A man competing in the first ever U.S. Ironman Championship triathlon to take place in New York has died. The 43-year old was competing in the swim phase of the event when he died after being pulled out of the Hudson River.
The man, who police have not yet identified, experienced distress while swimming the 2.4-mile leg on Saturday. The swim leg was one of three phases in the 140.6-mile race, said Ironman officials. Authorities said the man received immediate medical attention on-site and then was transported to a hospital nearby.
It is still no known what the cause of death was and authorities said an autopsy would be performed. A spokesperson from the Police Department of New York said the participant who died was a male who was 43.
This death comes just 13 months following the deaths of two competitors in the swim leg of the New York City Triathlon. The race was much shorter than Saturdays and included only a swim of 1.5 kilometers or just less than one mile in the Hudson. In Saturday’s race, close to 2,500 competitors swam 2.4 miles then biked for 112 miles and completed the event with a 26.2 marathon that finished in Manhattan.
The swim leg in the event came into question following the breakage of a sewer line that led to over 3.4 million gallons of raw sewage that had been chlorinated to seep into the river only 72 hours before the race. However, health officials allowed the race to continue after they performed water tests on river water.
The men’s race for professionals was won by Jordan Rapp of the United States and the women’s race was won by Mary Beth Ellis.