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With a heat wave bringing extreme temperatures and humidity to the East Coast, race officials have been left scrambling to address concerns from athletes and community officials alike.
The New Jersey State Triathlon, which will host sprint and Olympic-distance races on July 20 and 21, respectively, announced today that it would implement earlier start times and a shortened course. The race also plans to enact a “comprehensive heat plan” to prevent and address any heat-related illnesses.
“No question it’s going to be a hot one,” says race spokesperson Dan Cruz. “We’ve been regular communication with all of the local authorities throughout the week as we implement our heat plan. Part of that plan includes shortening the course so we can get as many athletes across the finish line during the early morning hours as possible.”
July 21’s New York City Triathlon, however, will not take place at all. In a statement posted online, the race said it had exhausted “all options to mitigate athlete, volunteer, spectator, and staff exposure…[to] provide either a safe event experience or an alternate race weekend.”
The cancellation comes after criticism from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said in a press conference that “I respect the rights and freedoms of all Americans, but I don’t quite understand why the triathlon organizers want to continue on with their triathlon at this point.”
More than 3,000 athletes from around the world were registered to participate in the iconic event, which features a 1.5k swim in the Hudson River, 40k bicycle ride across the Hudson Parkway, and 10k run to Central Park. Despite the cancellation, athletes will still be allowed to pick up t-shirts and medals at the regularly scheduled race expo.
Check back as we continue to update this article.