Monday, July 21, 2008

death at nautica nyc triathlon

while up in vermont this weekend i didn't keep up with any local news. the weather was very hot and humid there, but imagine my surprise waking up this morning to a cbs radio report of the death of a 32 year old man at the new york city triathlon yesterday! i was even more surprised, reading the ny times coverage on my commute to work, to learn his death occurred during the swim portion of the triathlon. since i didn't catch the complete story from the radio i had left the house laboring under the assumption that it was a heat-related running death!

the competitor, from buenos aires, argentina, was identified as estaban neiva. he was pulled, unconscious, from the hudson river - about three quarters of the way through the 1500 meter portion of the race (the first of the three legs). the intial reports cited cardiac arrest, but an autopsy will be performed today to determine the cause of death.

other news reports stated eight competitors were hospitalized with heat-related syptoms, many more treated on site. there were also numerous reports of jellyfish bites as the swimmers encountered a swarm of jellyfish - some the "size of salad plates" - in the water! some even wondered if the jellyfish bites may have contributed to the fatality!

update: the ny times reports the autopsy performed on monday was inconclusive and the cause of death is still not known. the nyc medical examiner said tissue and toxicity tests will take an additional 10 days to complete.

3+ months later... the autospy results were finally reported yesterday. the cause of death was from "a condition linked to high blood pressure."


Just_because_today said...

My friend competed in this triathlon and didn't do her best. Seems that the heat got in the way. They were told that the current was very strong which made the swim faster but more risky

Welby Lloyd said...

I ran the race on Sunday. While it was hot it was not as hot in past years. Two years ago it was so hot that they had hoses open to water down the runners and we ran by. This year was actually pretty good. In fact the current was not as strong as it usually is which for me was a little disappointing. Last year I did the swim in 19 minutes this year I did it in 24. The jelly fish where to me not really that big of a problem because I had worn a full wetsuit most people did. I have never seen problems occur in a race because the current is to fast (maybe if your swimming against it). It is unfortunate that this person passed during the Triathlon. But realistically It could happen to anyone at any time. I believe last year someone died during a marathon and he was a professional and only age 27. Its a shame that stuff like this happens. One thing I must say that was not mentioned is that a couple of racers helped in pulling the gentlemen who passed out of the water. From what I heard from people in the area he was most likely already passed in the water before they pulled him out. I also heard that the time it took for professional paramedics to get to him was way to long even for NYC. Wish things had gone better.

rundangerously said...

welby, thanks for posting that information. and congrats on finishing it in those tough heat conditions. we were up in vermont and the heat/humidity were pretty intense there as well. no fatalities, but huge drop rate both races.

do you run road races too - or focus on tri's?

myriam, why not ask your friend to post a tri report on you blog?

welby lloyd said...

I normally dont run road races. But this year on a bet that I made with a friend I will be attempting and Ultra Tri. With three months to train for it. I simply like the challenge of attempting it and the glory of finishing. The distance for and ultra tri is 2.5 swim 110 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. If not training injuries occur I think I can whip my body into shape for the race. No record times but I think I can get it good enough to complete it.

rundangerously said...

good luck on the ultra tri, welby!

if you're ever in the city for a nyrr race in central park, give us a heads up!