Nate Wren was with Benjamin Greene as he collapsed at Hart Park during a 5k run in near-110 degree weather.
"He looked like a boxer who got caught with an overhand right," said Wren. "He went down and hit his head."
Wren was helping Greene get through the race by offering him water as he ran; he made it over two-thirds of the way before collapsing.
"He just wanted to finish this series, it was a challenge to him," Wren said.
"He was fine, he wasn't running hard. He just...lost it. He couldn't do no more."
Greene was tended to at Hart Park by medical staff, then taken to Kern Medical. He was pronounced dead at 8:32. Wren says the the Bakersfield Track Club didn't provide enough precautions at the race amid the extreme heat.
"I was mad that they still put on the race...if they thought of cancelling the race, why wouldn't you bring medics out as a precaution?"
Wren said it took too long for emergency crews to respond, and claimed the race didn't have any Automated External Defibrillators on hand.
The Bakersfield Track Club released a statement, which can be read here.
For now, Wren just wishes he could have had the right thing to say.
"Wish I would have thought of something better if I knew this was...the last time I was going to talk to Ben."