Wales

Cardiff Half Marathon runner 'died after finish line incident'

The race
Image caption A record number of runners took part in Sunday's Cardiff Half Marathon

A runner who died after the Cardiff Half Marathon was treated "instantly" after an incident at the finish line, the race organiser has said.

Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said the man's family was being supported.

The runner was seen by a medical emergency team on the course then taken to the University Hospital of Wales where he died.

"Everyone at Run 4 Wales is devastated," Mr Newman said.

"It's terribly sad news... not just our thoughts but our support is with the family at this really difficult time," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"It was an incident at the finish line, yards away from the primary medical centre so it was an instant response."

Image copyright Family photos
Image caption Ben McDonald and Dean Fletcher died after crossing the finish line within minutes of each other in 2018

Mr Newman added Run 4 Wales had worked to raise awareness of unknown heart conditions following the deaths of two men at last year's event.

"We've done an incredible amount of work in terms of raising the profile... flagging that anyone that had any symptoms or history in their family or felt unwell in the run up to it that they would go to the doctor, they would get checked out and no one would come to the start line with any risk to their health.

"We can only reiterate that really, it's cast obviously a big shadow on what was otherwise a very good day for Cardiff.

"We've had 16 years and until last year we hadn't had incidents of this kind, they have happened before in big events, unfortunately it is something that does happen when you get this volume of people running."

Mr Newman encouraged anyone intending to embark on an event like the half marathon to have a health check first.

No more details about the person's identity have been revealed, with more statements to be made "in due course".

'An impossible day'

In 2018 Ben McDonald, 25, from Cardiff, and Dean Fletcher, 32, from Exeter, went into cardiac arrest and died after crossing the finishing line at the half marathon within three minutes of each other.

No inquests took place, and a coroner's investigation found the pair died of natural causes.

About 50 of Mr McDonald's friends and family walked the course in his memory this year, wearing yellow t-shirts.

"I think for them, an impossible day but they wanted to walk in his footsteps and follow the course," Mr Newman said.

A record 27,500 runners signed up to take part in the 2019 event.

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