Brother of dead Scots marathon runner issues safety warning

David Seath collapsed and died three miles short of the finish line in 2016.
David Seath collapsed and died three miles short of the finish line in 2016.
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The brother of a Scots army captain who died while running the London Marathon two years ago has issued a warning to would-be participants on the anniversary of his death today

David Seath had a cardiac arrest three miles short of the finish, near the 23-mile mark, close to Southwark Bridge.

His death in 2016 bears striking similarities to that of former MasterChef contestant Matt Campbell, 29, who collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark during Sunday’s London Marathon which was run in the hottest ever temperatures.

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The exact cause of Mr Campbell’s death is yet to be established. He was running for The Brathay Trust, to improve the life chances of children, and families, and in memory of his late father.

Capt Seath’s brother Gary told The Scotsman he would encourage fundraisers to consider cardiac screening before future marathons and urged the charity sector to “do more” with regards to highlighting the degree of risk associated with the challenge.

READ MORE: Masterchef star dies after collapsing during London Marathon

He said: “I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Matt Campbell.

“David tragically collapsed and died running the London Marathon. He was exceptionally fit, as an Officer of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, and had no underlying heart condition. However, it is important that anyone who wishes to run a marathon thoroughly prepares for the event and seeks medical advice prior to beginning their training if they have any doubts about their health.”

The death toll from 38 editions of the London event now stands at 14 since the first race was held in 1981.

Capt Seath, from Cowdenbeath, was an Afghanistan veteran, who toured the war-torn country in 2012 and had completed two master’s degrees at the University of Aberdeen before attending Sandhurst, the elite officer training centre in 2009.

His brother said: “I greatly admire the discipline, commitment and dedication it takes to complete a marathon as well as the motivations behind taking on this particular challenge event. However I believe strongly in discussing the risk associated with taking on this challenge and would encourage fundraisers to consider cardiac screening.

“I think the charity sector could do more with regards to highlighting the degree of risk associated with this particular form of challenge event. Perhaps a disclaimer section, with enhanced visibility/prominence, on a charity’s fundraising page of their website or an email following a sign-up which encourages entrants to seek medical advice if there is any doubt. As the founder of The Captain David Seath Memorial Fund, I certainly will refer our future marathon runners to the work of charities like Cardiac Risk in the Young, who screen young people and adults for cardiac conditions across the UK.”

A statement on London Marathon’s official Twitter page, said: “Matt Campbell, aged 29, a professional chef from the Lake District, collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark and, although he received immediate medical treatment on the scene from race doctors, he died later in hospital.”