A 46-year-old man from Texas died at a Alcatraz triathlon in California on Sunday.
Officials explained the individual died shortly after beginning the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. It’s currently believed the man suffered a heart attack after jumping into the San Francisco Bay.
According to The Associated Press, race officials believe the man experienced a “massive cardiac event” almost as soon as he entered the water and began to swim. The athlete could not be revived despite efforts from rescuers.
Although the waters were reportedly very cold, officials believe this did not contribute to the man’s death during the Alcatraz triathlon.
Race director Bill Burke explained:
“Was it colder than normal? Yes. But in my opinion, the water temperature was not a factor at all in this tragedy. The gentleman obviously had a heart condition he was unaware of.”
The San Francisco Chronicle explains that nearly 150 competitors were rescued from the frigid waters during the race. Although several people could not complete the Alcatraz triathlon, Burke said this is the first time someone has died during the event.
The race is generally held during the summer months. However, conflict with America’s Cup forced organizers to move the event to March. Although water temperatures were in 50s during the event, the chill in the air made everything feel much colder.
The website explains that participating athletes do not have to pass any sort of physical exam prior to participating in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. The swim from the prison is followed by an 18-mile bike ride and an eight-mile run.
Nearly 2,000 people turned up to participate in the event. Ages of those involved with the race ranged from 13 to 79. Unfortunately, the man’s death cast a dark shadow over the triathlon.
Burke said of the man’s death:
“What happened today was very, very sad. It underscores that athletes need to be checked carefully by a cardiologist before pushing themselves.”
The man who died at the Alcatraz triathlon in California has not been named as of this writing.