Bristol Half Marathon: Male runner dies

Bristol Half 2011
Image caption Event organisers said a full investigation into the death would take place

A runner taking part in Bristol's half marathon collapsed and died, race organisers have said.

Bristol City Council said it was deeply saddened to learn of the death, adding it was the first fatality in the event's 23-year history.

"Next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with them," a council spokeswoman said.

Some 10,000 runners took part in the Bristol Half Marathon, which was run around the city streets on Sunday.

Elite athletes

"The Bristol Half has an excellent safety record and the race has four water stations, professional medical services with six doctors, 14 emergency vehicles and five first aid posts," the council spokeswoman added.

"The emergency services have been involved at every step and will in partnership with the city council, be carrying out a full investigation."

Image caption Kenyan Edwin Kipyego won the race

The annual event sees elite athletes running alongside club and fun runners - many raising cash for charity.

The 13.1-mile (21.1km) race started and finished in Anchor Road, looping along the Portway and then around much of the city centre.

The race winner was Kenyan Edwin Kipyego in 1:03:20; the first woman Gemma Steel in 1:13:32. Dave Cooke was the first wheelchair athlete to finish.

Organisers described the new course for the 23rd half marathon as flat and fast, with many runners expected to achieve a personal best time.

The weather was dry and sunny - with a bit of a breeze - providing ideal conditions for the race.

Lost microchips

In 2010, the event was also won by Mr Kipyego in a time of 1:03:08. The first woman past the post was Claire Hallissey in a time of 1:12:02.

Image caption Gemma Steel was the first woman home

Runners are timed by ankle-worn microchips and sensors around the course, but more than 900 runners did not get an official time in 2010 after these fell off.

Speaking then, organisers said it was believed the chips had fallen off due to the bad weather around the course.

Race officials had to check video recordings at the start and finish to verify their timings.

Some of the elite runners also lost their chips but their times were being measured by stop watch.

The first Bristol Half Marathon was held in 1989 when it attracted 10,000 runners.

In 2010, more than 16,400 people signed up with 11,166 starting the race.

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