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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) _ A 45-year-old Ohio man competing in the Ironman California triathlon was killed when he crashed his bicycle.

Perry Rendina of Shalersville, Ohio, struck a guardrail during the race Saturday on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

A Navy doctor pronounced Rendina dead at the scene. The cause of death was severe head trauma, said Shane Facteau, a spokesman for Ironman North America.

Rendina had been wearing a helmet, he said.

The Ironman race is considered one of the most demanding competitions in sport. Contestants swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run a 26.2-mile marathon.

It was the first death during a race in the 23-year history of Ironman North America, Facteau said.

Rendina had completed two previous Ironman competitions in New York and Florida, he said.

Rendina was completing the second 56-mile loop on the cycling course about 1:15 p.m. Saturday when he crashed. The weather was perfect for the event with cloudy skies and no rain, Facteau said.

The Marines also are conducting an investigation.