“I WOULD prefer to die running an ultramarathon than sitting on the sofa worrying about things that will kill me.”
Canadian Anthony Dean Borg wrote this comment on an article posted online dated Aug. 4, 2015 regarding the effects of an ultramarathon on the heart of runners who are 50 or older.
His remark showed a true love for the sport of running but sadly, what he said became reality.
Borg suddenly collapsed while running a shorter distance—the 12-kilometer route of the R399 Fun Run yesterday at the Cebu Business Park.
The Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (Eruf) team rushed him to Perpetual Succor Hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 52.
Borg, a former sales representative, is not new to running and was a finisher in the
recently concluded 70K race in Cebu. The longest distance he ran was 106K.
Borg has been residing in the country since 2011 and decided to relocate to Cebu last
July. He also got married to his partner of nine years, Mary Jean, just last year.
Mary Jean said her husband started running in November 2014 when they were still in Manila to shed some weight. Before that, Borg was a health buff and was into muscle building.
“I was shocked by what happened to him because before the race, he was feeling well.
When it happened he was ahead of me because he runs faster. I learned about it when he
was rushed to the hospital,” an emotional Mary Jean said.
Doctors said Borg suffered cardiac arrest. “He was DOA and they said it was cardiac arrest but I have no plans to autopsy his body because I know he wouldn’t want that,” she said.
She and Borg have a child, and he also has two children from a previous relationship.
Race director Joel Baring of Sports Fitness and Enthusiasts said he was monitoring the different areas of the route when Borg collapsed. The nearest person to Borg was Dr. Jasmine Orlanes, who tried to revive him.
“Most of my marshals saw Borg taking pictures before the race and the other runners saw him running fast. He collapsed in the first 2K of the route; we did not expect it will happen because it’s a non-competitive race and was just inside the Cebu Business Park,” said Baring.
The six-kilometer route had one loop while the 12-kilometer route had two loops. Water stations were 1.5 kilometers apart.
The R399 Fun Run, which started last 2013, is dedicated to Ramie Igaña Jr., a runner and triathlete who died due to pulmonary embolism while cycling the 90-kilometer bike course of the 2012 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines. R399 was the bib number of Igaña.
Yesterday’s race, which was joined by more than 1,000 runners, was for the benefit of the Little Lamb Center Missionaries of the Poor in Sawang Calero, Cebu City.
In a statement sent to Sun.Star Cebu, Dr. Humility Igana, R399 race organizer, said she is saddened by the death of Borg, a first-timer in the race.
“I feel for his family who lost Dean. I was in a similar situation when my husband Ramie died during the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in 2012… After today’s race, I have not thought beyond condoling with Borg’s family. That his death occurred during the third year of the R399 Race pains me,” she said.
She thanked Dr. Peter Mancao and the Eruf team who immediately attended to Borg.