Excessive heat disrupted the New York Triathlon on Sunday, forcing organizers to shorten the race and make other safety adjustments.
While organizers kept the nearly one-mile swim in the Hudson River, the 24.8-mile West Side Highway bike leg was cut to 12.4 miles and the 6.2-mile run in large part in Central Park was reduced to 2.5 miles.
Also, as the water temperature had soared to nearly 80 degrees at the start of the race around dawn, the wetsuits – which many triathletes wear to help with buoyancy and to protect against cold water – have been banned.
Most people finished the race well before the temperatures peaked, but organizers acted with caution to participants, volunteers and rescue workers. While some participants were relieved that the race was shorter, others, some of whom came from afar, had trained for months for a longer distance.
“I was disappointed, you know, to come to New York. It would have been nice to have the full version,” Cathy Connell, who is from the Boston area, told NY1.
The race, now in its 20th edition, has not taken place in its full length since 2018.
It was canceled due to the high heat in 2019 and the pandemic in 2020. Last year, the swimming portion was canceled due to concerns about bacteria in the water, which is repeatedly tested in the days before the race.
Danilo Pimentel, from Brazil, was the top male finisher with a time of 1:02:10, beating Andy Krueger of Oregon by 14 seconds. Amy Cymerman was the best female finalist, with a winning time of 1:08:33.
There were approximately 1,600 attendees. They came from 40 states and 30 countries and ranged in age from 14 to 81.
Hoping to attract runners with little passion for the swimming segment, in which people have died in the past, the race for the first time included the option of a duathlon, a run-on-bike race. This race was also reduced from an initial two-mile race to one, followed by a 12.4-mile bike race and a 2.5-mile race.