LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some people who are training for this weekend's annual IRONMAN Louisville were forced to cancel their morning swim Thursday when they came down to the Ohio River.
"I want to swim, I want to do a full IRONMAN, and I want it to be the full 140.6," river rat, Meredith Nguyen said.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health and Division of Water recently issued a warning to the public about harmful algal blooms that had been found in the Ohio River. If the algae is not cleared up by Sunday, it could impact the 2.4-mile swimming portion of the annual triathlon.
"I've never seen this much algae," Nguyen said. "I've never seen algae ever in the canal and I was hoping the rain we had a few days ago and the cooling temperatures would flush it out."
Ben Yarrington, Communications Coordinator for IRONMAN Louisville sent WHAS11 the following statement:
"IRONMAN is aware that the Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Department of Public Health have recently issued a harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational public health advisory for the Ohio River. The IRONMAN Louisville team is working with the Louisville Sports Commission and local partners to continue to monitor the conditions of the river.
IRONMAN along with city and state officials will continue to closely monitor the water quality of the Ohio River to ensure athlete safety. The current levels could impact the swim for the IRONMAN Louisville triathlon set to take place on Sunday, October 13. However, the bloom conditions have the potential to change quickly so no decisions will be made on race changes until it is deemed necessary.
Please continue to check the IRONMAN Louisville event website and Facebook page for updates. Information will also be posted at registration check-in and announcements will be made during the athlete briefings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday."
If Sunday's race is still a go, Nguyen said she is diving in - even if there are still algae in the water.
"I'll do the course that's in front of me," Nguyen said. "I can't dwell on the conditions of the race, I just have to race what's put out there."