Man dies at Alcatraz triathlon: A Texas man died of an apparent heart attack while competing in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco.
An Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon competitor reportedly died of a heart attack on Sunday after swimming in the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay.
The man, 46, suffered the apparent heart attack just moments after starting the triathlon. His name was not released to the public.
“We have reason to believe the gentleman suffered from a massive cardiac event as he entered the water and began the swim,” triathlon officials said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. The race was held three months ahead of schedule, meaning the waters were colder, but officials said that had nothing to do with the man’s death.
Race director Bill Burke told the San Francisco Chronicle said the water was about 10 degrees Fahrenheit colder than last year’s water temperature.
“Was it colder than normal? Yes. But in my opinion, the water temperature was not a factor at all in this tragedy,” he told the paper. “This gentleman obviously had a heart condition he was unaware of.”
Race safety officials told the San Jose Mercury News that they noticed that the man was having difficulty and administered CPR in the water before taking him to land.
But he said that rescuers pulled 150 competitors out of the water, which is about three times more than the normal number.
Burke said it was the first death in the triathlon’s 33-year history.
“What happened today was very, very sad. It underscores that athletes need to be checked carefully by a cardiologist before pushing themselves,” Burke said.
The race entails a 1.5-mile swim, an 18-mile bike ride, and an 8-mile run in San Francisco’s waterfront and in Golden Gate Park. The race drew athletes between the ages of 13 to 80 from around the world.
The winner was Javier Gomez of Spain, who finished in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 27 seconds, according to the newspaper.
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