Connellsville triathlon may become biathlon
High, fast-moving water in the Youghiogheny River may change the format of Saturday's triathlon in Connellsville.
“New Haven Hose is in touch with the Army Corps of Engineers who monitor the river in real time,” said Vernon Ohler of the recreation board. “The dam is high. Water was being held back as rescuers searched for the body of a missing rafter at Ohiopyle. The dam was actually very, very high for what it should be over the Fourth of July holiday.
“Now that his body has been recovered, water is being let out, plus all the storms; it's bad,” he added.
There are multiple things that are causing problems that will be considered. Visibility is at zero. The current is swift. The buoys and roping that are needed for the triathlon competitors may not be able to be put in place or hold if they were.
“The river is so murky that if there was a problem. There is no visibility, and now we've put our first responders and safety people in danger,” Ohler said.
In talking with those who have inquired, Ohler is giving them information that there may not be a swim at Saturday's event; he has heard from a man in New York and several from the Pittsburgh area.
“Many of the local triathletes consider the swim as their weakest segment. Those who travel from a distance could be disappointed,” Ohler said. “They also acknowledge that anytime you are in a natural water venue, other than a lake, this problem is not uncommon; it does arise.”
“This is basically a situation similar to several weeks ago when the river could not be used for Braddock's Crossing,” said Bob Topper Sr. of New Haven Hose Company. “With all the rain and flooding, it depends on how the river is presenting at that time — swift water, brown water, we can't do anything in.”
“New Haven Hose Company officials have the link to the Army Corps of Engineers, and so New Haven will make the call,” Ohler said. “They will have the final say on whether we're getting into the river or not.
“I take their word as gold as far as safety goes,” he continued. “This is an event. It's for recreation. People have to realize that. We are not going to put anybody in harm's way. Safety first.”
“Plan B for the swimming part of our triathlon will be to do a biathlon format, which is run 2 miles, bike 10 miles, then finish with a 3-mile run,” said Greg Lincoln of the recreation board. “The info from the Army Corps of Engineers indicated that with runoff and what they release from the dam, the Yough River could be at flood stage on Saturday.”
“We are not ruling out the swimming portion of the triathlon, but it doesn't look good,” Ohler said.
A triathlon or biathlon will be held, beginning at 9 a.m. at Yough Park. For those not registered, registration is at 8 a.m. Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10:30 a.m. by St. James Catering.
Bands will start playing on the Yough Park stage at 11 a.m. Music will continue until 6 p.m. Recreation board members will be selling 50/50 plus raffle tickets for two Jimmy Buffett tickets to next Thursday's show in Burgettstown.
“The cornhole tourney starts at 1 p.m. We are hoping for a good turnout,” Lincoln said.
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Geibel grad dreams big, lands role in second feature film
- Uniontown Lady Red Raiders softball players playing with heart
- Laurel Highlands teacher ‘humbled’ by St. Vincent award
- Fayette judge: Man not competent to stand trial for fatal stabbing
- Connellsville chamber continues efforts to beautify city
- Couple hope Connellsville shop will attract trail users
- Connellsville wants to fill city-owned buildings
- Residents urged to volunteer in effort to scour Connellsville
- Official says Connellsville on right path
- Connellsville to host job fair