The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon was held Sunday in San Francisco, Calif., and sadly there was one fatality. A man died at the Alcatraz triathlon after he suffered what officials believe was a “massive cardiac event” as he began swimming. CNN shared the details on March 4.
The man who died in the Alcatraz triathlon was a 46-year-old man from Austin, Texas. This is the first death in the 33 years the race has been held. The competitor's name has not yet been released. Typically the race is held in June, but it was slated earlier this year to make room for the 2013 America's Cup. This meant the weather was colder than usual, and some worry that may have played a part in the man's cardiac event.
Water safety personnel saw the man in trouble immediately and began CPR in the water, then transferred him to land to continue. The SFGate notes that the man who died at the Alcatraz triathlon passed away less than a minute after jumping into the bay. Apparently the water was about 10 degrees colder than what racers experienced in last year's race. Race director Bill Burke says that in his opinion, the water temperature was not a determining factor in the man's death.
About 2,000 competitors participate in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. Rescuers pulled 150 from the water Sunday, about three times more than the usual. The water temperature was about 51 degrees, with the air temperature slightly higher. The winds were whipping around at about 11 mph, bring the feel of the air to about the mid-40s. This is quite a bit less than the normal ranges when the event is held in June. Many competitors commented on the cold, choppy water, but overall the finishing times were only slightly slower than the usual times.