Biker’s death mars team relay eventBy Haidee Acuña
CEBU CITY—A member of a Cebu-based relay team competing in the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines died after an accident during the cycling phase of the grueling swim-bike-run event yesterday.
The fatality was identified as Ramon Igaña, who was biking for Team TTB-Extreme that also includes his wife, Dr. Humility Igaña, reportedly the designated runner in the final leg of the relay event.
Cebu Ultra Runners Club president Tony Galon confirmed Igaña’s death in an interview with the Inquirer Sunday afternoon.
Igaña, a load controller of Cebu Pacific Air assigned at the Mactan Cebu International Airport, reportedly lost control of his bike, fell on the road and hit his head on a concrete gutter at the South Coastal Road in Talisay City.
Marshalls and rescuers along the route said they saw Igaña wobbling on his bike shortly before he fell.
The unconscious Igaña was taken to the Chong Hua Hospital here but was pronounced dead on arrival.
A competitor in the team relay also died during the swim portion of the event in 2010 when it was still being held in Camarines Sur in Bicol.
Galon said he and Igaña’s wife waited for him to arrive at the transition area for the last leg of the relay in Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
Galon said the family plans to have Igaña’s body autopsied.
Four other bike participants, John Vincent Ong, Wilson Ang, Wellington Yao and Joel Ting, also sustained various minor injuries after taking spills due to the rough and rugged bike course, according to Barangay Captain Dave Tumulak of Basak Pardo here.
Yao, Ang and Ting later rejoined the race after getting first aid.
Australian Pete Jacobs, the winner for the third straight year, said the course was terrific but also one of the toughest conditions for an Ironman anywhere in the world.
“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” he said, “If the bumpy sections on the road could be smoother that would be fantastic.”