Last year, the New York City Marathon was to be a celebration of running -- more so than usual -- as the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials would run the same 26.2-mile course on Saturday with the annual NYC event on Sunday.
But triumph and tragedy are often intertwined in life.
At the Olympic Trial race, 28-year-old Ryan Shay collapsed a mile 5 1/2. Autopsy results released in March said that Shay died of natural causes -- from an irregular heartbeat.
Shay was a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame but he was a long shot last year to make his first Olympic team. It was his work ethic that got him noticed.
It's one of those classic stories that touches your heart. One of those stories that reminds you that life is too precious to sit on the sideline, far too short not to take a risk on yourself.