US ultra-marathon runner killed by lightning just before finish

American Thomas Stanley received first aid from runners and officials on Saturday but died from injuries

In this Sept. 28, 2019 photo provided by Mile 90 Photography shows runner Thomas Stanley, left, near the start of the FlatRock 50K on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 at the Elk City State Park, which is about 150 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. Stanley was killed by lightning as he was about to finish the 50 kilometer (31.07 mile) race. Race organizers said in a Facebook post that Stanley was included as a finisher in the final results because, although he didn't cross the finish line, he completed the full distance. The results show he came in 11th out of 104 competitors. (Mile 90 Photography via AP)

An American runner has died after being struck by a bolt of lightning as he neared the finish line of a 50-kilometre ultra-marathon over the weekend.

Thomas Stanley, 33, of Andover, Kansas, received first aid from runners and officials at the Elk City State Park race on Saturday but died from his injuries.

There were forecasts of strong to severe storms in the area before the run.

Race director Carolyn Robinson said Stanley’s wife was presented with the medal he would have received, KSN-TV reported. The couple had three children.

In a Facebook post, race organiser FlatRock quoted Stanley's family as saying: "The chances of being killed by a lightning strike are about one in a million, and Thomas was truly a one-in-a-million guy."

“Our deepest condolences to Thomas's family and all who knew this wonderful man,” FlatRock said.

A fundraiser for the family has raised almost $50,000 (Dh183,660) since Stanley’s death.

The National Weather Service reported that other 17 people have been killed by lightning across the US this year.

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