Richard Walker

Source: Iceland / Alzheimer’s Research UK

Walker was running as an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Iceland Foods’ executive chairman Richard Walker has praised paramedics who “saved” his life after he collapsed during the London Marathon.

The 43-year-old had been running alongside Iceland colleague Simon Felstead as part of his ongoing efforts to raise funds for dementia care in the UK.

“Yesterday, St John Ambulance saved my life,” Walker said in a post on his Instagram page on Monday.

“I collapsed and fell unconscious less than two miles before The London Marathon finish line with hyperthermic shock,” Walker said, adding that his body temperature was 42 degrees “and rising”.

“Truth be told I didn’t train enough and pushed way too hard on the day – probably a little bit of Everest arrogance,” Walker said.

He regained consciousness half an hour later, having received treatment from a team of medics.

“I can’t thank them enough. They were the true heroes of the day and I owe them my life,” he said.

Walker announced his intention to run the 26.2 mile route in memory of his late mother Rhianydd earlier this month. At the time he acknowledged that he was “behind where I should be with training” but said that the “effort to get to race day” would be worth it.

The run came less than a year since Walker successfully summited Mount Everest, in the process helping Iceland colleagues raise a collective £1.1m towards Iceland’s Charitable Foundation.

An ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK, Walker – along with his father, Iceland founder Malcolm – has completed several fundraising challenges in memory of Lady Walker, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and passed away in 2021. It included a previous attempt to summit Everest in 2011.

At the time of writing a total of £10,963 had been donated to Walker and Felstead’s JustGiving page.

The Grocer has contacted Iceland for further comment.