NewsPinellas County


Runner who died during Skyway 10K in St. Petersburg remembered by his brother

Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 17:41:45-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Justin Doyle’s final post on Facebook is tough for his older brother to see.

It shows a picture of the five-mile maker and says "1 mile to go."

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“He’s 48 years old. It’s an enormous shock, he was a healthy man," said Lea Doyle.

Justin never made it to the finish line, he collapsed on the bridge and later died.

Lea says his brother, who was an avid runner, wasn’t feeling himself leading up to Sunday’s race.

“He was an incredibly proud guy. He would never give up, but he did say to me, 'I’m struggling to get my legs going.'”

When Justin collapsed, Good Samaritans, several with medical training tried to help him. Some were even questioning why an ambulance didn’t initially come.

Instead, they say Justin was moved on one of the school buses used to transport runners.

Lea says he isn't focused on the response.

“I’m just thankful for the people that tried to help him out,” he said.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue says they are analyzing how everything was handled, and race organizers say they will help however they can.

The St. Petersburg Fire Rescue released a statement on the "tragic incident."

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life at this year’s Skyway 10K charity race. We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased individual. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue is coordinating with all the agencies involved in response to the incident at the charity race. We have scheduled a comprehensive post-incident analysis to determine the facts surrounding this tragic incident.

Now, Justin is being remembered for starting a foundation to help local cancer patients. It was inspired by the death of his step daughter.

“I’ll make sure that his foundation, it’s his legacy, it can go on,” said Lea.

Lea is back behind the bar at The Horse and Jockey British Pub that he owns. He says watching Liverpool soccer matches won’t be the same without the brother who was also his best friend.

For more information on the foundation, Hope, Health, and Sunshine, click here.