TRIBUTES have been paid to a 'true gentleman' who collapsed and died on one of his favourite runs in Newton Abbot.
Torbay man Dennis Milstead (pictured), 53, was leading a run along the Templer Way at Stover with running group Teignbridge Trotters when, despite the best efforts of friends and paramedics, he died at the scene.
The cause of death has been determined as Ischaemic heart disease.
He is survived by his wife, Jacquie, and his three children, Harrison, Cameron and Oliver.
Jacquie said: "Dennis had a great love of life and always approached it with a smile on his face.
"He was a generous, gregarious, funny and intelligent man with firm beliefs and a great sense of fun."
As a popular and active member of the running club, Dennis, who was retired and was from the Paignton area, would regularly lead one of the training groups two nights a week.
Roger Hayes, chairman of Teignbridge Trotters, said: "Dennis was much more than just a runner. He was a true gentleman, loved by everyone at the Trotters."
As a mark of respect, the Trotters will be dedicating their next race, the Ladies 10k, to Dennis.
It takes place on September 14 starting at Dornafield caravan and camping site.
Born in Bedford, Dennis grew up in Cornwall and, subsequently, Devon where his affinity with nature and enjoyment of the outdoors, evident later in life, developed.
Educated at Bosvigo County Primary School, Truro School, and Exeter School before reading business administration at Bath University.
He enjoyed a successful career in London before giving it up to move back to Devon with his young family.
He became a keen runner, cyclist and mountaineer, joining the Trotters and competing in many sporting challenges, including the London Marathon, the Dartmoor Discovery and the Dartmoor Classic CycloSportive.
He also became an accomplished mountaineer and his avid sense of adventure led him to achieve a number of successful expeditions to the summits of Aconcagua, Cotopaxi, Mera and Island Peak in Nepal and South America.
A service to celebrate Dennis' love of life will be held at St Matthias Church, Babbacombe, on Saturday at 2pm.
Dennis always felt a deep gratitude to the people who risked their lives to help him reach the summits of the Himalayas and he was always passionate about their welfare.
The family have requested all donations should go to Community Action Nepal, a charity founded to help the people of Nepal to raise their standard of living and protect their indigenous, community based culture.