Devon

Spanish Ironman death: Sharon Lang had heart attack and drowned

Sharon Lang Image copyright Kirsty Prowse
Image caption Sharon Lang was competing in her first Ironman competition when she died

A 39-year-old woman who was "as fit as a fiddle" had a heart attack and drowned during the swim section of an Ironman triathlon in Spain, an inquest has heard.

Sharon Lang, from Plymouth, Devon, took part in the contest in Marbella on 30 April 2018.

She was found face down in the water by staff at the event, the inquest was told.

Coroner Ian Arrow recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Following the verdict, her family said she "died doing something she loved".

Image copyright Kirsty Prowse
Image caption She had an inflammatory heart condition she did not know about

The contest consisted of a 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim, a 56-mile (90km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1km) run.

Despite more than an hour of attempted resuscitation, Miss Lang was declared dead in hospital.

The inquest heard she had an inflammatory heart condition she did not know about. The swim triggered a cardiac arrest which led to her drowning.

"Sadly Sharon was in the water and had she not been, she would not have breathed in the water," Mr Arrow said.

He added the "exertion" of the swim and "unfortunate timing" meant she drowned.

Miss Lang had previously run two full marathons, taken part in numerous biking events, open water swims and seven triathlons, but this was her first Ironman event.

Following the inquest, Miss Lang's father Colin said: "She had been training for the Ironman for 12 months, she was as fit as a fiddle. Everyone is missing her."

Plymouth running club The Musketeers has set up an annual award in her memory.

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