Matt Campbell, a 29-year-old professional chef who reached the semifinals on the most recent season of the BBC’s “MasterChef: The Professionals,” died after collapsing during Sunday’s London Marathon, race organizers announced Monday.
“Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express our sincere condolences to Matt’s family and friends,” race officials said in a statement, adding that the cause of death had yet to be determined.
The 40,000-runner marathon took place under the warmest conditions in race history, about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the BBC. Campbell, who had completed the Greater Manchester Marathon in less than three hours just two weeks earlier, collapsed at the 22.5-mile mark and received immediate medical attention before being taken to a hospital.
Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon’s event director, told the BBC that more water was distributed to the runners — 4 1/2 liters per person — than at any mass-participation event in the world. But he also admitted that organizers ran out of water at miles 8, 9 and 10.
Campbell was running the race to support the Brathay Trust, a youth charity in England’s Lake District, where Campbell was from. He also said he was running in memory of his father, who was involved with the charity before he died 18 months ago.
“As many of you know, I lost my father Martin 18 months ago suddenly,” Campbell wrote on his JustGiving page. “The past year & a half have been the toughest of my life but his spirit and energy live on in me.
“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,” Campbell continued. “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, the Brathay Trust said it was “devastated” to learn of Campell’s death.
According to the BBC, Campbell began working in Michelin-starred restaurants after finishing second in the BBC’s Young Chef of the Year competition in 2009. British food journalists mourned his passing:
A 22-year-old London Marathon runner died after collapsing during the race in 2007, when temperatures reached 72.6 degrees. Another 73 runners were taken to hospitals.
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