DRESSED in their triathlon orange and black jerseys, athlete friends of Ramon Igaña yesterday carried his coffin to his final resting place in the Cebu Memorial Park in Cebu City, six days after Igaña’s death during a bike race in the Ironman 70.3 competition.
At a funeral mass in Redemptorist church, his wife and triathlon partner, Humility, recounted memories of their life together.
“He was the wind beneath my wings. He encouraged me to do my best. We had our share of difficulties but we were always together. We were there for each other. He’s my refuge and my best friend,” said Humility, a physician.
The couple loved to run, and trained had for the Ironman 70.3 held on Aug. 5.
Igaña fell from his road bike in Talisay City after suffering an acute pulmonary embolism, a sudden attack caused by blood clots that reached his lungs.
“There is so much emptiness in my heart. (But) I saw him smile. He died doing what he loved to do. I know he will always be with me and Niña. She will continue to be the wind beneath my wings,” Humility said, referring to their 15-year-old daughter.
“We will surely miss you. We wish you a good bike ride to heaven.”
Runners and bikers joined the Mass before bidding Igaña goodbye.
Fr. Elvin Miraflor, who delivered the homily,urged the family and friends not to despair.
“Yes, we weep because we send him off. Ours is not sending him off to a race but sending him home. How good it is to be home. We now entrust him to the loving embrace of Jesus,” Miraflor said.
Igaña was a 44-year-old airline load controller of Cebu Pacfic and and member of the Cebu-based relay team TTB-Extreme.
He was the lone fatality in the Ironman 70.3 Philippines, the biggest international sports event in Cebu this year, which drew 1,700 Filipino and foreign athletes, who tested their endurance in swimming, biking and running. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter