As the early morning sun rose over the New York skyline Sunday, over 3,000 men and women jumped into the Hudson River and began the grueling Aquaphor New York City Triathlon. Participants — which included professionals, amateurs and the physically-challenged — all took the plunge to begin the 1.5 kilometer swim in the Hudson, a 40 kilometer bike ride along the river and finish with 10K run through Central Park.
In the midst of the splashing athletes of various skill levels was the gold-medal winning Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch making her triathlon debut.
The Aquaphor spokeswoman put her money where her mouth is and — after training with swimming, biking and running sprints to build up her endurance —the 6-foot-2 beauty finished New York City's only triathlon with a noteworthy time of 2:51:15.
Photos by Tony Mangia
After Sunday's race, a beaming Finch — holding her ANYCT medal — admitted she has already entertained the notion of competing in the even more difficult Ironman competition but added that she just "wanted to enjoy the experience of finishing today."
Jordan Jones of Golden, CO won the men's division with a time of 1:49:05, and Jenna Parker of Santa Monica, CA the women's with a time of 2:01:50. They were the winning pro triathletes at the 13th annual event.
Kyle Leto of Boulder, CO was second with a time of 1:50:55; and Dan McIntosh, of Westminster, CO finishing at 1:52:13, came in third. In the women’s pro race, Amy Bevilacqua of Wilton, CT came in second, with a time of 2:03:49, followed by Julie Patterson of Richmond, VA with a time of 2:07:31.
Athletes came from from 48 states and 30 countries, including Argentina, Japan, Israel, Vietnam and New Zealand. A total of $31,000 in prize money was awarded to the winners in the male and female pro categories. More than 700 of the athletes who participated raised money for over 60 charities, including Race2Rebuild, Team In Training, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Finch — wearing No. 1835 in the race— may have broken her own kind of endurance record this weekend.
After the triathlon, she was headed up to Citi Fied to pitch in the Legends & Celebrities Softball Game Sunday afternoon and that comes on the heels of a whirlwind tour of Manhattan making guest appearances at various locations on Friday and Saturday.
Sounds like the Ironman shouldn't be a problem.