Hong Kong man dies while running Singapore Marathon after collapsing in brutal heat and humidity

Twenty-nine-year-old collapsed 1km from finish line, say organisers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 December, 2016, 5:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 December, 2016, 10:35am

A 29-year-old Hongkonger died running the half-marathon at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Sunday.

The man’s identity was not revealed by organisers, but local media reported he was a Hong Kong resident.

A post on the Facebook page of the Island School Alumni Association said the man was John Gibson, a relative of Robert Gibson, chair of the Mid-Levels school’s council.

“We are very saddened to learn of the tragic death of alumnus John Gibson during the Standard Chartered Marathon in Singapore,” said the post.

“The association extends its deepest condolences to John’s family, including Robert Gibson, chair of the Island School Council. John and his family have been great supporters of the Island School community, and John no doubt will be dearly missed by many of us.”

Shama Junejo, a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said on Twitter she was “deeply saddened and shocked on the sudden demise of my young friend @SOAS CISD classmate John Gibson while running in Singapore Marathon”.

The race started around 4am, but runners said the heat and humidity were still intense, with temperatures up to 33 degrees Celsius and humidity around 90 per cent.

Many participants on the race’s Facebook page criticised organisers for not having sufficient water available.

Race organisers did not respond to requests for comment.

“Tragically and very sadly today we have had a passing of an athlete. A 29-year-old male collapsed 1km from the finish line,” Geoff Meyer, managing director of organisers Ironman Asia, was quoted as saying.

“He was immediately attended to, immediately transported to hospital. However, the participant died in hospital.

“Our main priority and focus is the family, and we’re working with them to make sure that they are fully supported in everything that we possibly can do with them.”

It is the second time a runner has died in the 15-year history of the race, which drew around 46,000 participants, according to local media.

The news will likely have organisers of February’s Hong Kong Marathon focused even more intensely on safety after a runner died after collapsing in the 2015 event.