While it's too soon to make a credible prediction of the weather conditions triathletes could face in the 2022 New York City Triathlon on July 24, history suggests that anything from 90-plus-degree heat to a soaking rain is among the realm of possibilities.
Since 2001, thousands of competitors have taken part in the annual race that wraps through some of the busiest streets in Manhattan. The triathletes tackle a 1,500-meter (0.93-mile) swim in the Hudson River, followed by a 40-kilometer (24.8-mile) bike ride and then a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) run through city streets.
The swimming portion follows the river's current, which will be flowing from south to north for the 2022 triathlon.
More often than not, the weather is quite hot for the New York City Triathlon, mainly because the race is usually run in July – the hottest month of the year for the majority of the U.S., including New York City.
The triathlon has occurred as early as June 27 in 2004 and as late as Aug. 18 in 2002, but regardless, it's always been held during the summer when the average high temperature in Central Park is in the mid-80s and the average low temperature is in the lower 70s.
Coldest New York City Triathlons
The first running of the New York City Triathlon is tied for the coldest on record. The race took place on Aug. 12, 2001, when temperatures only managed to reach 76 degrees. That day was cloudy with more than a half-inch of rain, helping to keep temperatures lower.
The 2014 triathlon, held on Aug. 3, also had a high temperature of only 76 degrees, though the Central Park rain gauge measured just 0.07 inches of rainfall that day.
Hottest New York City Triathlons
Only twice has the New York City Triathlon been canceled, and the weather was to blame for one of the cancellations.
Race day in 2019 was scheduled for July 21, and the high temperature topped out at 95 degrees after a morning low of only 80. It doesn't take long for illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke to develop at temperatures that high, especially when performing physical activities – like biking or running during a triathlon.
While the New York City triathlon went on to be canceled for the second-straight year in 2020, COVID-19 was cited as the reason rather than the weather. However, the scheduled race day of July 19 was nearly as hot as the previous year when the triathlon was canceled due to the heat: The high temperature topped out at 94 degrees.
Surprisingly, the hottest New York City Triathlon on record so far was even hotter than the canceled races in 2019 and 2020. The 2018 triathlon currently holds the trophy for the hottest race.
On July 1, 2018, for the 18th running of the New York City triathlon, the high temperature topped out at 96 degrees following a morning low of 79. While the race was not canceled, the running portion of the event was shortened to approximately 1 mile instead of the typical 6.2-mile run to wrap up the triathlon in an effort to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries.
Triathletes who participated in the 2018 race were warned of "potentially dangerous conditions" and were advised to slow down, observe course changes, follow the event's official instructions and consider stopping.
Wettest New York City Triathlon
Measurable rain (at least 0.01 inches) has dampened the New York City Triathlon eight times over its 19-year history. No rain was reported during the other 11 races.
The 2009 New York City triathlon, held on July 26, is by far the wettest on record so far. The rain gauge in Central Park measured 1.42 inches of rain that day.
The second-wettest triathlon was its first running on Aug. 12, 2001, when a daily total of 0.59 inches of rain was recorded.
Plan ahead for this year's New York City Triathlon
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If you're participating in the New York City Triathlon this year, be sure to download the free FOX Weather app and get an early outlook of what to expect.
The FutureView feature is a great way to get a look at predicted conditions for a specific event nearly a year ahead of time.
You can also keep track of the current conditions and receive important severe weather alerts if any are issued in your area.