Leading the marathon with only a few kilometres to go, Callum Hawkins' body simply would not let him finish.
In one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the courageous Scot stumbled a further 800 metres after initially breaking down on the scorching course.
Eventually, Hawkins just couldn't go any further, collapsing in front of shocked spectators on the Sundale Bridge, 40km into the marathon and unable to go any further.
Thankfully medical staff eventually reached Hawkins after a short delay, and he was taken to hospital.
🏃🏿♂️ MARATHON MEDICS 🚑— Tom Forbes (@tomforbesGC) April 15, 2018
Games organisers say they’ll look into whether the delay in getting medical treatment to the Scottish marathon runner was reasonable. Goldoc CEO Mark Peters says you can’t have medics on very part of the course. @abcgoldcoast
We're seeking an update Callum Hawkins' condition and will update you as soon as we hear the latest.#GC2018— 7CommGames (@7CommGames) April 15, 2018
There were some question marks over the scheduling of the marathon, with commentator David Culbert questioning why the race started so late in the day, leaving the men to run in 28 degree heat.
Easy to use hindsight but Dave Culbert talking sense saying 8.15am start for men's marathon is too late. Heat can get up quickly around 9. All the marathoners are shattered.— Iain Payten (@iainpayten) April 15, 2018
Seven reporter Pat Welsh revealed the brave Scot initially refused help from medical teams, knowing it would force him out of the race.
"A lot of concern about the Scotsman Callum Hawkins," Welsh said.
"He initially refused treatment but now has been taken in an ambulance to hospital."
Team Scotland later shared a positive update on Twitter, saying there were no major concerns and revealing Hawkins was sitting up in bed and talking with his Dad.
CALLUM HAWKINS UPDATE: We are very pleased to report that Callum is sitting up and speaking with his Dad and Team Scotland medical staff. He is undergoing further tests as a precaution and we all wish him a speedy recovery.— Team Scotland (@Team_Scotland) April 15, 2018
CALLUM HAWKINS UPDATE:Callum has been taken to hospital for medical review following his collapse in the Marathon as is standard procedure. He is being supported by Team Scotland medical staff & there are no major concerns at this stage.More information to be issued in due course— Team Scotland (@Team_Scotland) April 15, 2018
Pleased to confirm @callhawk is making a good recovery & asked us to pass on the following: “Thanks for all your messages of support today and to the Gold Coast University Hospital staff. I am now feeling much better.”— Team Scotland (@Team_Scotland) April 15, 2018
The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games also issued this statement regarding the medical attention Hawkins received.
While it was distressing, in competition, there are strict rules around accepting medical help and subsequent disqualification. After Callum Hawkins collapsed on the bridge medical staff provided treatment when requested. https://t.co/engF20hqpI— Gold Coast 2018 (@GC2018) April 15, 2018
It was the second heartbreaking collapse of the men's marathon, after a Namibian athlete was forced to pull out earlier in the event.
Shelley wins marathon gold
Australian Michael Shelley has won the gold medal in the men's marathon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
In a dramatic finish, Scottish leader Callum Hawkins collapsed in the gutter at the 40km mark while he was well clear of Shelley.
The Australian ran past Hawkins who was sprawled on the ground to win in two hours 16 minutes 46 seconds and defend the title he won in Glasgow four years ago.
Ugandan Munyo Mutai took the silver, with Scotland's Robbie Simpson taking bronze.