Tributes Paid to Woman Who Died After LA Marathon Race: 'Beautiful Soul'

Tributes have been paid to a woman who collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest at the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon and later died in hospital.

The death of mother of three Trisha Paddock, a Charity Challenge Half Marathon participant, was confirmed on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Marathon organizers on Twitter. The organization said she took part in the race to raise money for The Asian American Drug Abuse Program.

Her age was unclear as race officials listed Paddock's age as 46, while the LA fire department said she was 44.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said that at 12:10 p.m. local time on Sunday firefighters "came in contact with a 44-year-old female race participant near the finish line suffering a medical complaint that escalated to a cardiac arrest," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Prior to her transportation to hospital over a dozen personnel provided Paddock with medical assistance, including members of the L.A. Fire Department's Bicycle Medic Team, it said.

Los Angeles Marathon said in a statement: "We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all the first responders & medical personnel who were immediately on the scene. We are in touch with Trisha's family and are supporting them through this very difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts & prayers."

A Go Fund Me campaign has been established to assist Paddock's family with medical expenses. At the time of writing, it had raised $43,210, exceeding its stated goal of $40,000.

One donor wrote on the fundraising page: "Trisha was a beautiful soul, and I feel blessed to have met her. Our hearts go out to her husband Ryan and her children. I am praying for your peace and comfort."

On Facebook, Melissa Eick Heinze, a friend of Trisha Paddock said she was heartbroken, adding Paddock was "one of the most kindest souls I have ever met."

Another friend, Heidi Rasmussen Totten, said on Facebook that Paddock was "one of the kindest women" she had ever known.

David C. Spencer described being in a "state of shock and feeling shattered" regarding the death of his friend. He said: "My dear friend Trisha Hunt-Paddock, passed away yesterday so unexpectedly. She leaves behind her husband and 3 beautiful children.

"I am praying for the peace and comfort for her husband, children, and all her extended family. I will miss you Trisha so very much. Much love, until we meet again."

Paddock's death is the first related to the marathon for 15 years. In 2007 a 50-year-old man passed away after taking part in the L.A. Bike Tour associated with the marathon, the city's fire department said.

In 2006, two participants died of heart attacks during the marathon, 60-year-old James Leone, and 53-year-old Raul Reyna. The only other death associated with the L.A. marathon occurred in 1990 when 59-year-old William McKinney died at the 21-mile mark, also as the result of a heart attack.

Trisha Paddock
(Left) Trisha Paddock with family. (Right) Paddock with her husband Ryan Paddock. She collapsed and suffered a heart attack at the finish line of the L.A. Marathon, dying later in hospital. Courtesy of Ryan Paddock