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'Dancing in light, shimmering.. like a giant diorama made from mother-of-pearl… was Lake Baikal'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Tragedy as runner dies from 'cardiac arrest' during Baikal ice marathon

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 March 2017

Doctors fought in vain to save  Alexander Stakhanov, 35, on the frozen surface of the world's deepest lake.

He was one of 200 participants from 32 countries in the 'extreme race' which was run this year in sunny conditions. Picture: Masaki Nakamura

The 'experienced' runner, from Moscow, collapsed several kilometres from the finish of the marathon on the frozen ice of Lake Baikal. He was one of 200 participants from 32 countries in the 'extreme race' which was run this year in sunny conditions, with a temperature at the finish of minus 8C.

Runner Yulia Trofimova said: 'I know that the participant who died was born in 1981, a young, healthy, experienced athlete. Most likely his heart stopped. 

'A sudden death. Literally 3 km from the finish. The weather was fine and the route was of very good quality, flawless.' 

Another participant named as Vasily said: 'The weather was perfect, there was no strong wind... On the finish I saw an ambulance. I asked what had happened. 

Alexander Stakhanov

The 'experienced' runner Alexander Stakhanov, from Moscow, collapsed several kilometres from the finish. Picture: The Siberian Times

'They only said that one of the participants had suffered a  heart attack on the route. He felt unwell right on the ice.'

Stakhanov is known to have participated in other marathons. 

A spokesman for the organisers said: 'An autopsy has been conducted to find the exact reasons for the death of the athlete. According to preliminary data, he had a sudden cardiac arrest. Doctors fought for his life, but the man died.' 

Organiser Alexey Nikiforov added: 'It was a sudden cardiac arrest. The weather was fine, the track iwas at its best, all cleared. There was a healthy young marathon runner. 

'An experienced marathon runner, born in 1981. The Disaster Medicine Service tried to revive him, but he has already died. We had believed in a miracle.'

Baikal Ice Marathon


Baikal Ice Marathon


Baikal Ice Marathon

'The Baikal Ice Marathon is always organised in the most serious way.' Picture: Masaki Nakamura, The Siberian Times

The marathon was run from across the lake from Tankhoy in Buryatia to the resort of Listvyanka, Irkutsk region, a distance of 42.195 km. The race was part of the Zimniada 2017 international festival.

In another tragedy, a woman climber, aged 27, died when she fell from a cliff on the Baikal shore, part of the same festival. The authorities made clear there were no complaints against the organisers of the event. 

A spokesman for the Irkutsk regional authorities said: 'The Baikal Ice Marathon is always organised in the most serious way.' Ambulances and full medical facilities are on hand. Before the race athletes must undergo a full medical examination.'

Comments (2)

He died doing something he loved.
Andres Suarez, Cancun, Mexico
11/03/2017 01:14
0
0
Our heartfelt condolenses to the young man's family. May he rest in peace. In 2013 my husband ran the Baikel Ice Marathon and we have the utmost respect and admiration for the organisers as well as the staff who were on the ice at the refreshment stations. Was unforgetable and one of best and most beautiful countries we had the honour of visiting.
Dee, Struisbaai, Western Cape, South Africa
09/03/2017 19:53
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0
1

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