Heat, crowd affect Ironman competitors; traffic manageable
Instead of rains, the hot weather took its toll on some of the participants of yesterday’s Cobra Ironman 70.3 Triathlon.
In Cebu City, seven competitors suffered cramps and other injuries.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of Cebu City’s Command Control Center (C3), said three participants continued racing despite their injuries while the rest dropped out.
“There are more incidents now compared to last year. This is just based on our area of responsibility in Cebu City from the South Road Properties (SRP) to S. Osmeña (Road). Because it was very hot, some participants had difficulty breathing and others suffered from cramps,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak said one of the participants, 34-year-old Miguel Pellino of Masbate, had difficulty breathing while 35-year old Dennis Go of barangay Guadalupe was rushed to Chong Hua hospital due to an eye injury.
Dr. Peter Mancao, Cobra Ironman race medical director, said they provided treatment to defending Ironman Pro Female Division champion Caroline Steffen, who crashed as she tried to avoid hitting a child during the bike race at the SRP.
During yesterday’s press conference, Steffen said a child and several others crossed the road after seeing “someone famous racing at the other side.”
“I tried to use the brakes. But I couldn’t stop. So I just crashed and fell off. So the marshals came over and asked if everything was okay. I said yes and just kept on racing. I wasn’t hurt that badly. Just a few aches. I should be back training after one week of rest,” Steffen said.
The child wasn’t harmed, said Princess Galura, program director of event organizer Sunrise Events Inc. Other competitors weren’t so fortunate.
Mark Alcaliza, a 38-year-old participant from Bahrain, was unable to continue due to a laceration in his eye at the Talisay City area at 9:34 a.m. He was transported to Cebu Doctors’ Hospital.
A 46-year old Japanese participant identified as Inoue Koichiro suffered abrasions in his hands, thigh and shoulders. He was rushed to the Talisay District Hospital.
Francis Miguel, 44, Denmark Cabanis, 26 of Liloan town, and Ronald Rubik, 47, suffered cramps during the biking leg of the triathlon but they were able to continue the race.
Two student marshals, 16-year-old Carl Almario and 15-year-old Rhyneth Quimada collapsed and lost consciousness yesterday morning and were brought to the clinic of Cebu Technological University.
Joy Tumulak, operations chief of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), said traffic was normal in the city during the race.
Citom had to close the entire stretch of S. Osmeña Road from 5 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. yesterday.
Tumulak also said they recorded 10 minor accidents all over the city yesterday morning, seven of which involved motorcycles.
Dr. Mancao said all athletes were given immediate care by the medical volunteers.
He said there were no major injuries during the race for both participants and spectators, though some participants collapsed at the finish line due to the intense heat.
“We didn’t reach the point that we’ve been cramming because there were more than enough volunteers during the race, and the rescue teams were doing well. The athletes were more or less prepared just as we are,” Dr. Mancao told reporters./With Correspondent Irish Torres
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