Athlete dies while swimming in St. George Ironman competition

ST. GEORGE, Utah. — A person has died while competing in the first part of the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship St. George over the weekend, officials said.

The Ironman Group confirmed the death on Saturday around 6:20 p.m., an hour after the race ended, saying an athlete was showing signs of distress during the 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) swimming portion of the race at Sand Hallow State Park in Hallow.

The group said swim safety personnel provided immediate medical attention. “We are incredibly saddened to confirm the death of a race participant,” the group said 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,” the group said.

The triathlon course started with the swim. The water was expected to be between 60 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 18 Celsius) on average, according to the course description. The race then proceeded into a 56-mile (90-kilometer) bike race through Washington County into the climb through Snow Canyon State Park followed by a 13.1-mile (21-kilometer) run.

Temperatures in St. George reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit, last weekend.

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