Tributes to Cardiff Half Marathon runners after deaths

Tributes have been paid to the two men who died after taking part in the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday.

Ben McDonald, 25, from Wenvoe, Vale of Glamorgan and Dean Fletcher, 32, from Exeter, went into cardiac arrest after crossing the finishing line within three minutes of each other.

They both later died at the city’s University Hospital of Wales.

Race organisers Run 4 Wales said a full review would take place but they were “100% satisfied” with the medical plan.

In a statement, the organisers said it was Mr McDonald’s first time running the half marathon.

It said Mr McDonald, who worked at Cardiff International White Water centre ran with his girlfriend, two brothers, a brother-in-law and two sisters-in-law.

Mr McDonald’s girlfriend Amy Stanton-Foo described him as a “happy, smiley, adventurous, loving person” in a social media post, while Ben Longhurst, manager of Cardiff International White Water said the team was “deeply saddened”.

Father-of-one and former Cardiff University student Mr Fletcher, who was taking part in his second Cardiff race, had been part of a 350-person team which was raising funds for neuroscience, mental health and cancer research at the institution.

He was described as an “amazing husband and father”.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Prof Karen Holford said: “This news will come as a shock to everybody involved with Team Cardiff and indeed the whole Cardiff University community.”

Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman said: “This is a terrible tragedy for the families. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of both Ben and Dean.

“The medical team and emergency services reacted to this terrible situation with great speed and professionalism. Everyone connected with the race is devastated.

“There’s an almost full A&E unit at the finish line and the medical team acted in complete professionalism.”

Story by BBC Wales. Read via https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45789771

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Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Operations Director at Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.