BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– A cyclist from Nebraska died after being struck while riding in the Ironman Triathlon in Boulder on Sunday morning.
The woman, identified as Michelle Walters of McCook, Neb. was struck during the 112-mile cycling portion of the race, at North Foothills Highway, or Highway 36, and just north of Broadway in Boulder at 9:54 a.m. Sunday.
Walters, 34, was transported to Boulder Community Hospital but did not survive.
Family members told CBS4’s Andrea Flores that Walters had expressed some concerns of the cycling route days earlier. This was her first triathlon.
Fellow Ironman competitors were shocked to learn of the news. Jamie Croxford rode by the accident and calls the aftermath upsetting.
“It’s a sport to get fit and to get healthy and live longer, and that happening is devastating,” he said.
Walters was going to school to become a nurse and leaves behind a young son.
Traffic was detoured around the scene of the collision northbound Hwy 36 from Broadway during the investigation.
It is unclear what led up to the crash. The Colorado State Patrol confirmed it happened within the event’s coned course. They also say alcohol and speed are not considered factors in the crash.
IRONMAN submitted this statement on Sunday afternoon: “We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of our athletes at IRONMAN Boulder. We are working with the Colorado State Patrol to gather all of the details regarding the incident that occurred on State Highway 36 just north of Broadway. Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support.”
Participants began with a 2.4-mile, one-loop swim in Boulder Reservoir. Athletes then continued on a challenging 112-mile, multiloop bike course, followed by a 26.2-mile running course.