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Second Triathlete Dies After Sunday's Nautica NYC Triathlon

By Nicole Bode | August 8, 2011 12:59pm | Updated on August 8, 2011 3:18pm
A 2010 triathlon start in the Hudson River.
A 2010 triathlon start in the Hudson River.
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DNAinfo/Josh Williams

MANHATTAN — A second triathlete who took part in Sunday's Nautica New York City Triathlon has died, organizers said.

A 40-year-old woman from Elmhurst, Ill., whose name has not yet been released, died Monday at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where she had been in serious condition after the race Sunday.

The Fire Department said she was taken to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

"We are deeply saddened to report that the 40-year old female athlete from Elmhurst, Illinois, who was in critical condition at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital after yesterday’s Nautica New York City Triathlon, has passed away," race director Bill Burke said in a statement. 

"At the race, the athlete was immediately treated by on-site emergency medical staff and transported to the hospital.  The incident happened during the swim portion of the event.  On behalf of all of us in the triathlon community, our thoughts and prayers are with the athlete and her loved ones," the statement added.

The woman's death follows the death of triathlete Michael Kudryk, 64, of Freehold, NJ. He suffered a heart attack during the swimming portion of Sunday's triathlon, and had to be rescued from the Hudson by emergency workers. He was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, officials said.

Kudryk was trying to get out of the Hudson River near 79th Street when he went into cardiac arrest around 8 a.m., officials said Sunday.

The 40-year-old woman also went into cardiac arrest after the swimming event, officials said. She was treated on-site by emergency medical staff before being taken to Roosevelt Hospital.

Some 3,000 people competed in this year's triathlon, which included a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike ride and 10 km run.

Competitors swam from 98th Street down to 79th Street in the Hudson, then biked up the Henry Hudson Parkway into the Bronx. From there, they turned around and came back down the Henry Hudson into Central Park for the run, which ended at the Bandshell, near 72nd Street.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for a review of the triathlon’s safety protocol.

Stringer said he "questioned the Triathlon’s decision to go ahead with Sunday’s race amid weather conditions including Saturday night rain, choppy water, strong currents, and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees."

“New Yorkers signed up for a triathlon — not a game of Russian Roulette,” Stringer said in a statement. “Choosing to compete is a decision every athlete has to make for themselves — but it is the obligation of the city to make sure all potential risks are accounted for to the extent possible."

The first New York City triathlete death was in 2008, when Argentinian triathlete Esteban Neira died while participated in the eighth annual New York City Triathlon, according to the New York Times.

Stringer cited a 2009 study by the Minneapolis Heart Institute that found that athletes participating in triathlons have twice the risk of sudden death.

The Medical Examiner's office said that it would conduct an autopsy on Kudryk on Monday.