Athlete dies while competing in St. George triathlon

The racer was in distress during the swimming portion of the Ironman event.

(Jeff Richards | St. George News) Lionel Sanders runs across the St. George skyline on Red Hills Parkway in the Ironman 70.3 St. George triathlon on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Sanders won the race. Another competitor died during the swimming portion of the event.

A competitor in a St. George Ironman event died Saturday, after suffering distress during the swimming leg of the race.

The athlete, whose name has not been released, “received immediate medical attention” when safety personnel recognized the racer was in distress, according to a Facebook post by event organizers, but they were unable to save the swimmer.

Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 race — a half Ironman — included a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike race and a 13.1-mile run. Swimmers were competing in the Sand Hollow Reservoir in Hurricane.

It was the first time since 2019 that the St. George event took place. Last year’s triathlon was canceled due the COVID-19 pandemic.

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