NYC Triathlon May Change Rules After 2nd Death

Illinois mom, 40, died yesterday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2011 8:42 AM CDT
In this Aug. 18, 2002 file photo, competitors plunge into the Hudson River to start Annual NYC Triathlon and USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in New York.   (AP Photo/Anders Krusberg, File)

(Newser) – The New York City Triathlon may change its swimming portion after another participant in this year's event died. Amy Martich, 40, was found by another swimmer floating face down during Sunday's swim; she died at a hospital early yesterday. Michael Kudryk, 64, had a heart attack during the swim and died Sunday. Now, officials tell the Wall Street Journal, they may screen athletes and require them to prove they can handle the 1,500-meter swim, long considered the toughest portion of the race.

Officials already have a "state of the art" safety plan in place, including 53 kayakers, 32 lifeguards, 10 boats, and two jet skis on the river, but experts say the swimming portion is inherently more dangerous than the cycling and running portions because it's harder for athletes to take a break—and also harder for them to be treated quickly. Martich, a former high school swimmer and mom of three from Illinois, went into cardiac arrest twice. The New York Post notes that the water was choppy with strong currents, and the temperature topped 90 degrees.

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