More than 4,000 people swam, biked and ran through the city Sunday for the 14th annual New York City Triathlon. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
Talk about jumping in with both feet.
"I'm very much looking forward to swimming in the Hudson and hopefully getting out of the Hudson at the end of it," one triathlete said.
The water was 71 degrees, with a strong current lending a hand, though.
Participant:"I think the swim is going to be the biggest challenge."
Wagner: "But the water is moving so nicely."
Participant: "I'm counting on that."
The mile long water leg is just the beginning of the New York City Triathlon.
Normally, racers would dry off on the almost 25 mile bike ride that follows. However, rain made the journey up and down the west side highway a bit tricky this year.
"The rain is tough. When it's just drizzling like this it's the slickest. So I let some air out of the tires, got a little traction," another athlete said.
The cheers of the crowd are fuel to runners like Alisha Kaye—the first woman to cross the finish line.
"I absolutely love this course. It's so tough. And that run on Central Park—oh my gosh. So many people cheering. Very motivating," Kaye said.
She's referring to the final phase: a 10-k run.
"Everyone had a strong event. The run is my weakest. But I made it!" another athlete said.
The crowd of 4,000 athletes features seasoned professionals running, swimming and biking alongside people of all abilities and backgrounds, including newcomers.
"I didn't even know how to swim before and I'm going to jump in the Hudson River today," one participant said.
"I'm proud to say I'm 67," said another. When asked what made him decide to do a triathlon, he said, "Because I can do it."
"First time for me in NYC. It was amazing. Everything is...I'm trying to take it all in and I'm just like ahh! Awesome," another athlete said.
Think you could never get across this finish line? Think again. Those who've done it time and again say all you have to do is dive in.
"If you put some dedication to just going out there and training, I think anybody can do it," one athlete said.
"We tell people the first step is just to get off the couch. You've got to take that first step. You've got to dive in the water," says Kimo Seymour, VP of Athletic Events at Lifetime Fitness.
Just don't touch the bottom.
"I touched the sand and it was not pleasant. It was gross. But I got through it!" another athlete said.