Two Triathlon Deaths Spark Plans for New Screening Methods

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Photo: Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

For the first time ever, two people died over the weekend while competing in the Nautica New York City Triathlon, both during the swimming portion. Amy Martich, 40, was pulled from the Hudson River and sent to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where she died yesterday. Michael Kurdyk, 64, died of a heart attack on the scene. Only one other person has died during the race, in 2008 — also during the swim portion. The deaths have caused organizers to rethink the screening process for entrants. According to The Wall Street Journal, competitors will have to prove they've completed a triathlon before, or have certification from a lifeguard attesting to their fitness. As it is, the 1,500-meter (just under a mile) swim is monitored by 53 kayakers, 32 lifeguards, ten boats, and two jet skis. But even so, pulling swimmers to safety and getting them medical attention can be tragically too slow a process.

Triathlon Eyes Changes After Deaths [WSJ]