After Runner Dies During Marathon, Hundreds Show Up To Finish Race for Him


Early in the morning on April 22, 29-year-old Matt Campbell laced up his shoes and joined a community of runners in the 2018 London Marathon. It was Campbell’s second marathon in just two weeks, and tragically, his last.

Campbell was a well-known professional chef who rose to fame in the UK after his 2017 appearance on the BBC’s MasterChef. Campbell had a promising career in front of him, and fell in love with running about two years ago.

“It’s [running] helped me through grief, helped me de-stress, helped me process information after a long day and helped me menu plan!” Campbell captioned an April 8 Instagram post of his Manchester Marathon experience. He encouraged prospective runners, telling them to “go for it,” and thanked his community of supporters.

A post shared by Matt Campbell (@mattsoire) on

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Just two weeks later, London Marathon particpants found themselves running in one of the warmest race days on record. Just 3.7 miles short of finishing the 26.2-mile race, Campbell collapsed.

Campbell was rushed to a nearby hospital, but sadly, passed away. At the time of writing, Campbell’s precise cause of death has not been made public.

The running community was left shocked and heartbroken over Campbell’s sudden death. One week later, people from around the country flocked back to London to honor Campbell’s life with compassion, unity, and strength.

Droves of supporters showed up to finish what Campbell had started. Runners and non-runners alike ran, jogged, and walked the final 3.7-mile leg of the race in honor of their fallen friend.

“I didn’t know Matt at all, not as a Masterchef or anything, but I was so touched by what happened and I really wanted to finish for him because it could be any of us,” said fellow runner Grace Rowland.

“When I was reading all about him, he just seemed like such a genuine person.”

Martin Doyle, one of the runners to spearhead the #MilesForMatt event, was overwhelmed with the love and support from the running community. “The support is way more than we could imagine, way beyond what we thought it would be,” Doyle told Metro UK.

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Hundreds of people who couldn’t make it to London ran the 3.7 miles in their own hometowns. And thousands of people donated money to the cause the Campbell had been running for — a children’s foundation called the Brathay Trust.

“It’s just been incredible to see that something so sad can turn into something so positive and get everyone out and running,” Doyle expressed.

Campbell’s life may have ended too soon, but his memory will remain alive on the London streets for a long time to come.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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