The participant, who wasn’t identified by police or Ironman officials, experienced “distress” yesterday during the 2.4- mile swim leg of the 140.6-mile (226-kilometer) race, Ironman officials said.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of an athlete at today’s Ironman U.S. Championship,” World Triathlon Corp., which owns Ironman, said in a statement. “The athlete received immediate on-site medical attention and was transported to a nearby hospital.”
The cause of death was unknown and an autopsy will be performed, according to the statement.
New York Police Department public information officer Sgt. Carlos Nieves said the participant was a 43-year-old man.
The death comes 13 months after two competitors died during the swim portion of the Olympic-distance New York City Triathlon. That race included a 1.5-kilometer swim in the Hudson River, followed by a 40-kilometer bicycle leg and then a run of 10 kilometers, finishing in Central Park.
In yesterday’s race, about 2,500 competitors had to swim 2.4 miles, followed by a 112-mile bike ride on the closed Palisades Interstate Parkway in New Jersey and New York before finishing with a 26.2-mile run that ended in Manhattan.
The event’s swim leg was in question after a broken sewer line in Sleepy Hollow, New York, led to a controlled discharge of 3.4 million gallons of chlorinated raw sewage into the river three days ago. The race was allowed to continue after health officials said the river passed a water quality test.
American Jordan Rapp, 32, won the men’s professional race in 8 hours, 11 minutes, 17 seconds. Mary Beth Ellis, a 35-year- old from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, won the women’s race in 9 hours, 7 minutes, 46 seconds.
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