Runner's wife says man was in 'perfect health'

Ulysses Thomas (Source: Cindy Thomas)
Ulysses Thomas (Source: Cindy Thomas)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The family of a runner who died Saturday in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon awaits autopsy results to find out the cause of his death.

Ulysses Thomas, 58, of Fountain Inn, S.C., collapsed near mile 22 during the 26.2-mile course. He was running his first marathon, the Competitor Group Inc. told Savannah-Chatham Metro Police.

Thomas fell near a check site where emergency crews were already stationed.

Cindy Thomas, Thomas's wife, said in a statement that he was retired Air Force Master Sergeant. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, four grandchildren and mother-in-law.

"He was 58 years old and loved to run and ride his bicycle.  He was in perfect health and had trained for months to run the marathon in Savannah," Cindy Thomas said in a statement.

Dr. Lewis Maharam, Medical Director for the Competitor Group's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, released the following statement Saturday night:

"We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate and untimely death of a participant in today's event. This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss. Our prayers go out to the runner's family and friends during this most difficult time."

Thomas was known as Tom by his friends, according to SCMPD.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Mission of the Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network ( or Triune Mercy Center (, according to SCMPD.

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