Family holds triathlon to honor lost son - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family holds triathlon to honor lost son

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The First Annual Ride On Ryan Triathlon took place at L. Scott Stell Community Park on Sunday.

More than 200 men and women took part in the event, which was created to honor Ryan Williams, who passed away in his sleep, last year. But, Williams was not the only person folks swam, ran and biked for. They were also there for Phillip Vanderburg.

Police said Vanderburg was riding his bike on Highgate Blvd. Thursday morning when he collided with the rotating arm of an excavator, and died. Police are still investigating his death.

Vanderburg was training for Sunday's triathlon.

While hearts were heavy Sunday, especially for Ryan's parents, everyone said they found comfort being surrounded by all of the other athletes.

"Having this and everybody here is just really helping, because it makes you feel like celebrating, rather than being depressed," said Janice Williams, Ryan's mother. "I am glad to be out here among all of Ryan's friends."

Janice also participated in the triathlon, along with her grandson, Aiden New.

"It was hard," New said. "I'm so tired."

New and Janice both finished the race in record time, and they credit Ryan for getting them through it.

"It was exhilarating," she said. "The whole way I'm just saying 'Ryan watch me, I'm going to do it, and I did."

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