Tarrytown Native's Victory, Another's Death

This Saturday's Ironman saw one fatality in the Hudson River; this followed over a day of sewage discharge into the river from Sleepy Hollow. However, officials suspect an autopsy will reveal a preexisting heart condition as the cause of death.

After it was a  that threatened the swimming portion of NYC's first ever Ironman triathlon this weekend, it happened to be a .

The whole race, however, was marred by the death of a man after reportedly experiencing “distress” during the swim across the Hudson. Though the cause of death has yet to be determined it is largely assumed to be unrelated to the contents of the river.

Various Chinese and Hong Kong publications named the man as Andrew Naylor, 43, from Hong Kong.

According to the North Jersey Record, “Naylor was seen in distress while swimming in the Hudson River as the competition kicked off, and Ironman safety personnel were dispatched to him.”

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death but the North Jersey Record quoted race organizer John Korff as saying most triathlon deaths happen during the swim portion of the race and most of these due to preexisting heart conditions. 

“In the triathlon, for whatever reason, if there’s a death it almost always happens in the swim,” Korff told the North Jersey Record. “All these guys are good swimmers, insane swimmers… But there’s a general category that almost all of these swim deaths fall into… It’s generally from a preexisting heart condition that’s almost undetectable unless you have a very unique test.”

The waters had been deemed safe to swim in as of Friday 11 p.m. by the Westchester County Department of Health following a controlled discharge of semi-treated sewage out of Sleepy Hollow for over 24 hours prior. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection had also tested the water. 

Thirty-two-year-old Jordan Rapp, a graduate of the now living in Thousand Oaks, CA, won by a margin of 13 minutes with a time of 8:11:18. He was among the 2,160 athletes biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles in New York and New Jersey, along with swimming 2.4 miles across the Hudson River.

“This was the hottest run I’ve ever done,” Rapp said in an online interview with Business Week of the first ever Ironman in the New York City area. “I grew up just a few miles away. This is my hometown and I’ll be damned if someone else was going to come into my city and win.”

Rapp's biography was found on his page on the Iamspecialized.com site.

Three weeks [after his birth in 1980], he went for his first open water swim (sort of) in the waters of Lost Lake in Brewster, NY. Eighteen years later, he took first strokes of a different kind - in a rowing shell - on Princeton University's Lake Carnegie. After a high school career focused on squash and lacrosse, he began training for endurance athletics on a Concept II ergometer in the winter of 1998/99. Millions of meters and millions of strokes later, he was injured for the first time in his rowing career while training to make the U.S. National Team. And so, in April of 2003, he clipped a pair of aerobars onto his road bike, bought a pair of race wheels with the first tax return of his post-graduate career, and never looked back except to occasionally take a peek at the competition.

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