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Triathlon Swims, Cycles and Sweats Up the West Side

By  Jess Wisloski and Paul Lomax | July 8, 2012 1:33pm 

MANHATTAN — Thousands tried, but only two were the triumphant winners of the grueling 2012 New York City Triathlon on Sunday.

After plunging into the Hudson River at 5:50 a.m., swimming the required 1,500 meters in the choppy waters off West 99th Street, biking 40 kilometers up the West Side Highway, and pounding out a 10k run through Central Park, first-place winners Jordan Jones, 31, of Golden, Colorado, completed the course in 1:45:04 and Amy Bevilacqua, 39, of Wilton, Connecticut, finished the race in 2:02:28.

More than 3,000 competed in the event, which instituted a lottery for participants starting last year to cope with the soaring interest since it began 12 years ago. Organizers call it "the most in-demand triathlon in America." 

Joanna Chitko, 37, from Manhattan, said she was proud to have finished fourth place among women, finishing in 2 hours and 26 minutes.

"This is a very tough and competitive race and people from all over the world come to New York City to take part in it," she said, pointing out that it's unique in that the entire event takes place in Manhattan.

"With this summer heat and humidity, today was very, very tough," she said. The highs Sunday were expected to reach 91 degrees, with a "real feel" temperature of 95, according to Accuweather.

Her tip for success? "It's all about getting the right balance between electrolytes and salt to get set-up for this triathlon," she said.

For athlete Peter Robinson, just beating his own best in the city of dreams was enough. It was Robinson's first time in New York City, and he flew all the way from Darlington, England to compete.

"This is my first triathlon and I did it for the St. Teresa's Hospice back home," he told DNAinfo.com New York. "I wanted to get in under three hours, as some people were going to double their money if I did, and I just made it," he said, finishing in 2 hours 55 minutes.