Triathletes rushed to hospital after extreme vomiting over sewage fears

Competitors taking part in a triathlon which involved swimming in the River Thames have been struck down with vomiting and diarrhoea with some even rushed to hospital because they felt so unwell.

A large group took part in the Royal Windsor Triathlon in Berkshire on Sunday, but a number said – after swimming in the river – that they became ill. Organisers of the event claimed that they had tested the water prior to the triathlon and found that it passed the levels approved by the British Triathlon Federation.

Some of those taking part blamed sewage pollution for contracting the illness which led to tiredness and feeling generally unwell. One man said that it was too much of a coincidence for the cause to be anything other sewage pollution in the Thames at Windsor. Last month, The Boulter’s Lock to Bray Swim in Maidenhead, Berks, was cancelled because of fears about sewage.

The BBC reported that Rebecca Norman said she had to go to A&E after feeling sick 24 hours after the Royal Windsor Triathlon on Sunday. The 21-year-old shared her experience on social media and had seen several other people also report being seriously ill since the race.

in Windsor, Berkshire

Those struck down blamed sewage pollution for contracting the illness in in Windsor, Berkshire
Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock)

Human Race reportedly said it had conducted water tests in the weeks leading up to the event which “met the standards set by the British Triathlon Federation”. Thames Water said people would be “misinformed to automatically conclude” the issues were caused by its activities, and said its nearest sewage treatment works in Slough had not discharged since early April.

Miss Norman told BBC News: “I was throwing up blood, feeling faint, had a fever, exhaustion and the worst stomach cramps I have ever experienced.” I specifically emailed the race organisers before the event about my concerns of the water and they promised to sample the water a week before,” she said.

She shared the message from Human Race which said: “Absolutely no risks are taken regarding the conditions and your safety. “We usually send several samples of water from the Royal Windsor Triathlon swim section for tests in a lab the week leading up to the event.”

Human Race said it would cancel the swim if there were concerns. Dan Rosam, another competitor admitted he was “apprehensive about swimming in the water beforehand.” The 35-year-old civil engineer from Surbiton, said 40 hours after he took part in the event – his first triathlon – he started to feel unwell. He noticed on social media other competitors were also feeling sick and he claimed it was “too much of a coincidence.”

She said: “I had faith in the organisers who said they had tested the water and would cancel it if it was unsafe. I feel a bit let down by them and it’s put me off doing it again.” The BBC said that Mr Rosam, who has been off work ill, blamed pollution in the water, adding: “It’s disgusting that the water companies are taking money and passing it on to their shareholders but they’re not putting any of it into fixing the infrastructure.”

Connie Wright, aged 32 years, from south-west London, said she woke up on Tuesday morning with a “severe stomach bug.”
“Given the number of people affected, it seems likely the water may have been compromised,” she said