Sunday's Escape from Alcatraz triathlon started off to a tragic start when 46-year-old Ross Ehilinger died mere moments after the start of the race. The man, in town for the race from Austin, Texas, suffered an apparent heart attack after plunging into the frigid waters of the Bay shortly after the race's 7:30 a.m. start time.
Race organizers say that the temperature of the water had nothing to do with the man's death, although to avoid conflicts with this year's America's Cup, the race took place three months earlier and in colder water than previous years. Bill Burke, the race's director, stated that Ehilinger died from a probable undiagnosed heart condition that led to the cardiac arrest minutes after the beginning the race.
This is the first fatality in the history of the 33-year-old of Escape from Alcatraz race, which involves a 1.5-mile swim across the Bay, an 18-mile bike ride and an 8-mile run through Golden Gate Park.