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Competitor Dies During 2012 U.S. Ironman Championship

An unidentified athlete competing in the inaugural 2012 United States Ironman Championship held in New York and New Jersey has passed away after experiencing a medial problem during the grueling three step race.

Race officials said that the athlete experienced distress while participating in the 2.4 mile swim in the Hudson River at the beginning of the competition. The cause of death is unknown at this team and an autopsy is planned.

The triathlon is a grueling sport that includes a 26.2 mile standard marathon and a 112-mile bike circuit to go along with the 2.4 mile swim course.

The governing body of the sport, USA Triathlon, created a task force to examine athletes deaths in the sport following a string of five fatalities during the summer months last year. Two of those deaths happened in the swim portion of the New York Triathlon last year.

For more on the triathlon, please continue to follow this storystream at SB Nation New York.