Ontario man drowns in Alberta lake during Ironman triathlon

WATCH: A man is dead after drowning in Harmony Lake in Rocky View County on Sunday. As Matthew Conrod reports, the man was competing in the swimming leg of the Ironman triathlon before being pulled out of the water.

A 47-year-old Ontario man is dead after drowning during the Ironman 70.3 Calgary triathlon at Harmony Lake in Rocky View County, Alta., on Sunday, according to RCMP.

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At around 8 a.m., RCMP received a report of the drowning.

Ironman said it was “incredibly saddened” to confirm the participant’s death.

“During the swim portion of Sunday’s race, swim safety personnel recognized the athlete in distress requiring immediate medical attention,” Ironman said via email.

An Ontario man drowned during the Ironman triathlon in Alberta on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.

An Ontario man drowned during the Ironman triathlon in Alberta on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021.

Matthew Conrod/Global News

Race volunteers pulled the competitor from the water, started CPR and called EMS, Mounties said.

“The patient was indeed already in critical, life-threatening condition when he had been removed from the water, unfortunately,” EMS said.

The victim died at the scene.

“We share our greatest sympathies with the family and friends of the athlete and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time,” Ironman said, thanking first responders for providing the athlete with medical assistance.

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The swim course was 1.9 kilometres (1.2 miles), the bike route was 90 kilometres (56 miles), and the running portion was 21.1 kilometres (13.1 miles). The “70.3” in Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles.

Jennifer Rooney was at Harmony Lake to cheer on her husband, who competes in Ironman races. She said accidents like this are extremely rare during competitions, and most times, it is a pre-existing condition that forces someone to withdraw from a race or results in death.

“You hear about heart failures and things like that,” Rooney said. “These guys are working so hard and pushing their bodies so hard.”

– With a file from Matthew Conrod

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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