NEW YORK -- The splendor of the New York City Marathon was marred by the race's first death in its 15-year history.
A French runner, Jacques Bussereau, collapsed and died midway through the Marathon Sunday.
The 48-year-old Bussereau, who had a history of heart attacks, was stricken by cardiac arrest shortly after noon at 44th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens near the Queensborough Bridge, said Eileen Herzberg, a spokeswoman of Emergency Medical Services.
The point is approximately 15 miles into the 26.2-mile course.
A spokesman at the 108th Precinct confirmed the man was dead on arrival at nearby Elmhurst Hospital.
A marathon spokesman said Bussereau suffered a heart attack four years ago. His best marathon time was listed as 4 hours 4 minutes 3 seconds.
'Everyone on behalf of the New York City Marathon expresses their sorrow for the death of Jacques Bussereau,' said race director Fred Lebow. 'The fatality was the first in the history of the New York City Marathon, which in its 15 years has had more than 100,000 runners.
'We want to emphasize that running is beneficial to your health, but everyone should be in perfect health before attempting such a challenge as a marathon. Today was an extremely hot and humid day for this time of year, a very difficult day for all marathoners.'