Chef Joey Fecci Dead at 26 After Collapsing While Running Marathon

Joey Fecci, a chef based in Nashville, died suddenly on April 27 while running the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series marathon. He was 26.

Chef Joey Fecci Dead at 26 After Collapsing While Running Marathon

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Joey Fecci

The Nashville-based chef died while running a marathon April 27, organizers of the event confirmed on social media. He was 26.

He was found unresponsive, per the organizers, during the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series. He received on-site medical attention before being transported to a nearby hospital, where he died, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Joey’s older brother Nick Fecci said that they last saw him alive at mile 18, where they captured a video of him smiling and giving high-fives. 

“We were waiting for him to come around the final stretch when we got the phone call that would destroy our lives forever,” Nick shared in a statement, per Nashville’s NBC affiliate WSMV. “We will never comprehend how something like this could happen. We will never understand why the brightest light in all of our lives was taken from us so horrifically and inexplicably.”

In a family statement that also confirmed Joey’s passing, they noted, “He was a treasured son, brother, boyfriend, and friend to so many.”

Joey, who was the chef de cuisine at Yolan in Nashville for three and a half years before departing in February, began his career at 15 at an Italian spot in Somers, N.Y., according to FSR Magazine. He later attended The Culinary Institute of America before working at two Michelin restaurants in New York City and one in Chicago.

Olivia Mueller/Instagram

Nick revealed that his little brother had a passion for cooking from a young age and began making family dinners at 12.

“At three years old he would pull a chair up to the stove so he could stand on it and flip the Saturday morning pancakes,” Nick reflected, per WSMV. “That was something that I was always envious of him for — he had a burning passion for cooking from an early age, and he always knew he was going to follow that passion.”

He added, “The world lost a literal culinary genius that was going to create and inspire so much more, and I lost my best friend.”

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