KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A distance runner was killed by lightning as he was about to cross the finish line for a 50 kilometer race in southeast Kansas.
Thomas Stanley, 33, of Andover, was less than a quarter mile from finishing the FlatRock trail race at the Elk City State Park when he was struck around 2:15 p.m. Saturday, said race director Carolyn Robinson.
The day started off hot and sunny before a small storm hit the area “without warning.” Robinson said Stanley was struck “the moment the storm blew in.” While some racers, including a doctor, attempted CPR, others in the crowd jumped in their vehicles and drove to a straight stretch of road that leads to the finish line, so other runners could get inside and out of the storm.
Stanley was included as a finisher in the final results. He came in 11th out of 104 competitors. Robinson says his wife was presented the finisher award he would have received. The couple had three children, the oldest just 6. Robinson said they are “devastated.”