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CDA Marathon runner dies

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | May 31, 2023 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A 23-year man who collapsed during the Coeur d’Alene Marathon died despite lifesaving efforts on Sunday.

Andrew Walker was a graduate assistant in football operations at Boise State University.

“We have spoken to Andrew’s mom and expressed our deepest sympathies for her loss,” according to a statement from Coeur d’Alene Marathon on its Facebook page. “Andrew was a positive and upbeat individual and an athlete who had running a marathon on his bucket list, according to his mom.”

Tabitha Kraack, executive director of the North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation, the event's beneficiary, said Walker collapsed at about the 23rd mile near Riverstone.

Several runners stopped to perform CPR and call 911.

"They did what they could," Kraack said.

Walker also received lifesaving efforts at Kootenai Health, but passed away, according to the Facebook statement.

"We have called out thousands of names of finishers over the years as they cross the finish line, but our hearts hurt the most for Andrew Walker, who we were unable to call out his name this last Sunday,” according to the statement. “Today we are calling your name! You will forever be remembered. We will continue to pray for Andrew’s family and friends.”

Walker was from Vashon Island, Wash. He was running his first marathon, Kraack said.

"Nothing but amazing things is what I'm hearing about this guy," she said.

Nearly 270 runners completed the full 26.2-mile event. Conditions were cool and cloudy, with temperatures in the 50s.

A Tweet from the Boise State Broncos read:

“Our Bronco family is mourning the loss of a beloved member, Andrew Walker, a standout person, student and employee with an extremely bright future, was taken far too soon. He approached everything with a contagious positivity, unwavering work ethic and commitment to serve those around him. Please keep Andrew, his family and his friends in your thoughts and prayers."

Kraack said the marathon and the foundation are planning a tribute to Walker.