71ºF

Long-distance athletes on edge after Ironman competitor dies in The Woodlands

HOUSTON – It was heartbreaking news that spread quickly on social media over the weekend: A local athlete died while competing in the Ironman race in The Woodlands.

Glen Bruemmer, 54, was two hours into the swimming section of the race when he went into distress. He died at the hospital.

KPRC reporter Ryan Korsgard has completed six Ironman competitions. He said the competitions take a toll on the human body, to say the least.

Ask any Ironman triathlete and they will tell you that the 2.4-mile swim can be the most grueling leg of the 140.6-mile endurance race. They compare it to being thrown into the spin cycle of a washing machine.

Sadly, on Saturday, Bruemmer, an experienced endurance athlete of The Woodlands, was pulled from the water.

In Texas, it is the race season.

Whether it's training for a 5K or a multisport endurance event, medical professionals say to be prepared.

Rebekah Rick is a physician's assistant at AFC Urgent Care. She says you need to know your body and your abilities before you start. She says that includes a physical geared toward cardiac health.

"Hydration is probably the biggest thing," Rick said. "Making sure, especially if you are a male, that you have a stress test. Because those things are extremely important. Most of the triathlons, marathons are males 40-49 years old -- right at the peak of cardiac health. Also at the peak of cardiac incidents."

Cyclists will circle the Memorial Park Picnic Loop as the 180-mile MS 150 gets started this weekend. Long-distance athletes say listen to the warnings.