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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is this the world's most dangerous race? Triathlon contestants forced to swim through waters infested with killer SHARKS

By Daily Mail Reporter

Athletes taking part in a triathlon have been warned they could be sharing the water with more than just other competitors - man-eating sharks.

Despite Great White sharks flocking to the New England waters of Martha's Vineyard to feed on seals, organisers of the event have promised to do all they can to keep competitors safe when they take part in the swimming segment of the race.

Understandably, some of the 300 athletes who have already signed up for September's race have been left unnerved by the revelation - particularly as sightings of the deadly sharks have been regularly reported in recent weeks.

Deadly predators: The event organisers have promised to do everything they can to keep competitors safe

First-time competitor Tom Kennedy, told the CBS Boston website: 'I’m just going to kind of go and shut my eyes, and hopefully I’ll finish. That’s my goal.'

His wife Melissa added: 'My e-mail was going crazy with everybody sending me the links about sharks and Martha’s Vineyard and all that going on.

'So I’m just trying not to worry about it as the day gets closer.'

Making their annual reappearance earlier than usual, Great White sharks were spotted at least half a dozen times off the shore of Chatham last weekend alone, state officials confirmed.

The sharks usually stay in the area until September, feeding on the local grey seal population. However, there are concerns that the Warrior triathlon - held on September 11 - is being held too soon after the sharks' estimated departure.

Picturesque: Martha's Vineyard is popular with tourists, but great white sharks come to its shores between May and September to feed on seals

However, some athletes have not been put off by the potential risk and say it will add a little excitement to the

Lori Baronian said she was confident the sharks would not mistake her for a seal, adding: 'I think I will be swimming so slowly they will mistake me for a buoy, so I’ll be totally fine.'

Some athletes, taking comfort from the fact that a shark attack has not taken place in Bay State waters for 75 years, say they will have 'fun' with the shark sightings, while others say it will add excitement to the event.



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