The death of a Bakersfield attorney, who was running a 5-kilometer race on Tuesday at Hart Park, has raised plenty of questions why the group sponsoring the race continued the event in the face of an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service.
Attorney Benjamin Greene became unresponsive during the race and was taken to a Kern Medical, where he died, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. The 3.1-mile race was part of a regular series of road races organized the Bakersfield Track Club.
In a statement, obtained by television stations KBAK and KBFX, the club’s president, Rey Rodriguez, said Greene collapsed toward the end of the race and near one of three aid stations set up for the race.
“Because of the heat, five aid stations were set up for yesterday’s race to provide the 180 runners with
extra water, ice and Gatorade,” Rodriguez wrote in the statement. “Misting stations were also set up at the beginning and end of the course to assist the runners.”
Before the race, Greene wrote on Facebook that he was concerned about the conditions, especially temperatures hovering around 110 degrees.
A defense attorney, Greene is survived by a wife and nine children. The family has set up a gofundme.com account to help cover funeral expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/benjamin-greene-funeral-expenses