A competitor in one of Saturday’s Dirty Kanza bicycle endurance races in the Flint Hills near Emporia collapsed on the course and later died, race officials and media reports said.
Warner Blackburn of Emporia had a heart attack, according to race officials and a report in the Emporia Gazette.
Blackburn was treated on the course, by medical professionals on hand, and then was taken to Newman Regional Health Center in Emporia, said Casey Woods, one of the organizers of Dirty Kanza.
Another race organizer, Kristin Mohn, released a statement on behalf of the Dirty Kanza promotional team:
“The DK promotions family extends our sympathies to the Blackburn Family,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
Dirty Kanza drew 2,500 competitors on Saturday from 46 states and 10 countries.
The event stages several races at once over a 200-mile course extending deep into the Flint Hills near Emporia. The races are of 200, 100, 50 and 25 miles.
Blackburn was racing in the 50-mile race when he collapsed, race officials said.