An Afghanistan veteran and Green Beret from Fife who “lived life on the edge and to the full” died after collapsing at the 23-mile mark while running the London Marathon.
Captain David Seath, originally from Cowdenbeath, was a fire support team commander in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery.
The 31-year-old suffered a suspected cardiac arrest while running the 26.2-mile course on Sunday.
His mother Libby Seath said: “David has achieved more in 31 years than most people do in 70.
“He lived his life on the edge and to the full. He was running to raise money for Help For Heroes, a cause which was very important to him.”
London Marathon organisers confirmed he collapsed at the 23-mile mark, receiving “immediate medical attention”, but that he later died in hospital.
Friends and colleagues of the Army captain are now vowing to “complete what he started” – finishing the marathon course for him and continuing to raise cash for his chosen charity.
Captain James Walker-McClimens of the 7th Parachute Royal Horse Artillery set up the JustGiving page in his memory.
Having served with Capt Seath in the 19th Regiment The Royal Artillery The Highland Gunners in Tidworth, they then went on tour together to Afghanistan in 2012, returning at the same time.
“We have stayed in touch ever since, he was at my wedding last year,” said Capt Walker-McClimens.
“He was the greatest type of guy you could imagine – everyone loved him. He was funny, outgoing, generous – he was just not a bad guy in any way shape or form.”
Capt Walker-McClimens said the news has come as a complete shock to all those that knew him – and that a “whole group” of Capt Seath’s friends want to complete the marathon for him.
“In the Army we don’t like unfinished business, it was something he wanted to do – he wanted to do the full marathon, so we are going to complete it for him,” he said.
“He was raising money for Help For Heroes so we just want to carry on that theme.”
Capt Walker-McClimens said those who are finishing the course for him are all fit, but that it is “more fitting” for them to be together when they do it, and will walk the remaining distance instead of running.
Thousands of pounds are pouring into the JustGiving page every hour.
Lieutenant Colonel Jon Cresswell, Commanding Officer of 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, added: “The regiment was devastated to learn of the tragic loss of Captain Dave Seath during 2016’s London Marathon.
“Dave was an outstanding commando officer, a natural leader and a true gentleman. He was my assistant adjutant and so I knew him very well.
“He served on operations in Helmand with 19th Regiment Royal Artillery before joining the Commando Gunners and earning his green beret.
“Witty, charming and polished, Dave was a fabulous host and stylish performer. As such, he was the obvious choice to lead the Blue Peter Ten Tors team last year.
“Selected to train the future officers of the Afghan National Army later this year in the rank of major, Dave had a great career ahead of him.
“The thoughts of the regiment are with Gabby and Dave’s family and friends at this tragic time. We have lost one of the great characters of our regiment and take strength from the memory of his example and leadership.”
Bryn and Emma Parry, co-founders of Help For Heroes, said: “David was doing something extraordinary by running the London Marathon to fundraise and support his fellow soldiers who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses.
“Help For Heroes sees every fundraiser as one of Team H4H and we are devastated by the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his regiment and his friends.”
Capt Seath’s exact cause of death is yet to be established.
To make a donation in Capt Seath’s memory, visit www.justgiving.com/H4HeroDavidSeath.