As many New Yorkers were seeking ways to cool off on Sunday, others were testing the limits of their endurance by running, swimming and biking through the sizzling heat as part of the city’s annual triathlon.
Roughly 1,600 people took part in the event, which is now in its 20th year. Danilo Pimentel of Brazil won the men’s portion of the event, while Amy Cymerman, a Rochester native, was the top female finisher
As a result of Sunday’s heat advisory with near-record-high temperatures, organizers reduced the running portion of the race from 6.2 miles to 2.5 miles, while cutting the 25-mile bike leg in half. The .93-mile swim through the Hudson River was left unchanged.
In a Facebook post announcing the change on Friday, organizers said the decision was made in consultation with meteorologists and local officials.
“While it is disappointing to reduce the length of both races, our number one priority is to do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our competitors, volunteers, medical personnel and spectators,” they noted.
But some participants were put off by the shortened course.
“The weather is part of the challenge of being an athlete in a competitive race,” replied one Facebook commenter, who noted they live and train in South Florida. “NYC Tri has turned this into a joke for real triathletes.”
The move follows the death of a 30-year-old man during a Brooklyn half marathon in May – an incident that was held during another scorching day – raising questions about whether it should have been canceled.
An FDNY spokesperson said that five people were treated during Sunday’s triathlon – only one of whom was hospitalized. It wasn’t clear if any of the injuries stemmed from the heat.
“We’re pleased that there were very few issues this year in our medical tent,” said Max DeFilippis, a spokesperson for NYC Tri. “According to our medical director, the race changes we made in distance afforded a safer environment for everyone. Anyone treated went home with no issues.”
On Sunday, another triathlon scheduled in Boston was postponed until next month, with organizers citing the dangers of heat.