Suwanee man, 68, dies during N.C. triathlon

A 68-year-old Georgia man died Saturday while participating in a triathlon in Wilmington, N.C., according to media reports.

Roger Ackerman of Suwanee was swimming in Banks Channel at Wrightsville Beach about 9:30 a.m. when he became distressed during the first stage of the PPD Beach2Battleshiptriathlon. Ackerman alerted a race staff member and medical workers administered CPR, but he could not be revived, StarNews Online reported.

Ackerman’s family was not present during the race, according to the report. But his wife was notified by phone, the race director said at a Saturday night news conference.

“To have to make a phone call to an individual that her husband passed away, that’s a terrible phone call to make,” Jeremey Davis, the race director, told local media. “And I can’t imagine what that phone call is like to receive.”

An endurance runner who had run more than 20 100-mile races, Ackerman had a stent in his heart but was medically cleared to compete in the triathlon, a race official said. Ackerman had completed four other races during the summer.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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