A 43-year-old man competing in the first New York City Iron Man triathlon died yesterday, after experiencing "distress" during the 2.4-mile swimming portion, reports DNA Info. He was pulled from the water and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. "On behalf of all of us in the triathlon community, we mourn his death and send our condolences to his family and loved ones," a spokeswoman for the event said.
The triathlon was nearly canceled after a discharge of partially treated sewage into the Hudson River late last week, notes the New York Times. But environmental officials found no evidence of contamination, so the 2,300-person event was allowed to go ahead as scheduled. There have been numerous triathlon deaths in recent years, often in the swimming portion of the race. "It's a race director's worst nightmare," said race winner Jordan Rapp, who completed the event in 8 hours, 11 minutes, and 18 seconds. "It's a tragedy."