Family tributes to beloved young man who died during Bristol half marathon

26-year-old Mike Harper tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest while running a half marathon in Bristol
-Credit: (Image: CRY/Family Handout)

Tributes have been made to a "beloved son" and "incredible brother" who died after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Bristol Half Marathon. Mike Harper, alongside thousands of other, took part in the Great Run on Sunday, May 19, but tragically collapsed during the event. He was treated by medics but sadly passed away in hospital.

Mike's family said they are "devastated" by his loss after the 26-year-old suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while running. He had no known health issues and always prioritised fitness, spending his time travelling, running and playing football. Mike also enjoyed partying with friends and exploring London with his girlfriend Ailsa.

A memorial fund has been created online in Mike's name to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young. The charity works to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death, support those affected, support CRY’s screening programme and fund research and pathology.

Read more:

His family said in a tribute: "We are devastated to say we lost Mike to a sudden cardiac arrest while running in the Bristol Half Marathon, a city he once called home. He had no known health issues or family history of young sudden cardiac death. He was otherwise healthy and always prioritised fitness."

"This loss has been so unimaginably difficult to come to terms with and CRY offer such important support. We’d love if you have the means to donate to CRY to help us raise money to aid cardiac screening and raise awareness of the potential risk of cardiac arrest in youth. The charity also provide screening for immediate family members due to the connection between sudden cardiac death and genetics.

"And for Mike, we don’t want any one else to lose anybody in this cruel and shocking way. Thank you for your generosity and ongoing support."

Born in Lincoln, Mike moved to Bristol after graduating from Sheffield University for his job with Laing O’Rourke as a quantity surveyor at Hinckley Point. In 2023, he moved to London for his career, to work on the Olympia redevelopment.

You can donate to Mike's memorial page on the CRY website here.