A man who had been running a marathon with several other competitors collapsed just as he was about to finish the race.
The runners pictured here at the start of Marathon race
Many runners battled in vain to save the life of a fellow competitor who collapsed during a half marathon as Britain sweltered through the hottest day of the year.
According to reports, the 38-year-old fell to the ground within sight of the finish line as athletes streamed past.
Runners and spectators were among those who fought for 15 minutes to keep him alive until paramedics arrived at the scene, but police later confirmed the man had died in hospital.
Organisers of the Derby Ramathon expressed their condolences to his family as tributes poured in.
Almost 4,000 people took part in the half-marathon event on Sunday, which began and ended at Derby County’s iPro Stadium.
Runners and spectators spoke about the attempts made to save the man’s life when the drama unfolded just after 11am as temperatures climbed into the 70s.
Some runners reported on social media feeling noticeably faint and unwell because of the hot conditions.
One spectator said he saw the man run past him to the sound of applause moments before he collapsed.
Mick Potter, who was at the race supporting family members, said he saw the man collapse against some railings.
The 47-year-old said: “I just happened to notice lots of groups of runners going by and then this man collapsed by the railings. It was his fellow runners that started to help him before the St John Ambulance people.
“They did a tremendous job in the heat and didn’t stop treating him for about 15 minutes before the ambulance got there.”
One runner, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was about 11:15am when we passed. The man was on the floor and two other men – at least one was a runner – were trying to resuscitate him.
“My dad recognised one of the men and stopped to help with the CPR. He stayed until the St John Ambulance staff arrived and they continued with the CPR until the ambulance arrived.
“It was just round the corner from the finish line. Huge condolences to the family.”
Tributes were posted by runners and athletics clubs across the UK on social media sites.
Ann Marie Brentnall said: “My god, I was marshalling in town and asked a few runners if they were okay and telling them well done. I’m absolutely devastated, my heartfelt condolences to all his family.”
And Davinia Lawrence-Konczak added: “Unfortunately I witnessed this poor man collapse. Have been praying all day as it didn’t look good.
“Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this awful time. May he rest in peace.”
A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: “Police can confirm that a 38-year-old collapsed while running in the Derby Ramathon. He was taken to hospital and later died in hospital. His family are aware and the coroner has been informed.”
The spokesman said St John Ambulance medics treated the man at the scene before East Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics arrived. St John Ambulance did not wish to comment.
A spokeswoman for EMAS said: “We were called at 11:14am to attend a man who had collapsed and stopped breathing in a car park around the iPro Stadium.
“A doctor was sent to the emergency with a crew and the patient was transported to the Royal Derby Hospital. We understand the patient has since died. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”