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Man dies after Hawke's Bay marathon fall

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/05/2016
Adventurer Samuel Gibson © TVNZ Adventurer Samuel Gibson

Adventurer Samuel Gibson has died after seriously injuring his head during a half-marathon in the Hawke's Bay.

The 39-year-old father of two - who suffered from rare brittle bone disease - fell from his wheelchair while taking part in the Sotheby's half marathon on Saturday, hitting his head.

A Hawke's Bay DHB spokeswoman confirmed he had died in hospital on Monday morning.

Mr Gibson last week gave a TEDxAuckland talk about his life with the rare genetic condition osteogenesis imperfecta.

Despite the condition and only being 90cm tall, Mr Gibson gained a reputation as a world traveller and adventurer, last year sailing across the Cook Strait on a dinghy.

He was also training for a 300km fundraising run from Mt Cook to Oamaru later in the year and helped design the custom-built powered wheelchair he used.

Hundreds of messages of support had flooded his Facebook page since the accident, many calling Mr Gibson an inspiration.

Ultra marathon runner Lisa Tamati, who was part of the team to run with Mr Gibson, said they were shocked over the death.

"We are lost for words and mourning the loss of our dear friend and wonderful human being Samuel Peter Gibson ... You were a bright light for us and we honour you," she said in a post.

In a statement on behalf of the family, Mr Gibson's brother Matthew thanked emergency department teams and the public for their support.

"Thank you also for the many kind messages of support that have been received. Samuel will be greatly missed by so many people, he touched so many lives and was an inspiration to us all," he said.

The family would make a statement about funeral arrangements at a later date, he said.

Police said they were investigating the death on behalf of the coroner.

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