More than 1,000 people who took part in Sunday’s London Marathon have pledged to run 3.7 miles in tribute to ‘Masterchef: The Professionals’ contestant Matt Campbell, who died in hospital after collapsing at the 22.5 miles mark during the race.
Writing on the London Marathon Training and Support Facebook group, runner Matt Dorber, 33, from Somerset, called on members to #FinishForMatt and donate £5 to the fundraising page the chef set up for the marathon.
“When I saw the news, it hit everyone in the group hard because it could have been literally any one of us, particularly in that heat,” Dorber tells HuffPost UK.
“We’d all trained so hard and had all these fears over the last few months of injuries and not finishing, and even going round the race you felt a real group spirit, stopping to help others, sharing water, gels, giving each other encouragement.”
More than 1,000 people have now joined the Facebook event ‘Finish for Matt’, pledging to run in Matt’s memory this Saturday, with many already completing the 3.7 miles and sharing photos on social media.
Dorber has invited everyone running in memory of Campbell to donate money to the chef’s chosen charity, the Brathay Trust, which works to improve the life chances of children, young people and families affected by challenging circumstances. The chef’s late father Martin Campbell, for whom he was running in memory of, had worked for the charity for eight years.
Donations have already flooded in to the page, reaching more than £88,000 (at the time of writing). Some people have already ran the 3.7 miles for Campbell, tracking the run on a fitness app and sharing the photos on social media.
While Dorber set up the #FinishForMatt Facebook event, he’s also seen others pledging to run for Campbell on Instagram, Twitter and Strava, using other hashtags such as #MilesForMatt, #3point7milesformatt.
“I think it just shows how strong and supporting the running community can be,” he says. “When I set it up I knew it would get support because every runner I’ve come across has always been supportive and encouraging, we all help each other whether you jog a ParkRun or run an ultra.”
You can join the #FinishForMatt Facebook event here.
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