A well-known runner collapsed at the finish line of a popular Maritime road race and, had the right people not been there in the nick of time, things might have been much worse.

Tom Cholock doesn't usually head out for a run by himself, but on Monday he did so with his running partner in mind.

Tommy Turner collapsed 10 feet away from the finish line after running a half marathon in Sunday’s Cape Breton Fiddlers Run.

“You never realize or expect that one of your good running buddies would be down on the ground like that,” said Cholock. “I just stood back and looked at the big picture; how could this happen?”

Cholock says Turner has many years of running experience and several marathons under his belt.

But as people cheered Sunday, Cholock says Turner appeared to stumble before collapsing to the ground.

Doctor Chris Milburn was one of the first on scene.

“Medical staff were very close by and fortune would have it they were only a couple of dozen feet from this gentlemen when it happened,” Milburn said. “It was a terrible thing to happen, but thank goodness help was so close by.”

According to Milburn, medical staff performed CPR before Turner was taken by ambulance to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and is currently in an induced coma and listed in serious condition.

“I can only imagine how hard this is for his family,” Milburn said. “It's hard enough for somebody like me. I've worked on hundreds of people at the emergency room, but when it's somebody you know personally, it's a very different matter and emotionally traumatic for a lot of us who were there.”

Milburn says important to remember running is safe and in some cases saves lives.

Cholock says he will continue his daily routine, but with his running partner and his family in mind.

“I hope he has a speedy recovery,” Cholock said. “I'm going to miss Tommy during our daily runs and our training runs. Prayers out to his family.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.