Triathletes are considered the elite of the elite, but what most people do not understand is the very real danger they stare down every time the starting gun goes off.
That danger was made painfully clear when a 42-year-old triathlete, Jeffrey Yuen Chi-Yuen, died at a recent event in Malaysia.
Yuen was competing in the Olympic distance of the Port Dickson International Triathlon.
These events typically consist of a 1.5k swim, a 40k bike ride, and a 10k run.
Depending on the location of the event, the swim can be quite treacherous, even at these shorter distances.
Yuen entered the water for the event but was not seen again until his body was recovered the next day.
His wife repeatedly called officials to find out where he was, but his bike remained untouched and nobody was in his hotel room.
The morning after the event, some local fisherman spotted the body about a mile off the coast of Port Dickson.
His body was then transported to a local hospital for the autopsy.
Yuen was actually the second death attributed to the race, with another athlete having drowned on the day of the event.
According to local reports, the seas was particularly rough on the day of the event.
Having participated in these events, safety is of the utmost concern, especially during the swim portion.
Generally, there are lifeguards in the water on boards as well as numerous jet skis and boats on the area.
Even with dozens of guards on duty, though, the waters become very hectic and extremely difficult to monitor, especially with mass start events.
With hundreds of bodies in the water kicking at the same time, in addition to the roughness of the seas, it is very easy for someone to get lost in the action.
In addition to the water itself, swimmers have to be mindful of other swimmers, as it is very easy to get kicked in the head for getting too close to another swimmer.
Yuen is survived by his wife.