Dax Bakken was a Desert Storm veteran and father of three children, according to a GoFundMe started on his behalf
A 51-year-old man collapsed and died while participating in the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon over the weekend, organizers said.
“It is with profound sadness to confirm the death of a race participant during Sunday’s IRONMAN Wisconsin triathlon,” race officials wrote on Facebook in a statement.
The victim was identified as Dax Bakken, a military veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and was the father of three children, according to a GoFundMe campaign created to raise money for his wife and kids.
Bakken collapsed during the bike portion of the course in the town of Cross Plains, according to IRONMAN Wisconsin organizers. A race staff member and an off-duty police officer provided medical attention before EMS transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, race representatives said.
For Bakken, competing in the full, 140.6 mile triathlon — a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run — was something he “had trained and dreamed of” doing, family members said in the GoFundMe.
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The father had recently obtained his master’s degree and was the “primary support” for his family, which included his wife, their 8-year-old daughter and his two sons.
Bakken worked as a development manager and senior developer at Whitsell Innovations in Madison, according to his LinkedIn profile.
During a shorter, 70.3 mile version of a triathlon in 2019 in nearby Lake Monona, two people died during the swimming portion, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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