An age-grouper who competed in Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Miami race is in intensive care with multiple injuries after being hit by a car while out on the 90-km bike portion of the race.
Marco Antonio Del Castillo, who entered in the 40 to 44 age-group, is currently in intensive care being treated for five broken ribs, broken vertebrae, a punctured lung and severe cuts on his face after a car made its way onto the closed-off bike course and hit him.
According to multiple posts on Slowtwitch’s user forum, other athletes out on the course saw a car run through a police-monitored intersection on the course and hit Del Castillo head-on. Several athletes were riding nearby and managed to avoid the crash.
“What frustrates me is that the police officer was just standing in the middle of the intersection with his arms crossed as the athlete came crashing down at his feet. The intersection looked properly blocked off with cones. But the race can’t do anything about an officer who doesn’t actively stop traffic. This accident comes just over a year after a friend of mine was hit and badly injured by a driver with a suspended license during another Miami triathlon,” reads one of the forum’s posts.
“I had more than one close call yesterday as well,” wrote another athlete. “The first and last five miles (were) pretty dicey. People were crossing the road, cars were getting into the bike lane, and there were quite a few officers standing and not directing people or traffic out of the way. On the way back in it was really bad because they were only looking for people on the way out still. We really have to ride with our heads up.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Del Castillo by a family member to help pay for his medical bills. The page was set up yesterday and has so far raised $13,000 in 20 hours.