A runner in Sydney's City2Surf race has died after he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest just metres from the finish line.
The 27-year-old man from Coogee collapsed at Bondi Beach on the last stretch of the annual run on Sunday. Witnesses said the man fell but attempted to crawl the last few metres to the finish line.
He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital in a critical condition, a spokesman for the NSW Ambulance Service said. A hospital spokesman confirmed he died a short time later.
A spokesperson for the City2Surf said: “It’s a moment of enormous sadness and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
It was reported that the man's partner was also believed to be running in the event but was not with him when he collapsed.
ABC journalist Anne Barker was covering the run for the national broadcaster and was nearby when the man fell.
"I turned around and saw him almost crawling, clearly in trouble, but still trying to reach the line. He was barely a metre away," she told the ABC. "He was very white. Suddenly he just collapsed on the ground, rolled on his side and stopped moving."
She said she saw paramedics race to the man, who was unconscious, and place him on a stretcher.
"It was all the more distressing because runners were just streaming past him, so clearly happy to have finished, many unaware of what had happened," Ms Barker said.
In 2008, a 26-year-old runner, Lee Marriage, died just 200 metres from the finish line after suffering a heart attack.
Paramedics were unable to revive the IT worker, who was originally from Britain but had lived in Sydney for five years before his death.
Friends said at the time they were shocked as Mr Marriage was a regular runner, who also played football and did not have an ounce of fat on him.
More than 80,000 people took part in this year's 14-kilometre race from the Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach, by way of the infamous "Heartbreak Hill".
Olympian Craig Mottram won the race in just under 42 minutes.
- with AAP
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