A TRIATHLON event again turned tragic as veteran Reymond “Mon” Cruz collapsed during the race and never recovered Sunday.
Cruz, 41, died of aneurysm according to Tom Carrasco, president of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (Trap) and chair of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
He collapsed during the run leg of Unilab Active Health’s Tri United 1 in Subic Bay where he competed in the grueling Olympic distance of 1.5K swim-40K bike-10K run and was declared dead after efforts by emergency personnel to revive him at the hospital failed.
“It’s very unfortunate because he’s a veteran and very fit,” said Carrasco. “When he collapsed, the response was quick, the ambulance was there. But with aneurysm, we just never know.”
Cruz, a lawyer, was survived by his wife Katrina, who was waiting at the finish line after also competing in the event’s shorter sprint distance of 750m swim-20K bike-5K run.
Ramon Igaña Jr., a competitor in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu last August, also died after taking a crash during the bike leg from acute pulmonary embolism or the sudden blockage of a blood vessel in the lung.
Arland Macasieb, the country’s former top triathlete, described Cruz as “a big strong guy with a gentle spirit and very eager to learn.”
Racers expressed their sympathy as Tri United’s race director Raul Cuevas also issued a public condolence.
Trap, in a statement, reminded all racers “to undergo thorough medical examinations” before plunging into the demanding sport.