The atmosphere of the final leg of the 2014 Hoswegatchie Duathlon couldn’t have been more festive for most of Wednesday evening.
A crowd of over 120 competitors, the largest of the 2014 series, turned out for the start at Hosmer’s Marina in Ogdensburg and the evening featured exciting racing permeated by comraderie highlighted by several family teams.
But it ended with waves of shock and sadness spreading through the crowd at the finish area when reports circulated that one of the competitors had collapsed on the course while biking.
St. Lawrence County Coroner Kevin J. Crosby reported later Wednesday that the stricken competitor had been taken to Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center where and was pronounced dead in the Emergency Room by Dr. Ruiz.
Coroner Crosby said that the death was ruled as “accidental and by natural causes.”
Sgt. Gabriel Ward of the Ogdensburg based State Police reported that the name of the stricken competitor had not been released pending notification of family members.
As expected the race of the night came for team honors where biker Chuck Langley and runner Donovan Smith, both of Ogdensburg, prevailed over runner Nick Vielhauer of Ogdensburg and biker Byron Dashnaw of Gouverneur by one second 41:04-41:05.
In a repeat of the July duathlon Smith came from behind in the final stages of the run to pass Vielhauer in a duel of OFA track-field teammates.
“It was a great race and I really like coming from behind,” said Smith who will run collegiately for St. Rose College in the NCAA Division II ranks in the coming school year as a freshman.
“I always seem to run well when I am chasing someone.”
Joah Wiltse and Paula Wiltse of Brockville, Ont. took third in 42:11.
Individual male honors went to Brock Davis of Brockville, Ont. followed by Ethan Townsend in 44:06 and Doug Johnson in 45:37.
Kendra Moran of Ogdensburg led the women’s field in 47:43 followed by Amy Hollister in 53:18 and Alicia Felt 54:39.