Tennessee pastor dies during Ironman triathlon

CALELLA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 01: Athletes starts the swim leg during IRONMAN 70.3 Barcelona on October 01, 2023 in Calella, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A Tennessee pastor died while competing in the Ironman 70.3 Memphis triathlon over the weekend. 

Bellevue Baptist Church identified the athlete as Group Leadership and Family Life Pastor Tim Shelton.

"We know countless people were touched by Tim’s ministry," the church posted on its website, saying memorial services will be held this weekend. 

Event organizers said the athlete signaled for help during the swim portion of the race.  

"The athlete was transported to a nearby hospital where they continued to receive critical medical treatment and care," organizers said in a statement to FOX Television Stations. "Sadly, the athlete passed away Sunday."

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"Our sincere condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to offer our support," the statement continued. 

The IRONMAN is a challenging race consisting of running, biking and swimming. 

Last month, a man competing in Ironman Wisconsin fell ill during the bike portion of the grueling triathlon and later died at a hospital, officials said.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.