Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wants an “exhaustive” review of the Nautica New York City Triathlon’s safety procedures after two of its competitors died following Sunday’s race.
Two participants were plucked from the Hudson River and taken to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where they died after suffering a heart attack during the swim portion of the event that also includes a 10 kilometer run and 40 kilometer bike ride, officials said.
A 40-year-old unnamed Illinois woman died early Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said, one day after competitor Michael Kudryk, 64, of Freehold, N.J. passed away. At least 17 other contestants were hospitalized with minor injuries during the 1.5 kilometer swim, the FDNY said.
Stringer questioned whether the race should have taken place.
“Why are we having a triathlon in August when we’re having searing hot temperatures in the city?” Stringer said in an interview with amNewYork. “I do think that we should examine whether these conditions were optimal.”
He didn’t elaborate as to who would conduct the review or when it would occur.
Race Director Bill Burke dismissed Stringer’s concerns, saying the triathlon is held in the summer so athletes can swim in warmer water and. Moreover, that date was chosen so participants could swim with the current. The race started in the early morning, when it’s cooler outside, he explained.
“The New York City Triathlon’s safety plan has been approved by all appropriate government agencies and is considered the gold standard for other triathlon events around the country,” Burke said. “We look forward to meeting with the Manhattan Borough President to brief him on the extensive safety measures in place and to answer any questions he may have.”
The only other athlete to die in the event was Esteban Neira, 32, of Buenos Aires, who was felled in 2008 by a disease linked to high blood pressure.