Friends of a Plymouth woman who died during a gruelling Ironman race in Marbella will run her “favourite route” on Sunday in tribute.
Sharon Lang was competing in the 40-44 age group of the Ironman 70.3 Marbella on Sunday when she was found face down in the Mediterranean during the 1,900 metre (1.18 mile) opening swim.
Attempts to resuscitate Lang were unsuccessful and she is said to have remained unconscious until she died on Monday at the Costa del Sol Hospital. Her death is being investigated by local authorities.
Kirsty Prowse, who is believed to have competed alongside Lang in Marbella, is organising a run in her late friend’s honour so those who knew her can “get together soon to grieve for our dear friend”.
“As you all know Sharon loved running and with the news of her sudden death I feel it is so important for us all to get together and mark her life with a fitting tribute before her funeral,” Prowse wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
The run will cover Lang’s “favourite weekly route”, from a local leisure centre to historic Plymouth Hoe site, and back again, with a stop-off so participants can “share stories about Sharon”.
Prowse said the event was not a club run, and invited friends and family to turn up wearing pink – “Sharon hated to admit it but she loved girly pink so if I can ask everyone to wear something pink please she would absolutely love this.”
Lang’s death follows that of Matt Campbell, a ‘Masterchef’: The Professionals contestant who died in hospital after collapsing at the 22.5 miles mark during the London Marathon on 22 April. Campbell’s passing was also marked with a tribute run, with people running the remaining 3.7 miles the cook was unable to in an event dubbed, #FinishForMatt.
Saturday’s Plymouth Valley Park Run will also be dedicated to Lang. A minute of clapping will “celebrate her life”, Prowse wrote.
On Monday fellow runners paid tribute to Lang and suggested a tribute run would be a fitting way to “honour our friend”.
Louise King wrote beneath the post: “How comforting that we can mourn as one running community at this very sad time. Sharon certainly would have approved.”
Anthony Buck added: “Indeed would be a fitting Tribute to a very lovely Bubbly Lady who will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”
Friends of Lang have described her as “one of the sweetest people ever”.
Sarah Fulton wrote on Facebook: “Rest in peace Sharon Lang, one of the nicest people I knew from school. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and loved ones. Sleep tight.”
The Ironman 70.3 Marbella comprised a 1,900 metre (1.18 mile) swim followed by a 90 kilometre (55 mile) bike ride and a half-marathon.
The event reportedly attracted 2,500 athletes from around the world and offered 50 qualifying slots for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa.