Death at Ironman U.S. Championship

Staff Writer
Swimmer is pulled from Hudson River during NY/NJ race

A 43-year-old athlete in the Ironman U.S. Championship triathlon in New York City and New Jersey died Saturday after a medical problem near the end of the 2.4-mile swim portion of the race. According to the AP, the man, whose name has not been released by authorities, was pulled out of the Hudson River and taken to a hospital in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, but did not survive. According to race organizers, the cause of death is unknown.

The death is one of several recent fatalities during the swim segments of US triathlons. Crowded conditions at the start and cold, choppy waters can cause stress and panic among racers, some of whom may not be experienced swimmers. Last summer the sport’s governing body, USA Triathlon, created a task force to investigate the deaths following five fatalities in races around the country in just two months. According to The New York Times, during Saturday’s race 38 lifeguards, 78 kayakers and nearly two dozen boats and jet skis were stationed along the course.

The winner of the race was American Jordan Rapp, who has won multiple Ironman titles. He finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon run with an unofficial time of 8 hours, 11 minutes, and 18 seconds. Mary Beth Ellis was the top women’s finisher at 9 hours, 2 minutes, and 48 seconds.

Via AP/The New York Times.