There aren’t many competitions out there that test your endurance like a triathlon, which typically requires you to complete a half-mile swim before riding 20 KM on a bike and capping things off with a 5K run to the finish line.
There are some brave souls out there who opt to up the difficulty level in the form of the grueling Ironman events that force you to swim, bike, and run more than 140 miles when everything is said and done, but most triathletes are perfectly content with sticking with the original formula.
That includes the approximately 2,000 competitors who headed to the coast of England at the end of July for the leg of the World Triathlon Championship Series that was held in Sunderland, but dozens of them ended up dealing with some unenviable issues in the wake of the event thanks to what they were subjected to after plunging into the waters off Roker Beach.
According to The Guardian, environmental officials conducted tests in the lead-up to the event that detected abnormally high levels of E. Coli bacteria in the area that appear to be linked to a nearby output known for depositing large quantities of raw sewage into the ocean.
However, the organizers of the triathlon say they weren’t informed of those findings and didn’t notice any anomalies when they tested the water before the event kicked off on July 29th.
Unfortunately, there were still at least 57 people who were treated for diarrhea and other symptoms consistent with an E. Coli infection after completing the race, and a number of competitors who were impacted understandably asserted the swimming portion should’ve been canceled based on what they were ultimately subjected to.
The United Kingdom Health Security Agency said it will be conducting an investigation in an attempt to determine the cause of what they described as “unprecedented” levels of E. Coli in the water, although it’s hard to imagine any findings will make the people who were impacted feel much better about what transpired.