A racer in the Boulder Mountain Tour Men’s 60-64 class died Saturday following a cardiac arrest about two kilometers from the start of the Nordic ski race, which follows a 32-kilometer course along the Harriman Trail from Galena Lodge to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters north of Ketchum.
Bob Rosso, Boulder Mountain Tour board president, identified the racer as Stillwater, Minn., resident Timothy Bray. Rosso said he knew Bray personally and that Bray had “significant” prior heart problems.
“He was one of those people who was determined to do what he wanted,” Rosso said. “That does leave family members behind, but he loved this area and if he was going to pick a day for life to end, that was about as good as it can be. Obviously, we all wish he had not raced, but he did.”
Rosso said Bray had complained of “not feeling well” as early as Thursday, and had opted not to race in another Sun Valley Nordic Festival event that day. Rosso also said Bray wasn’t sure then whether he would race in the Boulder Mountain Tour, but ended up deciding to enter the competition.
“He was faltering a bit at the start area [on Saturday],” Rosso said. “And a few people asked him if he was OK, but he said he was. The race started, he fell after a couple hundred meters, got back up, then after a short steep hill about two kilometers into the race, he collapsed.”
Rosso said the location of Bray’s collapse was about a kilometer before the Harriman Trail crosses state Highway 75.
“The amazing thing is a number of medical doctors stopped their race to try to help him,” he said. “It was obvious there was a serious issue.”
“Obviously, we all wish he had not raced, but he did.”
Boulder Mountain Tour board
One of those doctors was Keith Sivertson, Blaine County Emergency Medical Services medical director. Sivertson said that when he arrived, at least five physicians were already performing CPR on Bray. He said he joined their efforts and began to coordinate communications between the physicians on scene and emergency medical responders off scene. He said Bray likely collapsed around 10:20 a.m.
“We called for additional help and Ketchum Fire Department paramedics responded on a snowmobile,” he said. “The patient was defibrillated and we started an I.V. We basically exhausted the supplies and equipment the paramedics brought. At that point, I made the decision to move him.”
Sivertson said the team on the scene put Bray on a backboard, then towed him on a “patient litter” behind the snowmobile to the crossing.
Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle said the snowmobile arrived at about 10:40 a.m. and Bray was moved to the crossing, then transported to St. Luke’s Wood River via a Ketchum Fire Department ambulance. Elle said Bray arrived at the hospital at 11:30 a.m.
“Everything that could be done was done,” Sivertson said. “But he was pronounced dead at the hospital at roughly 11:45 a.m.”
Rosso said this was the first racer death since the Boulder Mountain Tour was inaugurated in 1973. According to Rosso, Sivertson took Bray’s race timer chip and transported it across the finish line himself so Bray could establish a course time and “finish” his last race.
Brennan Rego: firstname.lastname@example.org