The man, named in initial reports as Prayut Jiraksa, collapsed during the 14th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half-Marathon and was taken to Thalang Hospital, where he was reported as pronounced dead.
However, all police contacted by The Phuket News today have either refused to reveal any details of Mr Pryaut’s death – or claimed they knew nothing about it.
Tha Chatchai Police Inspector Lt Col Preecha Komgchu was willing to confirm to The Phuket News, “There was a man who taken to Thalang hospital urgently but I can’t confirm his condition.”
However, no other officers contacted by The Phuket News admitted to knowing anything about Mr Prayut’s death.
Officers at Thalang Police Station said they “had no idea” about a man dying during the major running event yesterday.
Meanwhile, in accordance with privacy concerns Thalang Hospital declined to reveal any information about Mr Prayut, though PPHO Chief Tanit Sermkaew was more forthcoming.
“I have been informed that the man passed away at Thalang Hospital. His age was about 40 years, but I don’t know much about the case yet,” he said.
Witnesses at the scene yesterday told The Phuket News that Mr Prayut suffered a suspected heart attack during the run yesterday.
In light of the incident, Chief Tanit, who became PPHO Chief on Oct 1, today urged all runners to be aware of their own physical condition when taking part in such events.
“You have to check your health every time before deciding to join any major running event,” he said.
“You need to know your heart rate; this is very important… If it feels uncomfortable to breathe while running or if you have chest pain, please slow down, stop and see emergency staff urgently,” he urged.
The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, the charity that has for years organised the fun run for sea-turtle conservation, issued a statement today noting the sensitivity of Mr Pryaut’s passing.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of our runners following The 14th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon on Sunday, 21st October morning,” the statement read.
“We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and friends. We fully respect the wishes of his family not to release any further details at this difficult time.”