Country Music Marathon Runner Collapses After Race, Dies

U.S. Army officials say a runner who collapsed and died after the Country Music Marathon was a special operations aviation soldier based at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The army said in news release Sunday the runner was Staff Sgt. Benjamin "Levi" Pigman, a 25-year-old native of Hamilton, Mont.

Pigman collapsed Saturday after he completed the half marathon at the event. He was treated at the scene and then transported to Nashville General Hospital, where he died, the release said.

Bruce Herring, president of Elite Racing, had said Saturday the runner died of a "sudden cardiac event."

Pigman was a helicopter engine mechanic with the 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, a sprawling army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

"It was a tragic end to a wonderful weekend with the sudden passing of our son, Levi," Pigman's father, Chip Pigman, said in a statement. "We will forever miss his love, his humor and his smile."

Pigman had been in the army since October, 2001, and at Fort Campbell since July, 2002.