London Marathon runner who completed it in under three hours dies suddenly after race
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A 45-year-old man who completed the London Marathon in less than three hours died suddenly while on his way home from the event.
Stephen Shanks was one of thousands of runners to take part in the 26.2-mile race on Sunday (23 April), and managed to make it to the finish line in just two hours and 53 minutes.
Just a few days after the marathon, race organisers released a statement to announce Shanks' passing.
"Everyone at London Marathon Events was deeply saddened to hear about the sudden death of Steve Shanks as he travelled home on Sunday April 23 after taking part in the London Marathon," the statement said.
Shanks, from Bingham, Nottingham, was described as a 'very experienced runner' who had taken on a number of marathons in his life.
"All involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express sincere condolences to Steve's wife, Jess, his family and friends," the statement continued.
"A fundraising page for the Multiple Sclerosis Society has been set up in Steve's memory."
A cause of death has not yet been confirmed and is set to be be established at a later date through medical examination, though the organisers explained that Shanks' family has 'asked for privacy and no further details will be released in accordance with their wishes'.
Shanks' wife also shared the news of his passing in a post on Facebook, writing: "His passing was sudden & out of the blue yesterday... He was returning home having spent the day participating in the London Marathon.
"As you can imagine I’m absolutely in shock & devastated. I will let you know about the funeral arrangements when they are finalised."
The GoFundMe page set up in memory of Shanks describes the Multiple Sclerosis Society as a cause 'close to his heart because a number of his close friends have MS'.
Multiple sclerosis is a condition which can affect the brain and spinal cord, resulting in a range of symptoms including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
The fundraising page goes on to describe Shanks as a 'keen runner' who was 'never happier than running anything, from his local Parkrun, to the Bob Graham Round'.
"But he was more than just a runner he was musician, a knitter, and a renowned quizzer possessed of extensive knowledge of terrible pop music," the page continues.
"He was a loving husband and soulmate of his wife Jess, treasured son and son in law, and a much loved friend. He will be greatly missed and always in our hearts and memories."
The GoFundMe page is more than halfway to its goal of raising £2,500 for the charity in honour of Shanks.
Fellow runners and supporters of the marathon have expressed their condolences following Shanks death, with many sending their thoughts to his family.