Top Stories 2012: Triathlete Dies Day After Westport Race

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Westport emergency personnel rush Robert Hartline, a Wallingford triathlete who suffered an apparent heart attack during the event, to an ambulance on June 17. He died the next day. Photo Credit: File: Tom Renner

WESTPORT, Conn. – With 2012 coming to an end, The Westport Daily Voice is looking back at some of the year's biggest stories.

On June 17, a triathlete was rushed to Norwalk Hospital during the Sherwood Island Sprint Triathlon. The man, 62-year-old Robert Hartline of Wallingford, suffered an apparent heart attack during the swim phase of the race and had to be pulled from the water by lifeguards. He died the next day in the hospital.

Hartline was conscious when he grabbed onto a kayak with about 100 yards remaining during the half-mile swim, the first event in the triathlon, according to lifeguards, but he lost consciousness on the way into shore. Emergency personnel tried to revive Hartline on the beach before he was taken away in an ambulance.

Hartline, according to his obituary, was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and was an accomplished runner, having competed in the Boston Marathon in the 1980s. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, his mother, Dorothy, and two sons.

Hartline was competing in the event as a member of the Wilton-based Team in Training.

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