A Tennessee pastor and participant in the third annual St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon meant for “courageous people who aren’t afraid to push their limits” has died during the race event.
Tim Shelton, a pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova and father of five was said to have died Saturday after he suffered cardiac arrest during the swim portion of the event held in Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country.
“It is with great remorse to confirm the death of a race participant during Saturday’s IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis triathlon. During the swim portion of the race, the athlete signaled for support and was attended to by the swim safety team for immediate medical assistance,” a Saturday statement released by IRONMAN Memphis on their Facebook page read
“The athlete was transported to a nearby hospital where they continued to receive critical medical treatment and care. Sadly, the athlete passed away today. Our sincere condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to offer our support.”
Bellevue Baptist Church has taken to social media to express their condolences for the pastor’s demise.
“Known for his kindness toward everyone, Tim touched many lives as he consistently lived out the faith he professed. While we grieve Tim’s absence, we grieve with much hope, and we rejoice that he is now in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Please pray for his wife, Susan, and his sons, Jack, Gray, Sam, Drew, and John David,” The Church said in a general Sunday statement shared on Facebook.
According to a statement cited by Fox 13 Drew Tucker, an associate pastor at Bellevue said Shelton was kind and selfless in service.
“Tim was one of the kindest and most intentional men I’ve ever known. He was a man always looking for ways to encourage others. He served people selflessly and with love,” Tucker said. “While Bellevue Baptist Church will greatly miss Tim, we know that his impact here and in the Memphis community will last for generations.”
The St. Jude IRONMAN triathlon consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.