I just did a search hoping for news on the cause of the death of Barney Rice, whose hopes for everything ended during the swim at IMFL. All I'm finding is "cause of death was not immediately evident, but an autopsy will be performed."
He had 3 young sons. The youngest is 6 months. And a young wife, who went through his year of IM training like every other Iron Spouse. He had, the same as all of us this whole past year and that cold race morning, anticipation, excitement, a sense of adventure, and high hopes for a grand achievement. He had his bike shoes and helmet in his transition bag, his water bottles and GU packs on his bike. His ready bike waited in the transition area and.....stayed there all day.
I felt glad to make it out of the swim alive. When I reached the finish line 14 or so hours later, I found out that one man hadn't.
I'm still having dreams.
Last night it was being on the bike leg of the Ironman and finding, not hills, I don't know what you'd call them.... rock dunes, or something. They undulated up out of the ground like mountains, as high as a 3-story house. I was thinking, this is no place for a road bike; I need a mountain bike. They rose one after another. I saw a dip between two "dunes" coming and thought, oh, no, here it comes..... got my speed up and almost, but not quite, made the jump between them. My bike was bashed between the two rocky swells, all bent up. The wheel rims were creased into mere slits. I was unhurt, but finishing the race was out of the question. Even if I could get a mountain bike, there wouldn't be time afterwards to make the cutoff.
I've dreamed about being in 20-foot seas in a tiny boat; about crying as I tried to resuscitate a drowned cat; about being rejected from a music program and offered violin bows made of glow-necklaces instead of carbon fiber; and now about rocky swells coming like ocean waves destroying my bike.
I need closure. I hope they make it public when they find out why he died. And if it was simple drowning.... why??? A 35-year-old triathlete shouldn't have just gone and drowned out there, 2/3 of the way through his swim. It doesn't make sense.