THIS WEEK IN 1994: Family rocked by marathon tragedy

Michael Coleman's family was left deeply saddened after his sudden death during the London Marathon. PPP-170418-121921001
Michael Coleman's family was left deeply saddened after his sudden death during the London Marathon. PPP-170418-121921001
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The devastated family of a super-fit long distance runner from Havant told of their shock at his sudden death during the London Marathon.

Michael Coleman, aged 51, pictured, who ran with Havant Athletics Club, was half way around the course on a bitterly cold day when he collapsed at the Isle of Dogs.

A London ambulance crew and a St John Ambulance brigade were at his side within two minutes. But despite attempts to revive him he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Experts said he died from heart disease.

The tragedy shocked club colleagues who knew Mr Coleman as a dedicated athlete who devoted his life to running and thought nothing of an 18-mile Sunday morning run.

A regular racer, Mr Coleman had previously completed the London marathon in 1992 and had travelled to the capital once again in an attempt to knock 20 minutes off his time.

The self-employed motor mechanic and father of two teenage girls took up running in 1984 and trained at least three times a week. He lived in Prospect Lane, West Leigh.

Mr Coleman’s wife Pearl, 53, said: ‘He was a very fit and lovely man. We are devastated and still in a state of shock.’

Senior club coach Colin Goater said it was a great loss.

‘Michael had a medical check-up before he started training five months ago and was fine,’ he said.