A participant died during the first part of the IRONMAN St. George 70.3 course Saturday.
The IRONMAN Group confirmed the death just after 6:20 p.m., which was just over an hour after the race had officially concluded.
According to a statement released by IRONMAN, the assistant personnel a overseeing the 1.3-mile swim course noticed participant was exhibiting distress in the waters.
“We are incredibly saddened to confirm the death of a race participant at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship St. George,” IRONMAN St. George wrote in a statement on Facebook. “The athlete received immediate medical attention upon swim safety personnel recognizing the distressed athlete during the swim portion of Saturday’s race.”
The name, age, gender of the athlete and other information were not disclosed by the IRONMAN Group.
Deaths in extreme endurance sports are not rare. According to reports from various news outlets there were seven recorded deaths in IRONMAN Triathlons, and 20 deaths among all other triathlon events, in 2019.
The swim course has also been acknowledged by IRONMAN racers to be one of the most dangerous aspects of the race.
In the comments below the statement, participants noted there was a bicyclist who needed CPR during the race. IRONMAN St. George thanked those who helped the individual who stopped racing to provide immediate medical assistance to the athlete.
IRONMAN St. George expressed its condolences to the family of the participant, as well as thanked its first responders for their ability to quickly assess and provide medial support to the participant.
“We share our greatest sympathies with the family and friends of the athlete and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.” IRONMAN St. George wrote in a statement on Facebook. “The well-being of our competitors is paramount, and we thank the swim safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athlete with medical support.”
Chris Kwiecinski covers Region 9, Dixie State and Southern Utah athletics for The Spectrum. Follow him on Twitter @OchoK_, and contact him at CKwiecinsk@thespectrum.com, or (435) 414-3261.