Ryan Shay’s Brother Never Runs Alone

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 24, 2011
  • Updated Mar. 24, 2011 at 10:51 AM UTC
Steven Shay runs with fond memories of his brother. Photo: New York Road Runners

Steven Shay runs with fond memories of his brother. Photo: New York Road Runners

His late brother was his running mentor and friend.

Stephan Shay recently placed 25th overall at the New York City Half Marathon. His time was good, but not great. In fact, it was a full two minutes slower than a 1:02:26 he clocked last year. But Shay had a good reason to run a bit slower; he was running in the same city where his brother, Ryan, had collapsed and died three years ago.

Ryan Shay had been competing  in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials that were held in Central Park in 2007. He had just passed the 5.5-mile mark when he collapsed. It was later discovered that he suffered from a pre-existing heart condition.

The younger Shay reflected on the spot when he was in New York for the race.

“Any other time I would go by, I’d stop and I’d think about him,” he said. “But I think in terms of getting through the race in a way where my emotions don’t get the best of me, I have to look at it like, this is where he fell. It doesn’t represent anything other than that. It’s not where he lived. It’s not where he is right now.”

For More: ESPN

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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