The son of a fell runner who collapsed and died during a race has told the Advertiser his family have been overwhelmed at support shown.
Darren Holloway, collapsed while he was competing in the Ian Hodgson fell race in the Lake District on October 7.
Fellow runners, doctors and medics tried to resuscitate the 42-year-old dad but failed.
Darren’s son, Josh, 18, said: “When I was first told I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t listen. He was really into his running and cycling and it didn’t make sense.
“It was a real shock to us all but he died doing what he loved and that’s what I keep saying to myself.
“Someone my dad knew was killed in a car crash when he was a similar age, I don’t think we could cope with that, at least we know he was enjoying himself when it happened.”
More than £6,500 has been donated to the North West Air Ambulance and Woodhead Mountain Rescue since Darren’s death.
Thousands of tributes have also beenposted on the Fell Running Association website.
Josh said: “We never imagined that so many people would pay tribute and give money, the support has been overwhelming and we can’t thank people enough.
“Me and my mum knew that he was popular and the the fell running community was a close one but I think my grandparents have been really surprised and happy to see how many people loved my dad like we did.”
Darren’s wife Amanda, 40, and the rest of his family have been told that he would have died almostly immediately after collapsing and that there would have been no clues or any steps anyone could take to prevent his death.
Josh said: “Someone has shown us a picture of my dad at the start line of the race and he looked fine, ready to run, it’s just one of those things.
“My mum is doing really well and my grandparents, my aunty and cousin have come over so we’re all helping each other.”
Darren, a keen sportsmen, went out running or cycling every day and often with his dog, Badger.
Josh said: “He ran and cycled hundreds of miles a week, Badger would always go out running with him, he knew the routes better than he did.”
Hundreds of people are expected to attend Darren’s funeral later this week.
Josh, who worked with his dad in the family manufacturing business, said: “It’s weird because a few weeks ago me, my dad and grandad were talking and my dad said ‘god forbid but if anything happened to me now I’d die happy.’
“He’d had a great year running, been to see Bradley Wiggins win the Tour De France and cycle some of the route as well as seeing me come into the family business.
“He’d done so much that he’d always wanted to, it was probably the happiest he’d ever been.”