Unfortunately, although running a marathon is generally considered to be quite safe so long as the runner is in good health, tragedies do happen in the sport.
The loss of any member of the running community is always a grave tragedy, and when the death is sudden and seemingly out of nowhere, the loss can hit even harder.
On the way home from running the 2023 London Marathon this past Sunday, April 23, 2023, 45-year-old runner Steve Shanks, of Nottingham, England, passed away after competing in the marathon.
According to a statement from the organizers of the London Marathon, the cause of runner Steve Shanks’ death was not immediately known, and the family has asked for privacy during this time.
Shanks ran an impressive race at the 2023 London Marathon, finishing the 26.2-mile course in a time of 2:53:26.
A statement from the London Marathon organizers noted, “Everyone at London Marathon Events was deeply saddened to hear about the sudden death of Steve Shanks.”
Shortly after the passing of Steve Shanks, his wife, Jess, posted an announcement of the devastating news on Facebook, explaining it to be sudden and unexpected:
“It’s with great sadness that I wish to announce the loss of my wonderful husband, Stephen Shanks. His passing was sudden & out of the blue. He was returning home having spent the day participating in the London Marathon. As you can imagine I’m absolutely in shock & devastated,” shared Jess about the heartbreaking loss.
The 2023 London Marathon was not Steve Shanks’ first marathon and he had reportedly been well-trained for the event.The race seemingly went well and Shanks was pictured probably holding his finishers medal at a local pub just hours before his passing.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the family, friends, and loved ones of Steve Shanks, and we hope that the running community can work together to keep his spirit and love for the sport alive by feeling joy and gratitude for each and every run.
A fundraiser has been set up in Steve Shanks’ honor. You can find details here.
Although sudden death from marathon running is quite rare, if you have concerns about your health as a marathon runner, consider speaking with your healthcare provider or cardiologist for a thorough checkup.