One man didn’t make it back from the Cobra Ironaman 70.3 triathlon yesterday.
Ramon Igaña, a relay team member, died minutes after he fell off his bicycle and hit his head on a concrete gutter in the South Coastal Road in Talisay City.
The 44-year-old airline load controller of Cebu Pacfic and resident of barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City, was declared dead at the Chong Hua Hospital at 10 a.m yesterday.
Igaña was a member of the Cebu-based relay team TTB-Extreme.
Marshalls and rescue personnel said they saw Igaña wobbling on his bike shortly before he fell near the turn-around point in Talisay City.
His wife Humility, a doctor and relay teammate, was waiting for him with family friend Tony Galon, president of the Cebu Ultra Runners Club to arrive back at the transition area in Shangrila to continue with the run segment of the relay.
But Ramon never arrived by the end of the bike cut-off at 11:55 AM.
Galon said they only learned that Ramon was in trouble when a rider-less bike bearing his race bib number R-399 arrived at the transition area.
Rescuers then informed Dr. Igaña that Ramon was rushed to Chong Hua Hospital.
Cebuano heart surgeon Peter Mancao helped Dr. Igaña find an ambulance to bring her to the hospital since roads were still closed to vehicular traffic.
Galon told Cebu Daily News the family plans to have Ramon’s body autopsied to determine the cause of death.
His body was brought to St. Peter’s Funeral Parlor about 4 p.m. Some of Igaña’s colleagues said they never expected anything bad to happen to him.
“He wasn’t sickly, he was pretty active,” said one colleague who requested anonymity.
He said they trained hard for a year before joining the Ironman or other sports events.
Four other participants had to be assisted by the Basak-Pardo Emergency Response (BPER) between 10 a.m to 11 a.m.
John Vincent Ong, 25, of Quezon City, suffered severe back pains after biking through the South Road Properties (SRP) tunnel. He was brought to Chong Hua hospital past 10 a.m. then later discharged.
A Singapore-based businessman Joel King fell from his bike when his tire burst near the SRP.
King refused to be brought to the hospital despite a high blood pressure reading. Barangay Captain David Tumulak said King admitted to suffering from hypertension.
“We suggested to him that he should leave the race but he still insisted on finishing it,” he said.
Willington Yu, 62, had difficulty breathing.
Some participants fainted after finishing the grueling event, which consisted of swimming, cycling and running for a total distance of 70.3 miles. Haide Acuña and Tweeny Malinao with Norman V. Mendoza