San Antonio Triathlete Monica Caban derailed from Ironman Arizona :(

Dang, it is not the news you ever want to hear, and worse when it is someone within your circle of friends. A local ( San Antonio ) triathlete is smashed into from behind by a truck.

This, only weeks after the death of a 55 year old cyclist in San Antonio ( the 7th in 3 years) and a little over a month since the ‘not guilty ‘ verdict of Gilbert John Sullaway Jr in the tandem deaths

of Gregory and Alexandra Bruehler 3 years ago, also in Oct.

A single mother of 2, Monica Caban was only weeks away from participating in her next Ironman event in Arizona, and while on a training ride, was hit from behind by I assume a distracted driver ( I have not seen any details yet at the time of this writing) she goes into surgery this a.m. for a severed spinal cord.

I personally don’t know any of the details at this point as I was not there, and confusingly I can not seem to find any news report of the incident yet. Even though it has only been a day…you would think , something?? So I don’t know what the driver’s situation is ( known, unknown?)

This post isn’t really to be the ‘news report’ though but I will try to post some updates on OT’s  Facebook( Optimal Triathlete for the new person) .  But the outpour of the tri community has been amazing to say the least.

With the Ironman spirit  in there, she has better fighting chance, physically / mentally.  Athletes just seem to  have experienced new levels in themselves through their training and racing.  Levels that maybe only others or their coaches could see them attaining.

They will transcend situations  moreover than someone that is remotely active( may get it’s share of disagreement)  I mean you don’t have to be an ironman to define anything, it could be any other pursuit be it job or whatever I guess….oh well, but you know what I mean.

Monaca Caban, with the support of the tri community,  will probably be more determined to come back, to fight, and to return to where she once was instead of just falling into a deeper rut of life and the daily grind many live in.  Returning to a life that many live full of doubt, ” I can’ts ” , ” I never could” and ” If I…then I coulda… ‘s ”  Only to later look back and go ” I wished I …” , ” too bad I never….”  ,  ” what I really wanted to do was….”

Yes, some will say, but look at where the pursuit got her. Um, well out of the combined millions of triathletes, bike racers, tourists, commuters out there, and the even more millions of miles put in…it is just one of those things.  Motorcycle riders deal with the same backlashes when one of theirs goes down.  Fall down to the occurrence and quit riding, or hone your skills and routes and awareness and move on.  You might as well not cross the street or drive your own car if living in the fear of the  ” what ifs”.

Oh but, the odds, the odds. The dangers of the roads today prob are a bit higher with drifting distracted drivers I will admit.  Some great strides have been made to accommodate..others it plain snuffs us out. You can spend your energy debating and griping about it all, or just adapt, deal , advocate, and move on or drop out.

There are many places in the country that are very bike friendly and I am not trying to get into a big discussion now on bike rights and blah blah blah.   Yet, people with fear of flying go through the same thing thinking of ‘ the odds’.   Non- health conscious friends are always quick to point out the one guy out of 30,000 that dies of a heart attack at the last major marathon and how running can’t be that good for ya then! Really?? lol.

So, enough of that.  ONE of the other things that a tragedy like this in modern times has shown changed, is the outreach available and easily set up. Below are two entities that were set up within hours of the news for Monica Caban and her family.  New to me was the one. What a great idea where teams of people can be partially organized with information and pick a day to provide a meal for the family to help lighten the load so it doesn’t fall on the few closest to the victim. So do what you can and be careful out there!!

Monaca Caban Family Relief Efforts  and for the meals:

Monica Caban Relief Fund




Meal Train Monica Caban




Not only is the above not the news we wish to hear…we also pray we are not the one in the news either. So be careful out there, minimize the risks is the best you can.


Chris Aarhus

Coach and founder of OptimalTriathlete

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