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Ironman Wales to go ahead despite pollution fears and death of the Queen

09 Sep 2022 3 minute read
David Dixon / Iron Man Swim, Tenby / CC BY-SA 2.0

The international Ironman Wales triathlon returns to west Wales this weekend after a gap of three years, despite fears the sea around Tenby may be polluted, and many events being cancelled following the death of the Queen.

The world-famous triathlon has been an international sports fixture in Tenby and the roads of south Pembrokeshire since 2011, but was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns in both 2020 and 2021.

Ironman Wales stated: “The sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II has been felt deeply by many within our community and we share our condolences with the Royal Family.

“In light of further updates from national government, and in consultation with local stakeholders, we can confirm that this weekend’s Ironman Wales event will continue as scheduled on Sunday, September 11.”

However, some changes have been made to the weekend activities as the UWTSD Ironkids Wales event originally planned for Saturday, 10 September will no longer take place.

“Ironman Wales is an event that inspires thousands and showcases the immense strength of the human spirit. We are honoured to host athletes and be welcomed into the Pembrokeshire community,” Ironman Wales added. 

“We understand that many athletes would like to dedicate their participation in the event in honour of Her Majesty, and encourage athletes to pay their respects as they feel comfortable to do so. A moment of silence will also be observed at swim start on Sunday as a mark of respect.”

Safe seas

In what could have been a double-whammy for organisers, fears were raised that ‘sewage’ had been pumped into the sea where competitors will swim their 2.4-mile course.

According to Surfers Against Sewage, an interactive map, which monitors sewage discharges on the UK coastline, showed combined storm overflows (CSO) discharges in the area, including nearby Wiseman’s Bridge and Tenby’s Castle Beach.

Welsh Water has said the water around Tenby was safe to swim in.

“Heavy rain hit large parts of Wales last weekend and early this week which would have meant some of our combined storm overflows (CSOs) operated,” said Dwr Cymru – Welsh Water. 

“This is what they are designed to do when the wastewater network in an area reaches capacity due to the volume of rainwater in it to prevent sewers from flooding customers’ homes and businesses.  

“As we always do with CSOs in the vicinity of Bathing Waters we sent notifications to Surfers Against Sewage so that they were aware and could notify their members.

“We would like to reassure visitors who will be attending and competing in Iron Man this weekend that the water in Tenby is heavily regulated and that it is safe to swim in. As always, we are working with other local stakeholders who monitor other forms of pollution.”

The Ironman Wales is part of the Ironman World Series of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). It involves 3.86 km of swimming, 180.2 km of cycling and 42.195 km of running.

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