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Marathoner Bobby Doyle Dead from Heart Attack
By David Monti
(c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
December 14, 2007

On the heels of launching a new road racing festival to be held next spring, the state of Rhode Island lost one of its best-ever marathon runners today, Bobby Doyle, who died of a heart attack, friends reported.

"This is heartbreaking," wrote CVS Caremark Downtown 5-K race director, Charlie Breagy, in an e-mail message.  "Terrible news for the Rhode Island running community."

Doyle, a former All-American runner at Johnson & Wales University, was the winner of the first Ocean State Marathon in 1976, and went on to win the race six more times.  He finished in the top-10 at the Boston Marathon three times, including a seventh place finish in 1979 in 2:14:04.  Doyle also won the 1978 George Washington Birthday Marathon.

Ironically, next May's new Cox Providence Rhode Races had been organized partially to benefit Doyle's son Brendan, 26, a Rhode Island state trooper.  The younger Doyle sustained a severe head injury when he was assaulted while off-duty by a motorist whom he had confronted for weaving dangerously in and out of traffic.  The motorist punched him, causing him to fall backwards and strike his head.  He was not expected to survive, according to a report in the Providence Journal.  A former corrections officer has been charged with felony assault and reckless driving in the case.

In addition to his son, Bobby Doyle is survived by his wife, Lori.  Other information surrounding his death is not yet available.

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