Cardiff Half Marathon organisers ‘100% satisfied’ with medical plan after two runners died

Two runners die cardiff half marathon

It has sadly been confirmed that two male runners, Ben McDonald aged 25 and dad-of-one Dean Fletcher, 32 died after crossing the finish line of yesterday's Cardiff Half Marathon. The runners went into cardiac arrest after finishing the race around three minutes after each other. 

McDonald was running alongside his girlfriend Amy, brothers Steve and Andrew, brother-in-law Paddy and sisters-in-law Kate and Alix. His brother Steve tweeted earlier today thanking the running community for their support. 

Dean Fletcher, from Exeter, returned to Cardiff where he attended university. He was raising money for neuroscience and mental health and cancer research at Cardiff University and has been described as an 'amazing husband and father' by wife Katie, and leaves behind his young daughter Evie. 

For the race’s 15th anniversary more than 25,000 runners took part in the run.

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said in a statement: “Two males who participated in the Cardiff Half Marathon on 7 October have died.” Both runners were treated at the scene and taken to University Hospital Wales.

Event Organisers Run 4 Wales Chief Executive Matt Newman said in a statement online: “This is a terrible tragedy for the families. Our deepest sympathies go out to their family and friends. The emergency services reacted to this terrible situation with great speed and professionalism. Everyone connected with the race is devastated.”

Newman has gone on to tell the BBC: "The whole team is devastated and our priority is the families involved. We had a doctor and a medical team at the finish line and were in attendance within seconds of the gentlemen collapsing. They were able to take  both to the primary medical centre 20 metres from the finish line and quickly transferred to hospital.

"We are 100% satisfied that there was nothing more that could be done by the team at Run 4 Wales or the medical professionals in place on the day. We have a team of 10 doctors in place and a huge deployment of medics and St John's Ambulance around the 13.1 mile course. 

"There's an almost full A&E unit at th efinish line and the medical team acted in complete professionalism." 

Whilst runners have taken to social media to share messages of condolences to the families of the two men, a few questioned what else can be done to prevent fatalities such as this, and earlier incidents such as Matt Campbell, the 29-year-old Masterchef star who sadly died at the London Marathon in April

Newman said: "We know that on occasion people suffer with cardiac arrest but we absolutely make sure runners are informed of all the things they need to put in place from a health perspective. That includes training properly, being aware of any health issues and notifying us of those prior to the event." 

Neither of the runners have been named as of yet, but their next of kin have been informed.

Our thoughts go out to their families and friends at this sad time.

Image: Huw Evans Agency