Woman dies while running marathon

Tragedy: A woman died while attempting to complete the raceBy SPORTSMAIL REPORTER

A 30-year-old woman collapsed and died while running in the London Marathon on Sunday.

She collapsed at Birdcage Walk, near St James’ Park, on the final stretch of the 26.2 mile course.

The woman was given medical attention at the scene but died this afternoon.

A statement on the London Marathon website said: ‘We would like to emphasise that our immediate concern is for the family of the deceased. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this difficult time.’

The statement added: ‘We will not be releasing any further details of this tragic incident until next of kin have been notified and formal identification has taken place. We would ask for your understanding in this matter.’

The fatality occurred with the finishing line only one bend away.

Birdcage Walk borders St James’ Park and is the last road that runners have to travel before reaching Buckingham Palace, where they turn onto The Mall on which the finish line is located.

Competitors do not reach Birdcage Walk until after completing 25 miles of the marathon.

Not the first: Sunday's death was the 10th since the race's inceptionNot the first: Sunday’s death was the 10th since the race’s inception

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘Our staff attended a 30-year-old woman today on Birdcage Walk as part of the event and took the patient to hospital as a priority.’

Sunday’s death was the 10th since the London Marathon began in 1981.

Five of the previous fatalities were a result of heart disease in runners apparently unaware that they had a problem. Four of these were cases of severe coronary heart disease.

The last competitor to die was a 22-year-old fitness instructor in 2007.

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