• The Tempo
  • Posts
  • World Triathlon Under Fire for Poor Water Quality

World Triathlon Under Fire for Poor Water Quality

And how does triathlon change your body?

Good morning everyone,

Well, I got a last-minute invite to the Professional Triathletes Organization US Open, and I had to take the opportunity. It’s been great here so far in Milwaukee, and I am really vibing on the city. I even took a sneaky look at Zillow! I know a few of you are racing this weekend as well at USA Triathlon Nationals. So good luck!

In today’s edition:

  • 💩 WTCS Sunderland athletes became sick: was it in the water?

  • 🏇 A preview of the stacked PTO US Open.

  • 🦿 And how does triathlon change your body?

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


With Athletes Sick After WTCS Sunderland, Is Poor Water Quality to Blame?

What is it: Several athletes reported that they fell ill after competing in last weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series event in Sunderland, U.K.

In response, British Triathlon (BT) released an update regarding the concerns around specific water quality tests that were published by the Environment Agency on July 26th, three days before the race. According to BT:

  • Tests were done on July 20 and 30 by an independent laboratory - both these tests both passed World Triathlon water quality guidelines.

  • Both tests were taken in the vicinity of the swim venue - Roker Beach.

  • The test results that athletes have been posting on social media were taken in an area that is external to the swim venue.

Tempo’s take: We’re not water quality experts, but we do have some experience swimming in questionable water. World Triathlon does have water quality guidelines, and it sounds like the area where the athletes swam passed.

But it does seem like there was a bit of a lag between the July 20 test and the July 29 race. However, they did test the water on the 30 (the same day as the mixed-team relay), and the quality also fell within the guidelines. High-performance athletes are constantly pushing their bodies to the limit, and as a result, immune systems can be compromised.

  • Clearly, there was the presence of harmful bacteria, which isn’t ideal. But in reality, to have these kinds of events near larger urban centers, there will often be a tradeoff concerning water quality and location. Not everyone has a billion dollars to clean up their swimming venues.

Ironman and Challenge mostly defer to World Triathlon for their rules and competition standards. So we’d imagine that they follow the same water quality guidelines. And we can’t imagine the PR would be great if a couple thousand triathletes got sick at an event!


👶 Little unit: Congrats to professional triathletes Lara Gruden and Sam Long on the birth of their son, Leonardo Franko Long.

⚔️ Teams clash: Super League Triathlon has announced the entire team rosters for their upcoming Championship Series. The Santara Tech Eagles, RTP Sharks, Bahrain Victorious Scorpions, and the RTS Warriors will fight for the team title starting this September. [Super League Triathlon]

☘️ Do you know this man: Irish triathlete Bill McCausland is hunting for a former triathlon rival. If you know of or have a connection to John Brown — who formerly lived in the Newry area — then get in touch with the contact info in this link. [Newry.ie]

🦸 Swim, bike, save: New York City Triathlete Tay Anthony was lauded for helping protect a fellow subway rider who was randomly attacked. Anthony and another rider tackled the assailant and removed him “Spiderman-style” from the train at the next stop. [Runners World]

🏎️ Speedway slam: Clash Daytona has been named the official USA Triathlon Long Course National Championships. The race takes place on the iconic Daytona International Speedway on December 1st. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]


Mayhem in Milwaukee: A Preview of the PTO US Open

Klemen Suligoj takes us through one of the most competitive races of the year


The Professional Triathletes Organization US Open is the second PTO Tour race this season, following the European Open in Ibiza on May 6, with Asian Open in Singapore still to come on August 19-20.

When: Men's race starts on Friday, August 4 at 16.00 local time (22:00 UK time, 23:00 CET or 7:00 Australian time) and the women's race starts on Saturday, August 5 at 16.00 local time (22:00 UK time, 23:00 CET or 7:00 Australian time).

How to watch: For viewers in Europe, the race will be broadcasted on Eurosport, Discovery+ and GCN+. For spectators from the rest of the world, there will be a live stream available on PTO+ and on YouTube.

Distances: PTO Open races are raced over 100 km with a 2 km swim, 80 km bike and 18 km run.

Big prize: The prize fund has been changed for the 2023 season and is now $600,000 USD per event with $100,000 for the winner, $50,000 for second, and $35,000 for third place. From there, prize money drops quite quickly and is capped at $2,000 for athletes placed 26th-30th. There is equal prize money for men and women.

Men’s favorites: Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Magnus Ditlev (DEN), Jan Frodeno (GER), Jason West (USA).

Women’s favorites: Ashleigh Gentle (Aus), Taylor Knibb (USA), Paula Findlay (CAN), Kat Matthews (GBR).

Check out Klemen’s full preview for full athlete breakdowns and intriguing under the radar picks!

Want to reach an audience of triathletes and Ironman racers?

We can work with you to tell your story, reach new customers and build your brand. Contact us today.


⚖️ Triathlete at law: He’s finished Kona, and a couple of World Triathlon World Championships. And now, he’s indicted a former president. Triathlete magazine gives us eight (multisport) facts on Jack Smith, the special council prosecuting Donald Trump. [Triathlete]

📹 PTO BTS: It’s race week for the PTO US Open athletes! Check out this great series from Talbot Cox (via Lionel Sander’s YouTube channel) that documents the athletes from a unique behind-the-scenes viewpoint. [Talbot Cox]

🦿 Transformation Tuesday: There’s no doubt stacking up weeks and months of consistent triathlon training will cause some changes to an athlete’s body. Check out this insightful Reddit thread about how the multisport lifestyle helped many triathletes see incredibly positive results. [Reddit]


Canadian pro triathlete Cody Beals has become the Steven Reelburg of triathlon Instagram. Check out his latest work - how he recovers from an Ironman. Lots of great insight in this one!

Is your recovery dialled in?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Thanks for reading to the end. If you enjoy the Tempo, we have three things you can do to help our community grow:

  1. Share the Tempo with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Every person you refer will win prizes (coming soon!)

  2. Forward this email

  3. Follow us on Instagram

Join the conversation

or to participate.