Triangle runners remember fallen comrades

Local runners paid tribute Monday to two men who died during Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll half marathon.
April 14, 2014 8:16:48 PM PDT
Local runners paid tribute Monday evening to the two men who collapsed and died during the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon Sunday in downtown Raleigh.

A good friend of one of the runners said he's in shock. He described 35-year-old Derrick Myers as being in "fantastic shape."

Myers was in the prime of life -- the picture of health -- and a great guy as well, making his death especially difficult for Raleigh's running community.

"Yesterday, I just got a call from my son, and really it was very heartbreaking," said marathoner runner Kaz Yahyapour.

Myers was the inspiration for Yahyapour and members of the nOg Run Club, who held their regularly scheduled Monday night meeting.

Myers was near finishing the course Sunday when he collapsed and died.

"He never met a stranger he didn't know," said Myers' friend Dileep Dadlani. "He was constantly smiling, constantly loving to drink wine, and share with other people."

Dadlani, who had known Myers for a year, said his humanity makes his death tragic enough -- sending shock waves through their community. The fact that Myers also played soccer, and was in such good shape, makes it even harder to believe.

"It's extremely difficult especially when you see someone in such great health get knocked down in the prime of their lives," said Dadlani. "It really just hits you hard. It makes you second guess almost everything."

The medical examiner is investigating the exact cause of Myers' death along with why another runner, who was just 31 years old, also collapsed and died near the 10-mile mark.

"Something like this just brings everybody closer together and the best way we can honor these people is by going out there and continuing every day," said Rick Florez, with the nOg Run Club.

Myers had two children.

His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount. Donations to help offset expenses can be made starting at PNC Bank under the Barbara M. Myers custodial account.


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