Friend's tribute to running mentor who died after half marathon
Published 2 Apr 2012 16:14 7 Comments
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Ged Clarke, 39, died after collapsing at the finish line of the half marathon
A DAY of triumph turned to tragedy when a family man died yesterday after crossing the finish line of the Reading Half Marathon.
Ged Clarke, 39, was taken to hospital when he collapsed in the Madejski Stadium following the 13.1 mile race, but doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
Mr Clarke, who lived in Calcot with his wife, and young son and daughter, finished the half marathon in two hours and 30 minutes.
He worked for a civil engineering company in Green Park and ran the @12pmclub Twitter account, which he used to motivate 212 followers to get active every lunchtime.
Janine Lewis, who set off on the race with Mr Clarke yesterday morning, said: "Ged was a private, family man and I don't think his family even realised what a massive following he had and just how loved he was. I think his wife is finding that very comforting, but everyone is devastated."
Many of his Twitter fans will go out for lunchtime walks, runs and cycle rides and hold a minute's silence today in memory of the popular fitness enthusiast.
Send your tributes to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 02 Apr 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Apr 2, 11:49
It is a tragic story.
I think too many people feel the pressure nowadays to keep fit by entering races. Running can be enjoyed in moderation, especially at around 40 years of age.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 32
Apr 2, 12:08
Apr 2, 12:14
I offer my condolences to Ged and his family.
Beverley's comment about running in moderation is true, but please do not discriminate against people over 40 years of age. I am 61 years old and ran my first Reading HM on Sunday in 2h 10min. I am also running in the London Marathon for charity on 22nd April. As we age we should try and keep fit whether through running or other activities. We do not know the know the exact circumstances of Ged's death and we should should be careful to not discourage older people from future participation in what is a wonderful advert for the joy of the Reading townsfolk.
Recommend? Yes 21 No 0
Apr 2, 12:19
Very sad news, for someone marginally younger than me. Of course its too early to say what went wrong for the poor chap, but clearly he was determined to finish - which I guess is a testament to his passion for finishing. I am sure many people will be inspired to continue what he started.
Though I'm not convinced his situation was particularly helped by the bottleneck at the finish line and the subsequent stations (timing unit removal, goody bags, and water). It was mayhem, complete gridlock.The whole people flow thing was a nightmare from arrival, the route, the wind down to leaving the site - sweatshop you need to do better. It was really poor.
Richard J D Wheatcroft (formerly of Reading now living in Matlock)
Recommend? Yes 3 No 23
Apr 3, 12:12
"Though I'm not convinced his situation was particularly helped by the bottleneck at the finish line and the subsequent stations (timing unit removal, goody bags, and water). It was mayhem, complete gridlock.The whole people flow thing was a nightmare from arrival, the route, the wind down to leaving the site - sweatshop you need to do better. It was really poor".
Quite poor taste Richard, how that could have led in any way to this tragedy is utter cobblers. If anything this should highlight the need for a better monitoring of runners at a semi-professional level. Perhaps via their GP prior to an event such as this although in this case that again is speculation but a far more valid point that blaming the promoter. I expect they feel bad enough as it is without armchair commentaries/sweeping statements...
Recommend? Yes 8 No 0
Apr 3, 17:35
The finish at the Reading Half Marathon was a model for how to run these events well, and comparable to the race organisation at the Berlin marathon (i.e. excellent). There is no evidence that this is anything other than an unfortunate event caused by a pre-existing medical condition. As for the suggestion that monitoring is required, it should be remembered that the extensive screening in top flight football did not prevent Patrick Muamba's collapse. It would very expensive, and not a worthwhile use of resources given the relative rarity of these events. It would also send out a terrible public health message that physical exercise is dangerous. Recent data published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a risk of 1 cardiac arrest per 184,000 participants and 1 death per 259,000. This is a minimal risk, lower than the risk of death on the roads in the UK.
My condolences to Mr Clarke's family.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 5
Apr 3, 19:21
The whole situation is both shocking and unbelievable. I think he'd be completely shocked (& embarrased) at the response on twitter. A wonderful man with a heart of gold.. I will whenever possible exercise at 12pm! RIP Ged, you will be sorely missed
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