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The inaugural Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City was expected to make headlines across the United States this weekend. However, no one was expecting quite the headlines that occurred in the days leading up to the race.
After a sewer main in Tarrytown, New York broke on Thursday, millions of gallons of partially treated sewage leaked into the Hudson River. Though the break was 15 miles north of the swim start for Saturday’s race, officials were still concerned about the safety and water quality.
“Athlete safety is our first priority.” Said Shelby Tuttle, Public Relations Specialist for World Triathlon Corporation. “We will be sure of the water quality and that the venue is safe before we allow our athletes to swim on Saturday.”
15 hours before the start of the race, Ironman staff alerted athletes and spectators that the swim would go on as planned:
“The New York City Department of Environmental Protection tested the water following the break and the reports show the water is safe for swimming. Additionally, Westchester County Department of Health has announced its water-quality advisory for the Hudson River will be lifted.”
The race begins Saturday, August 11 at 6:50 AM EST.