Runner who died ‘saw the romance’ in The City’s streets

Bay Area native suffered heart attack just two miles from finish of S.F. Marathon

Friends of a man who died while running in the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday described him as a one-of-a-kind person who was in good health.

William Goggins, 43, collapsed from cardiac arrest less than two miles from the end of the 26.2-mile marathon, which began at the Ferry Building and stretched through the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Friends and family were devastated by the loss of Goggins but were “coping.”

Goggins is survived by his two sisters and his parents, who live in Mill Valley. The former Wired Magazine editor had been running for eight years, including long jogs three times a week, according to his running partner and friend, Mark Robinson. He said Goggins was training for the Boston Marathon and was on pace to complete Sunday’s marathon in 3 hours, 13 minutes, a time that would have qualified him for Boston.

One of Goggins’ two sisters, her boyfriend and friend Paul Donald were at the race to cheer him on at the 21-mile stretch. He collapsed between the 24th and 25th mile markers, just after Guerrero Street between 14th and 15th streets. Goggins looked great and showed no signs of fatigue when he last saw him, Donald said.

Goggins had no known health problems, according to friends. Robinson, a former Boston Marathon participant himself, said Goggins was in much better shape than him. At a Saturday outing, Goggins told Donald that he was having some sinus problems but it was nothing serious.

Dr. Jeff Shapiro, a medical spokesman for the marathon, said witnesses rushed to Goggins’ side when he collapsed and one man began performing CPR immediately. An ambulance was on the scene within five minutes and rushed him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Goggins grew up in Mill Valley and attended San Francisco State University. He became a connoisseur of The City, according to Robinson and Donald. Goggins started working at a restaurant in San Francisco but quickly began a career in journalism as a movie critic. Earlier this year, Goggins left Wired Magazine, where he had worked for 10 years, to work as a freelance editor.

One of his favorite runs in The City was along Third Street, Robinson said.

“One day, we went out to Hunters Point Shipyard and ran past the guard and ran all the way out to the shipyard,” he said. “And there were these old rail cars that he just loved.

“He loved the rough-around-the-edges, bedraggled parts of San Francisco. He saw the romance of those places,” he said.

sfarooq@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

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