40-Year-Old Woman Is Second Participant To Die After Triathlon

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 40-year-old woman who experienced difficulty during the swimming portion of the 11th Nautica New York City Triathlon has died.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Danger Of The Swim Portion

Her death Monday comes a day after another participant died in the race.

Race director Bill Burke said the Elmhurst, Ill., woman was believed to have gone into cardiac arrest twice after the swim Sunday.

Her name wasn’t released at the request of her family.

A 64-year-old man died after he was pulled out of the Hudson River unconscious near 79th Street at 7:45 a.m. Sunday. Police said the man, Michael Kudryk of Freehold, N.J., was believed to have suffered a heart attack.

Kudryk was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said 26 others were removed from the water needing assistance for minor injuries or pains throughout the swim. Burke said there were more than 3,000 participants this year.

According to the NYPD, there was no indication of a link to a sewage spill into the Hudson last month. The river was closed for recreational use temporarily due to health concerns but has since re-opened.

Participants in the yearly race swim about a mile, bike 25 miles and run 6 miles. They attend a mandatory briefing before the race that includes information about training and staying hydrated. Burke said yesterday it was not uncommon for some people to struggle with overexertion.

Burke said he most commonly sees heat-related problems like fatigue and dehydration. But he said weather conditions on Sunday were optimal, with relatively mild temperatures and good cloud cover for much of the day.

“It’s a tragedy that this happened,” he said.

During the same triathlon three years ago, a 32-year-old competitor from Argentina was pulled from the water unconscious near the same location. Esteban Neira died after the rescue. The medical examiner ruled that he died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease, a condition linked to high blood pressure. Race organizers said he was apparently unaware he had the condition.

Should triathlon directors be forced to put more safety regulations in place? Weigh in below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Brutus

    It’s all about bragging rights these days. 100 years ago it was unthinkiable for a 64 y/o to stress their bodies so much. Even a 40 y/o would be pushing it. Excercise is great, but pushing “through the barrier” type exertion leaves one vulnerable to sudden death the older one gets.

    But because we all seem to need to feel special in our anonymous world, we engage in silly contests so that hopefully people will admire us and we will gain status among our peers.

    “He’s a triathlete” sounds cooler than “he jogs, rides his bike, and swims to stay in shape”. So we enter these silly contests to prove something to ourselves and others.

    “Congratulations, you’re a great athle….oops, you’re floating face down in the river!” How cool is that?

    • lydiass

      It is very well organized and event organizers do everything possible to create a safe race for us. Beyond that it’s up to each individual athlete to train well and make sure they are in good health to participate in such a challenging event.
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  • Old Timer from NuYAWK

    You would have to hog tie me to jump in that filthy estuary ,it’s a cesspool.
    Insane to have sporting event there ,anyone remember the”whitefish” that
    floated in the hudson?

  • IKnowItAll

    Idiots. Instead of just having them sign a waiver that they’re in good health, the organizers need to require their *doctors* sign the waiver after having passed a physical.
    And to YvetteD, who said, “no one could prepare for nor anticipate a swim in such harsh waters with an unforgiving current and choppy waves. “, then you really have no idea what you’re getting into. The athlete’s JOB is to anticipate, letting everyone with the entrance fee compete results in just these sorts of situations.

    • ag

      so which is it? is it the athlete’s job to anticipate and take responsibility, or is it the organizers’ job to have their own doctors look at the participants and take care of everyone?

      It’s a dangerous race and people make their own decisions. Those two people most likely died doing something they loved, and though it’s unfortunate, there is nothing wrong with that. The purpose of life isn’t necessarily to live as long as is possible. It’s not up to us to tell someone else whether or not to take risks. Whether I like it or not, I don’t know what is best for everyone else.

  • BM

    What about all the raw sewage spilled into river…..

  • Hoss

    The vast majority of deaths in triathlon occur during the swim. The swim being the first event, these deaths are *not* due to the combined effects of the three events (i.e., the triathlon) because the majority of these tragedies occur before they have run or biked. It is simply the open water swim by itself that is associated with the deaths. The interesting question is what is it about the open water swim that is so deadly. It would appear that the NYC Tri organizers took significant steps to make the swim safer, and yet had an unusual number of people unable to finish the swim and two deaths resulting from the swim. It is very curious.

  • mark diaz

    This event is very harsh on the body. Anyone with common sense should get a medical examination, whether its mandated or not. Just because you think you are healthy doesn’t give anyone an excuse that nothing will happen.

  • Dave

    This is tragic. My heart goes out to the families of both athletes. I did the race yesterday and it was pretty intense. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who has any history of heart problems. They definitely emphasized hydration as a key but some things are out of our control. Everyone should know their BP and it shouldn’t be mandatory for the race. I think the organizers did all they could and don’t think there is a need for more regulations. At the end of the day, you’re doing these events at your own peril and every triathlete knows the risk involved.

    • YvetteD

      Thanks Dave. I completely agree. I did the race yesterday, and no one could prepare for nor anticipate a swim in such harsh waters with an unforgiving current and choppy waves. These conditions are not the usual norm for this race course. The swim was just too much for some, and even though you train, there are some elements that will always be out of your control. My heartfelt condolences to both of the families struck by these tragedies from yesterday’s race.

    • mikeD

      I to did the race yesturday, it was my first at the distance, i have done other races at shorter swim lenghts, but i can tell you just before the start of the swim is the most intence time of the race, this race ws delayed 30 minutes, The current was not the problem, the tide changes just before the pros started, we were swimming with the current, the wind driven swells caused problems in setting you your breathing pattern, but i have been in other races were you were swimming against the tides, and bigger swells caused by the wind. all who partake in these types of races need to know what their bodies limitations are. its sad that people died doing this event, Its a great event to be a part of.

    • Terri

      My heartfelt prayers go out to the families of the athletes.I also did the event yesterday.It is very well organized and event organizers do everything possible to create a safe race for us. Beyond that it’s up to each individual athlete to train well and make sure they are in good health to participate in such a challenging event. I also do not think it’s necessary for more regulations…. I haven’t heard of any participants who would place blame on the event organizers.

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