UK

London Marathon Runner Robert Berry's JustGiving Donations Exceed £50k

15/04/2014 19:28 BST | Updated 15/04/2014 19:59 BST

A charity has praised the "incredible generosity" shown after donations totalling more than £50,000 were made to the fundraising page of a London Marathon runner who died after completing the course.

Robert Berry, 42, was given medical attention when he collapsed immediately after finishing the 26.2-mile race, and was pronounced dead at hospital.

robert berry

Robert Berry collapsed and died at the finish line of Sunday's London Marathon

He had aimed to raise £1,700 for the National Osteoporosis Society in tribute to his "inspirational" mother, who was diagnosed with the brittle bone condition at the age of 52.

But tens of thousands of pounds have been pouring in since news of his death broke.

A spokesman for the charity said: "We are really touched by the incredible generosity in tribute to Mr Berry, who wrote so movingly about why he was raising money to help fight osteoporosis.

"When the time is right, we would like to discuss with his family the options available for how the funds raised in his memory may be used."

Mr Berry had previously expressed concern about his breathing, writing in his blog how breathing during a training run was “a big struggle” and that that he’d “now used my inhaler three times in the last week whereas I might use it three times in a year.”

He added it been suggested to him his condition was “not hayfever, but due to pollution and the dust from the Sahara.”

He added: “Hope so as I don’t want to be running like this during the Marathon.”

Earlier this month the UK endured record levels of air pollution, thanks to a phenomenon known as “Sahara dust” – a deposit of dust and sand all the way from the deserts of North Africa.

Many of the people who gave donations also paid tribute to the runner.

Janet Lewis wrote: "Your mum has a good son and will no doubt be so proud of you."

Eric Sheley posted: "My condolences to Rob's family and friends. Such a tragic end to a wonderful challenge."

Katie Weeks said: "So sad, hope your family take comfort from the amount you raise for this fantastic charity."

Mr Berry, who worked in IT services, ran the Reading half-marathon last month.

His website includes an interview with his mother Anne, where she describes having limited mobility as a result of osteoporosis.

"Despite the regular pain and discomfort, with the two hip operations on bones the density of someone typically the age of 100, I am able to walk short distances and with my husband's support it is manageable," said Mrs Berry.

According to his online training results, Mr Berry had been preparing for the marathon since December and had completed training runs of over 20 miles.