The New York City Triathlon 2015

The New York City Triathlon 2015

2015-07-16 - Taking place this weekend, here is what you need to know.

New York – It takes a lot to get race-ready for a triathlon. And then, for the athletes of the New York City Triathlon this coming Sunday July 19th, there are still things they can’t control. For example: how clean will the water of the Hudson River be? Swimming in this historic river is prohibited for a reason, you would say.

But according to the city of New York, the water in the Hudson River is the cleanest it has been in 30 years. The quality of the water was infamous once. The river was used as a graveyard frequently by iconic mafia families of New York and New Jersey. But not anymore: the 4.000 athletes competing in the triathlon here on Sunday, will jump in – diving is prohibited – alive and kicking. The city will allow them to. They will swim 1,5 kilometers (0.9 miles) starting at 99th Street on Manhattan going south bound. And that will only be the first part of a truly exhausting battle in the ‘concrete jungle’.

After the one-mile swim the athletes are expected to cycle a 40-kilometer (25 mile) race, followed by a 10 kilometer run (6.2 miles). The participants will cycle north on the Henry Hudson Parkway, a highway on Manhattan that will be closed for other traffic due to the triathlon (the highway usually welcomes 100.000 cars daily). Athletes will run their 10k in Central Park, the place where they will also cross the finish line. For those who have been wandering around Central Park in the past: do you remember how steep the roads can be, specifically in the Northern part of the park (did we mention one part of Central Park is called ‘the ravine’?)?  One thing is for sure: This triathlon is definitely not for softies. 

Athletes from 46 US states and 30 countries have been training for months to get this triathlon off their bucket lists this year. Last year American professional athlete Ben Collins from Seattle managed to finish the race in 1 hour, 43 minutes and 25 seconds. His female colleague Alicia Kaye from Florida beat all the other women with an impressive 1:54:52.

And although the combination of a bike race and a run to most people must sound like real weariness, according to the participants that have been training massively at the beaches of Coney Island over the last few weeks, the swim is really the hardest part. The sweet smell of victory gets closer only if you manage to swim 1500 meters in open water. “Swimming in open water is not easy. You’ve got currents, you’ve got waves, there might be stormy weather”, said a spokes person of the New York City Triathlon on local television here in New York this week.

For that matter, here’s another thing the participants can’t control. The weather. After a week in which some New York City subway stations had to be temporarily closed down because of flood danger, the forecast for Sunday seems pretty brilliant. It will be sunny and 31 degrees Celsius, with a light breeze. Let the race begin. 

All images courtesy of the New York City Triathlon

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