One runner has died following his participation in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday. Matt Campbell collapsed after completing 22.5 miles and later died in the hospital. The 29-year-old and professional chef was most notably known for his appearance on the most recent season of the BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals.
“Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express our sincere condolences to Matt’s family and friends,” said race officials in a statement this morning. “No further details will be released and the family has asked for privacy. The exact cause of death will be established by later medical examination.”
Sunday’s London Marathon was the hottest on record with temperatures reaching 75 degrees F and causing around 750 participants to drop out after starting the race. An avid runner, Campbell was running to raise money for The Brathay Trust and in memory of his father who passed in 2016.
“The past 6 months have been the toughest of my life but his spirit and energy live on in me,” wrote Campbell on his JustGiving fundraising page. “He was the most inspirational man in my life and was the one who said, ‘Go on, why don’t you give it a go? I know you can do it!’ and entered me into my first marathon; Brathay 2016 along with my brother, Josh. It was maybe the proudest day of my life standing at the finish line having achieved something I never imagined possible with my dad & my brother by my side.”
In a statement, Barthay Trust shared their devastation on the passing of Campbell and praised his work with the organization. “Matt and his family have been tireless in supporting the work of Brathay Trust and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time.”
MasterChef: The Professionals judge Marcus Wareing tweeted his condolences saying, “He was a talented, innovative and driven chef with a bright future ahead of him. My thoughts are with his friends & family at this tragic time.” After finishing second in the BBC’s 2009 Young Chef of the Year competition, Campbell began working in Michelin-starred restaurants and was currently working in private villas and “award-winning luxury” ski chalets in the French Alps according to his website.
Two weeks earlier, Campbell had run the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon in under three hours. Shortly before Sunday’s race, Campbell tweeted a photo of himself and runner Tom Peters saying, “Let’s do this!!”
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Because of the projected high temperatures prior to the race, organizers increased the amount of water, ice and showers available on the course. According to the BBC, Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon’s event director said, “more water was distributed to the runners — 4 1/2 liters per person — than at any mass-participation event in the world.” He also admitted that they ran out of water at miles 8, 9 and 10.
Despite the high temperatures, 40,255 runners completed the 26.2-mile course. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s elite division in 2:04:17 while Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won the women’s elite race with a time of 2:18:31, her personal best.