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Nearly 2,000 athletes compete in 2023 New York City Triathlon, race adjusted due to Hudson River water quality concerns

Nearly 2,000 athletes compete in 2023 NYC Triathlon
Nearly 2,000 athletes compete in 2023 NYC Triathlon 01:49

NEW YORK -- Nearly 2,000 people competed Sunday in the New York City Triathlon, which was turned into a duathlon because organizers canceled the swimming portion due to water-quality concerns.

There was the same energy and same spirit, but just a different start to the triathlon this year.

Instead of jumping into the Hudson River, athletes started the race on land to the delight of some and the disappointment of others.

"I was going to have to get a wet suit. I was not excited about that and the Hudson is a little gross," said Luke Truitt of the East Village.

"Everyone trains for probably a year leading up to it and it's iconic to be in the Hudson looking over and seeing New York City passing by you, so it is a little sad," said Laura Dunn of the Upper West Side.

1,800 athletes to participate in 2023 New York City Triathlon 03:59

Torrential rain during last week's storm raised water-quality concerns, forcing organizers to cancel the swim.

Athletes started off short, less than a one-mile run, then a 25-mile bike ride, before finishing up with another 6.2-mile run through Central Park.

"I have never gone from run to bike to run, so I heard a lot about the brake legs. So, you have to be ready to run right after biking, so especially on 96th Street, where there is the big uphill," Hoboken's Eric Mogilevskiy said.

The terrain wasn't the only change. Traditionally held in July, this year's triathlon date was switched to October to avoid the excessive heat that affected the event in the past.

Yet somehow. weather still managed to get in the way. But the athletes said it's all part of the challenge.

"A lot of people call it type 2 fun, where it's like miserable during and then after you are like, oh my God, I'm going to do this again even though the entire time you are like I'm never doing this again," said Lowell Ganin of Midtown.

They embraced the unexpected, just as much of a test as endurance in this sport.

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