Deaths in Triathlon Swim Legs Increasing

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quicklist: curated
quote: "'In a September interview with "Outside the Lines," USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach contended his organization's events are "the safest place you can be."
their_title: Trouble Beneath The Surface
their_copy: In the seven-year span, 44 people died during or immediately upon exiting the swim leg. Seven deaths were the result of bike crashes, and one occurred in the run. More than half of those who died were men in their 40s and 50s, most of whom fit triathlon's modern demographic: educated, affluent professionals attracted by the challenge and camaraderie promoted by the sport's advocates.
theirCTA: Read the full story here
our_copy: As extreme amateur sporting competitions grow in size and popularity, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reporting shows how oversight has led to higher death levels in the swim leg of triathlons than the other legs in the competition and even marathons.


This is important, as it becomes more popular for the general public to compete in grassroots athletic competitions such as triathlons, mud runs, CrossFit games and Tough Mudders, that we consider safety standards to protect those at risk of life-threatening situations during competition. As Fuller's reporting demonstrates, many triathletes, by nature of being older, often have small, hidden health conditions such as blood clots that can arise during competition.

It would be incredibly difficult and expensive for competitions to screen for such conditions, but the one thing that organizers can do is provide the best on-site first-response team possible. Immediate CPR and defibrillator care is often the difference between life and death in cardiac conditions. More and better-trained lifeguards, safety docs where CPR and defibrillators can be quickly and safety applied, and more education would all be steps in the right direction.

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