an 8K race in Bartlett this weekend.

Runners and bikers across the Mid-South are a close-knit family and many were devastated to learn about the passing of one of their own.

"I think there is a really strong bond by having a running group, meeting people and going on runs," said Breakaway Running worker and professional athlete, Lauren Paquette.

Memphis Runners Track Club took to their Facebook page to acknowledge the death of a participant during Sunday's race.

It was an unseasonably warm day for the Winter Off Road Series.

The 8K race was held in Bartlett at Nesbit Park better known as Stanky Creek, a course full of twist and turns.

"I guess it's debatable for I think it's one of the most challenging trails in the city and certainly when it's warmer the woods seem to trap a lot of the heat," said Memphis biker, Brad Harriman.

A nurse who ran the 8K did not want to speak on camera, but said as she approached the man along the trail she saw people giving him CPR, doing everything they could to save him.

MRTC thanked those first responders, posting:  "We appreciate the well wishes and concerns that many of you expressed and we sincerely appreciate those fellow runners who gave medical assistance until medics arrived."

It is unclear what caused the runner's death.

Paquette said heart health is important regardless of how fit you may appear.

"I've heard of runners who are elite and in top top shape having tissues in their heart malfunction," said Paquette.

Harriman offered his condolences to the runner's family.

"It's just heartbreaking to think that someone's going out on a run and never coming back," he said.

WMC Action News 5 contacted Bartlett Fire Department for more information, but the department said they could not release more information.

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