Thousands of athletes battled the heat and each other Sunday in the 18th annual New York City Triathlon. 

They had a cool start with a 1,500 meter swim up the Hudson River starting at West 99th Street. 

The 5,000 participants then biked a 25-mile course, before finishing with a six-mile run through Central Park. 

Organizers set up extra medical and hydration stations for the event due to the excessive heat. 

A meteorology team monitored the weather conditions throughout the day.

Triathletes say they had to take extra precautions this year.

"Water, lot of hydration. I just paced myself better than I did the past two years," said one triathlete.

"If you train for anything, if you prepare for anything, you can probably do just about anything, so I never thought that I'd be doing this, and this is my eighth one," said another triathlete.

This year's female champion is Olympic triathlete Sarah Haskins.

Ben Kanute won on the men's side. 

This year’s race was also the inaugural Life Time Tri New York City Championship, featuring 250 able-bodied and paratriathletes.