New York City Triathlon, OZY Fest canceled this weekend due to extreme heat concerns

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, July 20, 2019
New York City Triathlon, OZY Fest canceled this weekend due to extreme heat concerns
Lauren Glassberg reports on the events canceled due to the heat emergency.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Both the New York City Triathlon and OZY Fest have been canceled this weekend due to extreme heat levels expected this weekend.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday the music, food and comedy festival at Central Park would be canceled just a day after it was announced the race would be canceled.

The Triathlon announced its own cancellation after taking the city's recommendation but the city canceled the festival, exercising a clause allowing cancellation if the heat index exceeds 105 for at least two consecutive hours within 24 hours of the event.

"We are so disappointed and sorry that this has happened. We are currently working with the city to figure out alternative plans. We will be in touch with ticket holders and the media as soon as we have more information," organizers said in a statement.

Before the event was canceled, OZY Fest put on it's website that they would have unlimited free water, misting fans, shaded areas, heat relief tents, sunscreen dispensers and ice stations all weekend long.

Headliners for the event included John Legend, Miguel, Tove Lo, Trevor Noah, Alex Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe.

The decision to cancel the race was made late Thursday evening, as the New York City area has experienced multiple weather advisories and severe heat warnings.

Race organizers said they were "unable to provide either a safe event experience or an alternate race weekend" and that all 4,000 participants would receive a full refund.

"In partnership with city officials in New York City and after weighing all options to ensure the safety of athletes, volunteers, spectators and staff, due to the oppressive heat and humidity forecast on race weekend, it is with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of the 2019 Verizon New York City Triathlon," a spokesperson said in a statement. "This difficult decision was made following a comprehensive review and, ultimately, with the goal of prioritizing the safety of everyone participating in or otherwise involved with the execution of the event. As the producer of the event, Life Time is committed to ensuring exceptional event experiences. However, given the predicted weather conditions and with the guidance of the City, we felt this to be the necessary and prudent decision. All athletes will receive a refund of their event registration fee."

Registrants do not need to contact the event, as the transactions will automatically post to the registrant's card on file within two to three weeks. Due to the volume of the event, it is expected to take time to process all refunds individually.

The triathlon has been happening in New York City since 2001, and this is the first time it's been canceled. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he didn't understand why the event organizers would want to continue, calling this, "an exceptional situation."

While the race is canceled, organizers are still going to have their hydration stations along the race route open.

They will also donate a combined 14,000 bottles of water and Gatorade combined to the city.

The Verizon New York City Triathlon will return on July 19, 2020, featuring a venue change and a reduced capacity of 2,500 participants.

CLICK HERE for more information.

WATCH: Officials discuss the cancellation of the NYC Triathlon


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