New York City, NY – An unnamed athlete competing in a New York City Ironman competition was killed on Saturday as he attempted to swim through the Hudson River during the triathlon based event.
According to spokeswoman Emily Vicker the man experienced problems during the first leg of the US Ironman Championship, a 2.4 mile swim. The unnamed competitor was rushed to a local hospital but died shortly after arrival.
Vickers released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of an athlete at today’s Aquadraat Sports Ironman U.S. Championship.
On behalf of all of us in the triathlon community, we mourn his death and send our condolences to his family and loved ones.”
The death occurred one day after event organizers determined that a broken sewer on Friday would not delay the competition. The sewer had accidentally spewed millions of gallons of sewage into the Hudson. Before the event the New York City Department of Environmental Protection tested the water and found it to be “safe for swimming.”
The US Ironman Championship event included more than 2,500 people and aside from the short swim includes a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run that take place in New York and New Jersey.
Race winner Jordan Rapp of California who finished the competition in 8:11:18 called the man’s death a “tragedy” and added:
“It happens at races. It’s a race director’s worst nightmare.”
The unnamed contestant will undergo an autopsy to determine the actual cause of death in the next few days.