Kansas runner killed by lightning near ultramarathon finish line

(BBC) – A Kansas runner has died after being hit by lightning as he neared the finish line of a 31 mile (50km) ultramarathon.

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

There were reports of strong to severe storms in the region ahead of the race.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports 17 others have been killed by lightning across the US this year.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the organisers of the FlatRock race wrote: “Thomas’ family says that 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.”

Stanley is survived by his wife, Ashley, and three children. A fundraiser for the family has raised over $45,000 in the past 24 hours alone.