Member of adventure racing community says bicyclists face constant danger in sport

File photo shows scene after 3 bicyclists competing in race were hit in St. Johns County.

Many people aren’t familiar with adventure racing, but the close community of participants are grieving after a man who was participating in a race was struck by a car and died in St. Johns County.

Investigators said two women were also seriously injured.

Ron Eaglin is with Florida Xtreme Adventures, and he said there’s a constant danger associated with the sport.

“Adventure racing is one that combines the components of things like bike racing and running and trekking through the woods and paddling canoes,” he explained. “Many people think of it as a triathlon except that it is done with a map and a compass.”

After what happened Sunday, Eaglin said it’s a tough time for the close-knit community.

“The community of adventurers is a very bonded community. So losing one of our own -- we’re not a huge community. Losing one of our own is horrible because at some point we are all connected,” he said.

Eaglin said the racers take precautions. He said race organizers work hard to protect the safety of their participants, but dangers from drunk or distracted or even harassing drivers is the biggest threat.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night,” Eaglin said. “This accident occurred with three people who were literally lit up like a Christmas tree. They were very visible.”

The organizers of the Sea to Sea 72 hour competition, Adventure Races Georgia, canceled the race shortly after the deadly crash in St. Johns County.

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