BY ETHAN FORMAN STAFF WRITER
The Salem News
---- — DANVERS — A high-end Peabody cycling shop is planning the first R11A 5K Run/Walk in memory of a Beverly man.
Richard Angelo, a lifelong athlete and former Marine, drowned during the USA Triathlon Nationals on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt., on Aug. 18.
The run/walk will be held at St. John’s Prep on Nov. 11. The date has significance not only because it’s Veterans Day, but it also pays tribute to Angelo’s favorite number, 11, said Fit Werx 2 co-owner Marty Miserandino.
“The reason why we are doing this,” said the Hamilton resident, who counted Angelo not only as a client but as a friend and training partner, “he was truly a great person, and more people should know about the man, and not just the triathlete.”
Angelo, 53, drowned on his wedding anniversary, Miserandino said.
“It’s a complete tragedy,” he said.
Angelo was attempting to qualify for the 2013 World Triathlon in London and had just two races on his schedule.
“He was mentally and physically ready,” Miserandino said, saying Angelo was in the best shape of his life.
Miserandino said Angelo’s death is impossible to explain. Conditions during the swim were rough, and from what Miserandino learned from a police report, Angelo appeared to swim off course, blinded as others in the water were by the sun as they took a turn around a buoy.
At one point, Angelo appeared to wave to the Coast Guard but also appeared to be swimming just fine, Miserandino said. When it became clear that he was in trouble, it took only a couple of minutes to locate him, but it took several minutes to get him in the boat because of the rough conditions.
Angelo suffered some sort of medical distress before being pulled from Lake Champlain and taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to The Associated Press.
Miserandino was sitting at home watching the triathlon online.
“All of a sudden, clear as day over the Internet, I heard: ‘Would the family of Richard Angelo please go to the medical tent,’” Miserandino said.
Angelo’s wife, Cheryl, texted Miserandino, inquiring why.
“I was literally the one to tell her to go to the medical tent,” Miserandino said.
Money raised from the run/walk will go to the Rich Angelo Athletic Scholarship at Malden High, in the city where Angelo grew up and is well-known.
“His family decided they wanted to have a scholarship in his honor,” Miserandino said.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.
If you go
What: Inaugural R11A 5K Run/Walk
Where: St. John’s Prep, 72 Spring St., Danvers
When: Sunday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m.
Race fee: $30 in advance, $35 on race day. Participants can make an extra $10 donation to race on Rich’s Team.
Prize money: Awarded for top five male and top five female finishers
More information: http://r11a5k.com/