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First NYC Ironman unaffected by sewage pipe burst

New York City's Ironman triathlon is back in the swim of things.

The swimming portion of Saturday's grueling 140.6-mile race that includes running, cycling and swimming was in danger of being canceled after a broken pipe resulted in 3.4 million gallons of raw sewage being dumped into the Hudson River.

The Westchester County Department of Health said Friday that a health advisory warning people to stay out of the river would be lifted at 11 p.m.

Race organizers followed suit, saying that water testing declared the affected parts of the Hudson River safe for the 2.4-mile swim portion of the competition, slated to take place about 15 miles downriver from the main waste release point in Sleepy Hollow.

"Our team worked diligently with local environmental and health departments to monitor and thoroughly test the water," race organizers said in a statement. "The New York City Department of Environmental Protection tested the water following the break and the reports show the water is safe for swimming."

When the break first happened late Wednesday night, the county health department issued a warning in advance advising boaters, swimmers and others to stay out of the Hudson, where sewage was redirected starting at 7:15 a.m. Thursday. Although the sewage discharge was chlorinated, it contained raw human waste and household chemicals.

Today's race -- the first Ironman competition to be held in the New York City area -- will draw about 2,500 participants from around the world, organizers said.

The 2012 Ironman race is scheduled to include the Hudson River swim, a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway in Bergen and Rockland counties, and a 26.2-mile run from Fort Lee, N.J., to Riverside Park in Manhattan.

Slots for were filled 11 minutes after registration opened, according to the race's website.

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