NEW YORK, N.Y. – Scarborough native and Hackley School graduate Jordan Rapp enjoyed a special homecoming Saturday, beating the oppressive heat and humidity to win the first Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City with a time of 8:11.8.
“It was a great experience being able to compete and win a New York Ironman back home,” Rapp said. “I’ve done triathlons in New York, but not an Ironman. The swim went very quickly because the early swimmers had the tide with us, but the cycling had a lot of up and down sections and doing a marathon beginning at noon in hot weather is a test.”
Rapp, 32, has won four previous Ironman events and now lives in California with his wife and 13-month-old son. He finished more than 13 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Maxim Kriat of Ukraine, according to results posted by the Ironman U.S. Championship.
The race included a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson, followed by a 112-mile bicycle ride through the New Jersey suburbs and a 26.2-mile marathon ending in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. More than 2,700 athletes registered for the event, according to the event website.
"I was back in New York last month to give the commencement address at Hackley and that was great," Rapp said of the Tarrytown school. "I played lacrosse at Hackley and still remember my first game there. I hope to be back as often as I can for events."
Rapp’s victory was overshadowed by the death of one of the competitors, who died after being pulled from the Hudson River in the swimming phase of the event. The cause of death was not yet determined, and, according to a report by The Daily News, New York City police said the name of 43-year-old man had not yet been released.
A raw sewage leak into the Hudson River in Tarrytown earlier in the week threatened to cancel the swimming portion of the event until testing of the waters on Friday evening revealed that the river was safe and officials cleared the way for the event to go on.
Rapp will next compete in Oregon in September before going on to Hawaii for the 2012 Ford Ironman World Championship on Oct. 13.