Last week’s Behobia-San Sebastián half-marathon in Spain saw three of its participants suffer heart attacks while 33 others required hospitalization, according to reports.
The event also saw 125 other runners require medical attention.
The annual 20-kilometer race from Behobia to San Sebastián, in which 30,000 runners took part, is an event that has been held since 1919.
Since then, only six runners have lost their lives, including one in last year’s marathon who died suddenly from a heart attack. The previous fatality before that was in 2015.
Although Spanish media outlets acknowledged that this year’s casualties are “unprecedented,” they claim the sudden spate of heart attacks is due to the weather.
Other media outlets chimed in, blaming the tragedy on rising temperatures.
Earlier this year, during the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, two runners died, and 74 were hospitalized, with at least one of the fatalities suffering a sudden heart attack.
The media also said the local weather was to blame, which was recorded as partly cloudy at 71.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
In May, sixteen people were taken to the hospital after running the Brooklyn Half Marathon, and a 30-year-old runner died of cardiac arrest.
According to a review conducted by York St. John University in 2016, sudden cardiac deaths in marathons between 1976 and 2010 increased between 0.6 and 1.9 per 100,000.
The number of runners in the Comrades Marathon was capped at 15,000, and around 20,000 runners reportedly participated in the Brooklyn Half Marathon. This would put the incidence death rate per 100,000 at 13.3 and 5, respectively.
“Marathon in northern Spain ends with two cardiac arrests and 125 athletes collapsing with severe fatigue symptoms, yet presstitutes have the audacity to blame it on heat stroke when the temperatures at the event never exceeded 26deg,” one runner said.
“Last week. Behobia’s half marathon in San Sebastian, Spain. Balance: – 2 heart attacks – 125 runners treated for heat strokes. Heat strokes in November, with around 15ºC. New normality,” tweeted another.
“Fit sporty people falling like flies with heart issues at semi-marathon in Spain… because of heat in November! All normal, nothing to see,” wrote another.