Distance Runner Thomas Stanley Dies After Lightning Strike Near Finish Line

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2019

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Competitors race in the Girls 13 years 3k U14 event during the Australian Cross-Country Championships at Kembla Grange on August 24, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Thomas Stanley was struck by lightning and died while competing in the FlatRock 50K at Elk City State Park in Kansas, according to KWCH12

Stanley, 33, was about a quarter-mile from the finish line of the more than 30-mile trail race Saturday when he was hit by lightning and died as a result of his injuries.

"He was unable to cross the finish line, unfortunately, but he is one of our finishers," said Carolyn Robinson, the FlatRock Race Director.

His wife, Ashley Stanley, and his three children—ages two, four and six—were at home during the race. Ashley said she expected him to finish the race in seven hours but only heard about the accident when Robinson reached out to her. 

"Thomas was full of love and full of passion, I think everyone just feels shaken and shocked and heartbroken," co-worker Sam Smith said Sunday.