Iceland boss Richard Walker says he 'owes paramedics his life' after collapsing while running London Marathon

23 April 2024, 05:27

Richard Walker running with Iceland colleague Simon Felstead
Richard Walker running with Iceland colleague Simon Felstead. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

Iceland boss Richard Walker has praised paramedics after collapsing while running the London Marathon.

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Mr Walker had been running to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK, but fell unconscious close to the finish line.

His body temperature was 'hyperthermic' and had reached the dangerously high level of 42C, he said.

The Iceland executive chairman, who climbed Mount Everest last year, said in an Instagram post that he had collapsed about two miles before the end of the course.

"Truth be told, I didn't train enough and pushed way too hard on the day - probably a little bit of Everest arrogance," he said.

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"I came to about half an hour later surrounded by an amazing team of medics, covered in ice with all sorts of things stuck in me.

"I can't thank them enough - they were the true heroes of the day and I owe them my life."

This was Mr Walker's first marathon, but he raised £1 million for the National Brain Appeal with his Everest ascent last year, supporting efforts to build a Rare Dementia Support Centre.

He said: "I'm so totally in awe of everyone who ran the marathon, and all the inspiring stories behind people's motivation for doing so.

"Seeing all the charity efforts was just so emotional."

Richard Walker
Richard Walker. Picture: Alamy

St John Ambulance said in response: "We hope you're recovering well Richard. Thank you so much for your kind words for our hardworking volunteers!"

Alzheimer's UK said the collapse "must have been so scary".

Addressing Mr Walker, they added: "We’re in awe of the huge effort you put into completing the London Marathon and relieved to hear you're on the mend."