RALEIGH — Authorities say two runners died near the finish line of a half marathon near Raleigh.

Race organizers said the deaths appear to be from natural causes and were treated near the finish during the 13-mile race Sunday morning. About 12,000 runners were expected to participate in the half marathon and the full marathon near downtown Raleigh.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Medical Director Dr. P.Z. Pearce says doctors and race organizers spoke to the families of both runners, who asked for privacy. He says their prayers go out to them.

The names of the runners have not been released.

Temperatures for the race started in the 60s but moved into the 70s later in the morning.

One of the most popular local races is the Tar Heel Ten Miler and Four Mile Run, which takes place next weekend.

Organizers of Chapel Hill’s race declined to comment this morning saying they wanted to give it time, but that they would make a public comment on the tragedy and talk about what precautions are taken in their race.

The Tar Heel Ten Miler did post this message on its Facebook page once it learned of the two deaths, “We are deeply saddened and our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the runners that passed away this morning in Raleigh.”