FRIENDS of a British tourist who tragically died during the IronMan triathlon in Marbella have organised a run in her honour this week.
Sharon Lang, 39, suffered a cardiac arrest while taking part in the swimming event of the competition. She was found face down and unresponsive in the sea.
The athlete was taken to shore to receive medical attention on a semi-inflatable dinghy, before being rushed to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, where she died on Monday.
Her death is currently being investigated by local authorities, while IronMan 70.3 event organisers said they will ‘continue to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our athletes’.
Sharon, from Plymouth, had travelled to Spain with her friend, Kirsty Prowse, where they both competed on Sunday in Puerto Banus.
The athlete competed in the female 40-44 age group in the gruelling three-sport event.
Prowse announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday that she wants everyone who knew and loved her close friend to ‘have the chance to get together soon to grieve’ and ‘share stories’.
She has organised an event to run Sharon’s ‘favourite weekly route’ in her honour this weekend in Plymouth, and asked that all wear pink.
“As you all know Sharon loved running and with the news of her sudden death I feel it is so important for us all to get together and mark her life with a fitting tribute before her funeral.
“Sharon hated to admit it but she loved girly pink so if I can ask everyone to wear something pink please she would absolutely love this,” she added.
Friends of Sharon have described her on Facebook as ‘one of the sweetest people ever’.
A spokesperson for the Ironman 70.3 event organisers said in a statement: “We are deeply shocked by the death of one of our athletes.
“The athlete required medical attention during the swimming segment and was taken to the nearest hospital. Our condolences to the athlete’s family and friends, who we will continue to support.
“We are working with local authorities to gather together all the information on how the incident occurred and we will continue to do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our athletes.”
A post-mortem is thought to have been carried out but results are not public in Spain.