Morpeth woman dies during cross-country run in Scottish Borders

Heather Foggo.

Heather Foggo.

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An investigation is under way following the death of a Morpeth woman in a night-time cross-country run in the Scottish Borders at the weekend.

Heather Foggo died on Saturday evening shortly after the start of the annual Mighty Deerstalker run at Innerleithen.

The 48-year-old, a district nurse who worked for the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, was only about quarter of an hour into the 10-mile run when she fell ill shortly before 6pm.

An on-site medic and an off-duty paramedic attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on Mrs Foggo, a mother of two, by the side of the River Tweed, near Innerleithen Bridge, and an ambulance was called to take her to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose, but she was pronounced dead on arrival at the facility.

Mrs Foggo, said to be an experienced runner, was one of 200 competitors in the race, split into eight groups, and she set off at Traquair House at 5.40pm to wade through water, run through woodland and scale hills in gathering darkness.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Inquiries are continuing. However, there appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding this death.

“A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.”

Flowers and deerstalker hats have since been left as tributes along the course of the run, held in aid of the charity Children With Cancer UK.

Ann Stringer, director of human resources and organisational development at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear the news of Heather’s death at the weekend and on behalf of the trust board we extend our deepest sympathies to Heather’s family, friends and all those colleagues who knew and worked with her.

“Heather was deeply committed to her role looking after patients in Northumberland and we will do all that we can to support her family and our staff at this incredibly difficult time.”

A spokesman for the event’s organiser, York-based Rat Race Adventure Sports, said: “We are extremely saddened to confirm that a participant in our Mighty Deerstalker Event passed away.

“The 10-mile trail race was being held at Innerleithen in good weather conditions.

“The participant became unwell at 5.56pm, approximately one mile into the event, close to our event control station and at the location of one of our safety marshals.

“A member of our medical team was on the scene within three minutes as we implemented our response protocols. They were assisted by an off-duty paramedic until the arrival of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“Tragically, we have since learned that the individual passed away en route to hospital.

“Rat Race Adventure Sports will give full assistance to the appropriate authorities. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased.”