THE triathlete who crashed into a spectator during the bike course of the Ironman 70.3 Davao event last March 26 said he persevered to finish the race despite numerous injuries and wounds.
Ralph Bautista narrated in a public social media post dated March 29 that his right collar bone and right thigh were bruised and inflamed; he also had a laceration on his right knee, and other wounds on his right shoulder, right elbow, and right thigh.
From his perspective, Bautisa said a participant cycling in front of him threw a water bottle at some of the spectators, who in turn, were not able to catch the bottle as it landed in the middle of the bike lane.
Four out of five spectators were able to return to the sidelines as Bautista was approaching except for the 18-year-old male he collided with.
“A young adult didn’t see me and was only able to notice me when he was about to pick up the bottle. Within a minute after the collision, a medical personnel is already there on the site and applied first aid. I checked on the young adult, his face is pale and in shock. I checked if he got a fracture or wound but I didn’t notice anything,” he said.
Bautista explained that the best course of action at that moment was to immediately hit the brakes in hopes that it would soften the impact since switching his direction could also cause accidents for other participants and spectators.
The incident occurred during the race's bike course, specifically in Panabo City. After the crash, the 18-year-old was immediately brought to the nearest hospital by the authorities while Bautista continued with the race.
The triathlete had to do the rest of the bike and run course in pain and bleeding from all his wounds but he said he was determined to finish the race and complete his Ironman 70.3 Tour de Pilipinas, which included Davao, Subic, Cebu, and Puerto Princesa.
As of Wednesday, Bautista said he is recovering from his bruises and wounds.
“I hope that athletes will follow the rules – such as not throwing bottles anywhere. I am hoping that future Ironman spectators are fully educated on the do’s and don’ts during an Ironman event. Our organizers could also strengthen and have a stricter policy for our marshals and staff in the course,” Bautista said.
On the other hand, the mother of the 18-year-old male told SunStar Davao that his son is still recovering at the hospital after an emergency operation.
The City Governments of Davao and Panabo earlier expressed that they will provide assistance to the family of the 18-year-old victim. ICM