NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly four thousand athletes from around the world pushed their bodies to the limit Sunday at the 2017 New York City Triathlon.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman was at Riverside Park on the Upper West Side where the first leg of the race kicked off at 5:50 a.m. From there, 15 athletes jumped into the Hudson River every 20 seconds to start their one mile swim downtown.

“This is New York City’s only Olympic distance triathalon, which makes it really appealing in that it’s been a sold out event for at least 10 years now,” organizer Scott Hutmuther said.

Triathlete Walter Row tells WCBS 880’s Myles Miller that the swim isn’t as easy as it looks, but there is an added benefit.

“The good thing is the current, I love that,” he said. “At least the swim is over a lot quicker.”

The super-athletes then took to the Henry Hudson Parkway for a 25 mile bike ride, which set up the third and final stage of the event — a six mile run through Central Park.

Participants in Sunday’s race ranged from 18 to 80-years old and represented 45 states and 40 different countries.

Many have been partaking in the race for the majority of its 17-year run.

“It’s a great race, a lot of fun and sort of keeps me young,” 67-year-old Terry Ehrlich said.

While others say this year’s event was their first time.

“Just, accomplished for sure. I have all my teammates here,” Ariana Castelluccio said. “I’m just really excited to race in the city. It’s a beautiful day.”

Castelluccio says she kept a rigorous schedule to get ready for the big day, taking only one day off a week to recover from six days of training.

There was no shortage of perseverance among the crowd. David Ferrell and his son Blake were competing in the para-athlete division. Blake was bon with a rare genetic disorder that makes him wheelchair bound and nonverbal.

“Because of his physical limitations I wanted him to something and participate in something that most able-bodied people won’t even try. So here’s a kid that can’t walk, can’t talk, he has seizures, and he’s in an event with professional athletes, people that won’t even try to do this, and I’m able to get into that event,” David said.

The race ended around noon in Central Park. Cameron dye of Boulder Colorado took the Olympic category with a time of 1 hour 45 Minutes and 10 seconds.

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