FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) - An athlete competing in the Ironman U.S. Championship in the river between New York City and New Jersey has died after having a medical problem during the swimming portion of the grueling triathlon.

A publicist for the race organizers says the competitor "experienced distress" during a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River at the start of the all-day competition.

The swimmer was taken to a hospital, but did not survive. The organizers say the cause of death is unknown. An autopsy is planned.

Contestants in the race were following their swim in the Hudson with a 112-mile bicycle ride through the suburbs, and then a 26.2-mile marathon that was to end at Manhattan's Riverside Park.

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