Alistair Eeckman was out on an easy training ride the day after racing Powerman Austria where he finished 6th, and after colliding with a bus he died at the scene according to the Austrian news site Heute.at. His father Frank Eeckman confirmed the tragic news and told me that Alistair had planned to leave for Switzerland the next day to race in Zofingen.
The 23-year old Californian was well liked and his very untimely death has hit many folks hard.
"I knew Alistair since I started this sport back in Oakland. He was humble, bold, and yet so shy and easy to like. Hard to figure out, but easy to join for a swim/bike/run or race. We camped our first Wildflower together. We raced at Oceanside 70.3 on his first pro race. I think of him first every time I think of riding the legendary Old Tunnel Rd. in Berkeley.
We’ll miss you Alistair Eeckman. We’re praying for you and your family. I’ll cherish all of our crazy memories together on road trips and bike-run bricks. We were just starting to figure out our place in this sport and the world. RIP Alistair. Love you," wrote David Wild who lives in Hawaii.
Fellow pro Davide Giardini also posted on FB about this terrible loss.
"I’m beyond saddened and speechless to hear of the passing of good bud Alistair Eeckman, a talented youngest American pro on the long-course no-draft circuit. Alistair and I raced at many races internationally and most recently shared the podium at Challenge San Gil in Mexico, which certainly was a milestone of his young career. He would push himself to the extreme in races, and I still remember his massive implosion at Challenge Penticton 2016 over the 120k ride and 30k run. He was a gutsy young man with a fire inside and determination to succeed that very few people his age have. We’ll miss you buddy. Keep charging," wrote Giardini.
Justin A. Green was also close to Alistair Eeckman and posted the following.
"Godspeed Alistair, you were too young and too talented. You had a whole village behind you and your work ethic, humbleness and talent were equally amazing."
"Alistair was an incredible young man who's passion for life and the sport of triathlon was undeniable. I got the pleasure of spending time with him out on the 70.3 circuit and thoroughly enjoyed the conversations we had especially those this past July at Challenge San Gil where we shared the podium. His passing is tragic and should be a reminder for everyone to take precautions in order to be safe out on the road. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time," wrote Justin Metzler to slowtwitch.
A.J. Baucco shared his thoughts on FB too.
"I am beyond saddened to here about the passing of Alistair Eeckman. He was too young and too good of a dude. He was a fierce competitor and had so much potential. RIP brother. You will be missed by a lot of people," wrote Baucco.
All images © Marcos Ferro