Congratulations to all of the athletes who participated in the Pittsburgh Triathlon last weekend. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city for swimming, biking and running, and Friends of the Riverfront is a fantastic charity. I love swimming in the Allegheny River and do so often during the summer. However, there is a combined sewer system in the city. During periods of heavy rainfall, the sewers overflow directly into the river. This results in unsafe conditions for swimmers for 24 to 48 hours ("Triathletes Concerned About Water Conditions and Health," July 30).
On Sunday morning, there was a sewer overflow less than two hours before the triathlon. This happened last year, too, and several athletes became ill. The race director knew about this, yet once again failed to warn participants about the river conditions prior to the race.
At most races, participants are informed of unfavorable conditions and are able to make an educated decision about entering the water. I love having a big local race and Pittsburgh is a fantastic venue, but Friends of the Riverfront should look for a better race management company that will put athlete safety first. Athletes should not be sickened at a race that features and benefits the riverfront.