Texas Man Dies During Canoe Race

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Texas Man Dies During Canoe Race

Postby Todd » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:15 pm

Dripping Springs man dies in canoe race

By Marques G. Harper

Published: 8:15 p.m. Monday, June 11, 2012

A Dripping Springs man who was participating in the Texas Water Safari canoe race died Monday afternoon at Brooke Military Medical Center in San Antonio, a race official said.

Participant Brad Ellis, 30, had been paddling in an aluminum canoe, Boat 22, with Ian Rolls, 34, prior to being airlifted to the hospital Sunday.

Ellis' death was announced in a statement on Monday by Texas Water Safari board President Allen Spelce. Spelce said Ellis died due to hyponatremia, which can occur if the sodium lost through sweating is only replaced with plain water.

"All of us in the Texas Water Safari family, including his fellow paddlers, are deeply saddened," Spelce said. "The Water Safari participants are a very close-knit community and everyone is deeply saddened by the tragedy. We extend our condolences to Brad's family and share in their grief."

Ellis' friend Terry Dunn saw Ellis' family on Monday at the hospital, where Ellis, an organ donor, died.

Dunn had known Ellis for 1 ½ years, and the two met through TexasBowhunter.com, a hunting website. He said Ellis worked for a lobbying firm in Austin and was an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

"He was a kind and gentle individual," said Dunn, who lives in La Vernia, near San Antonio. "He always had a smile on his face that was infectious. You always had to wonder what was going on in his mind. He was known for pranks. He was a hell of a fun guy to be around. He was a religious guy and he had his life right with God."

He said Ellis posted details online about the Texas Water Safari race and had a spreadsheet with information containing details about the course and a food schedule.

"Unfortunately, no one ever made him understand you can have too much water," Dunn said.

The Victoria Advocate newspaper, which has been covering the race, reported that a racer noticed there was a problem in Ellis and Rolls' canoe and signaled for help early Sunday morning. It also reported the incident occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday.

The race began on the San Marcos River on Saturday and ends in Seadrift. The 100-hour deadline to finish the race is Wednesday.

Ellis, who was participating in his first Texas Water Safari, is the first person to die during the competition, which is having its 50th anniversary. According to the race's website, Ellis and Rolls scratched from the race at mile 98.19 near Gonzales.

More than 130 boats participated in this year's race, which is dubbed the world's toughest canoe race, according to the race's website.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/dri ... 97867.html
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