A study led by the Minneapolis Heart
Institute’s Dr. Kevin Harris has found that
triathlons at least double the risk of sudden death when
compared with marathons, due largely to the swimming
portion of the event.
Statistics show that 15 out of 1 million athletes
participating in swimming/biking/running events will die as
a result of the competition. Nearly all those deaths occur
during the swim portion, which often is the first leg of
the race, because of the shock of cold water to the heart
and the inability to stop and rest during that time. For
the study, researchers collected information on 922,810
triathletes between January 2006 and September 2008.
The results were presented this spring at an American
College of Cardiology conference.