Triathlete died climbing mountain


Arne Erik Hestvik, a recent Towson State University graduate who competed in triathlons, died July 4 in a mountain climbing accident in the Alps near Interlaken, Switzerland, where he was vacationing. He was 26.

Mr. Hestvik, whose friends knew him as Erik, was hiking on Harder Mountain with two friends when he and one of the men left the trail to try to reach the bottom of the mountain faster. Mr. Hestvik fell about 400 feet off the side of the mountain.

He was on an eight-week tour of Europe and was scheduled to return to Baltimore last week. He visited nine countries, including Norway, where he saw relatives.

Mr. Hestvik received a bachelor's degree in economics and political science in December from Towson State and was on the dean's list. He lived in Cedarcroft.

He graduated from St. Paul's School in 1984, where he was co-captain of the varsity baseball team. He also played varsity football and was president of the St. Paul's Spirit Council.

Mr. Hestvik had been training for the New York Marathon in November. He ran his personal best time in the 26-mile race there last year -- 3 hours, 52 minutes.

He competed in triathlons in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Cycling was his strongest event in the competition, which also includes swimming and running.

Mr. Hestvik was an Alcoholics Anonymous member for the past eight years and spoke frequently to youth and church groups about alcohol addiction. He was a leader of AA groups in Ruxton and Lutherville.

"He put himself out there as an example of how low you can go and how high you can rise," his lifelong friend Kenneth Sorteberg said.

Mr. Hestvik was active in the Sons of Norway, a fraternal organization, and was a Grateful Dead fan, often traveling to the group's concerts on the East Coast.

He worked as a surveyor for McKee & Associates in Baltimore before attending Towson State. Before his recent trip to Europe, he was a waiter for American Cafe restaurants at Towson and Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Mr. Hestvik was born in Los Angeles. His family moved to Baltimore when he was a baby.

His mother, the former Reidun B. Refsland, died in 1984. His grandfather, Carl W. Refsland, who was well-known in Baltimore's Norwegian community, died in 1967.

A memorial service for Mr. Hestvik will be held at 7 p.m. today at the Episcopal Cathedral of The Incarnation, East University Parkway and St. Paul Street.

He is survived by his father, Arne A. Hestvik and his stepmother, Carol Hestvik of Ellicott City; four sisters, Linda Hestvik of Vienna, Va., Sharon Hestvik-Twarok of Arlington, Va., Lisa Hestvik of Fells Point and Carolyn Dallas of Jarrettsville; a grandmother, Sigrid Holstad of Fauske, Norway; two aunts, Kathlyn Bevard of New Carrollton and Rigmor Hagen of Dokka, Norway; an uncle, Leif Holstad of Fauske, Norway; and a niece and a nephew.

The family suggested contributions to a memorial fund in Mr. Hestvik's name at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.

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