Hundreds of London Marathon runners have pledged to “finish” the race in honour of a former MasterChef contestant who collapsed and died just 3.7 miles from the finish line.
Matt Campbell, who was taking on his second marathon in two weeks, collapsed at the 22.5 mile and died later in hospital. His exact cause of death is yet to be established.
The 29-year-old, from the Lake District, had hoped to raise £2,500 for charity Brathay Trust with his run but a Just Giving page in his name has since been inundated with donations and has now almost reached £80,000.
Now, members of a London Marathon training Facebook page have pledged to complete the miles he was unable to run in order to pay tribute to the chef.
They have pledged to complete the runs over the weekend and donate to Mr Campbell’s fundraising page.
Using the slogan #FinishForMatt, one runner wrote: “We all put in some serious training, dedication and hard work to get over that finish line.
“Four thousand of us have given each other advice and support over the last few months, and a small gesture of solidarity would be to 'finish' the run for Matt.
“It may be in London, Somerset, Manchester - where ever you are - but if as many people can do a 3.7m run on Strava on Saturday, and give a £5 'entry fee' to Matt's justgiving page, I think that'd be a nice gesture from us as a group.”>
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The post has been shared hundreds of times and scores of runners have already donated to the cause.
Upon donating, one runner wrote: “It feels good to help you finish x.”
“Will be running 3.7 miles this weekend to see you to the finish line. My thoughts are with your family at this awful time,” another wrote.
Mr Campbell worked in Michelin-starred kitchens, finishing second on BBC Young Chef Of The Year at the age of 20 in 2009.>
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Speaking about running the marathon in honour of his late father, he wrote on Instagram in February: "Words can't describe how honoured and humbled I feel to be asked to run this year's @londonmarathon on behalf of @brathaychallenges/@brathaytrust and in memory of my Father, Martin Campbell.
"It's been almost 18 months since I lost my Dad and this has been the most challenging period of my life.One thing that has helped me immensely is running and he inspired me to undertake my first marathon (Brathay) in 2016.”
A statement on London Marathon's official Twitter page confirmed his death “with deep sadness”.
“Matt was a well-known chef who featured in MasterChef: The Professionals last year, inspiring viewers with his Nutritional Gastronomy movement and forward-thinking ideas,” the statement said.
"Matt's family today paid tribute to their inspirational son and brother, who was a keen marathon runner and had earlier this month completed the Manchester Marathon in under 3 hours.
"Matt's chosen charity, The Brathay Trust, inspires vulnerable young people to make positive changes in their lives.
"Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express our sincere condolences to Matt's family and friends.”
Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/matt-campbell-hundreds-of-london-marathon-participants-pledge-to-run-37-miles-to-finish-race-for-a3821631.html