A tragic end to the Little Rock marathon as a runner collapses and dies after crossing the finish line. The runner has been identified as 27-year-old Adam Nickel from Madison, Wisconsin.
More than 9,000 runners and walkers hit the street for a chance to push their bodies to the limit.
Runner Jon Lauder says, "This was an exceptional race. It’s one of the hardest I've been a part of. I was real surprised by the number of hills and of course with the windy weather.
This is Lauder's 14th marathon. He says the weather is warmer than he trained for. “It started getting a little warm throughout the day, but then the cloud cover came and that seemed to make it a little more temperant."
Volunteers scream, “Gatorade, here Gatorade, get some Gatorade."
Runners didn't have time to stop for water, but they did take it on the run.
Volunteer Jaqualane Scales says, “Some people are just getting water and pouring it all over themselves and getting Gatorade and just gulping it and throwing it down."
Runners tested their endurance up to the finish line, three hours and seven seconds into the race things took a tragic turn.
Director of the Little Rock marathon, Gina Pharis, starts an emergency press conference by saying, “It is with great sadness that I inform you about the death of marathon runner Adam Nickel."
Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Nickel collapsed moments after crossing the finish line.
We chose not to show you the actual video because it's too graphic. You can see in these stills that paramedics on the scene are performing CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation -- until MEMS arrived with a defibrillator.
Doctor Kent Davidson with the Little Rock Marathon says, “We never had a heart rhythm the whole time we tried to resuscitate him."
Pharis adds, "Adam was here running his 6th marathon. In six-years and over 15-thousand participantsm this is the first fatality at the Little Rock Marathon."
Doctor Kent Davidson says Nickel died at UAMS in the emergency room and the death of a physically fit young man leaves more questions than answers.
"It didn't go perfect because a participant is not here that enjoys a sport that we love."
Fifty-two other runners needed some type of medical attention at the finish line today.
Nickel finished the race in three-hours and seven-seconds. He would have qualified for the Boston Marathon.