Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True collapsed while leading in the last 100-degree mile of the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany, on Sunday.
True, who said she had a seven-minute lead, was carried off the course by four people after nine hours of racing.
She later said she could not remember the last two miles of the 140.6-mile competition (2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike and a marathon) and that the temperature was 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).
“Sad, frustrated, a million different things,” True told Triathlonworld.com. “You never expect to be in the position where you have a seven-minute gap, and your brain doesn’t function well enough to tell you you’re struggling in the heat. Just stop and walk a little because I still would have won. When your brain goes in the heat, there’s not a lot you can do.”
True, 37, finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics, then switched to Ironman after being lapped at the Rio Games. She was fourth in her Kona Ironman World Championships debut last Oct. 13.
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One of my goals this year was to win a big race. With 1km to go and a 7 minute lead, it looked like that would happen for me today at #IMFrankfurt. Instead of lifting the finish line tape, however, I ended up being removed from the course and needing medical care. Super scary, frustrating, and disappointing. I still don’t have an IM win or a Kona slot, but I’m grateful to have gotten great care and that @danlorang was there. Congrats to everyone who managed the heat better than I did. Running a marathon in 100° weather is brutal! 📷: @ironmantri