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Athlete dies in swimming portion of St. George Ironman event

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FILE PHOTO — An athlete died while participating in the St. George Ironman event in San Hollow Reservoir show in this file photo. (Photo: KUTV)

An athlete died while participating in the Ironman St. George event on Saturday at Sand Hollow Reservoir.

The organization confirmed the death after the race and said the well-being of competitors is paramount.

"We are incredibly saddened to confirm the death of a race participant at the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship St. George," the group stated on its Facebook page. The competitor was "distressed" during the swimming portion of the endurance race that is considered one of the most difficult single-day sports events.

The 70.3 Ironman is a half ironman, with each of the three distance endurance portions of the full Ironman cut in half, leaving a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a half marathon, or a 13.1 mile run. Water temperature was reported to be in the low 60s at the time of the race.

"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," the event stated. "The well-being of our competitors is paramount, and we thank the swim safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athlete with medical support."

The identity of the person who died was not released nor was the circumstances of the "distress"

The full statement is below:

"We are incredibly saddened to confirm the death of a race participant at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship St. George. The athlete received immediate medical attention upon swim safety personnel recognizing the distressed athlete during the swim portion of Saturday’s race. 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. The well-being of our competitors is paramount, and we thank the swim safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athlete with medical support."

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