Triathlon is canceled because of bacteria levels in water - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Triathlon is canceled because of bacteria levels in water

Run-N-Tri is located in Gulfport (Image Source: WLOX News) Run-N-Tri is located in Gulfport (Image Source: WLOX News)
Harmful bacteria has caused enough concern to cancel triathlon (Image Source: WLOX News) Harmful bacteria has caused enough concern to cancel triathlon (Image Source: WLOX News)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

A coast event is canceled due to a danger lurking in the water. The bacteria known as Vibrio Vulnificus, is a common one in warm brackish waters like the Mississippi Sound.  Since late spring, there have been several reported cases of people getting infected as a result of Vibrio, that's why the owners of Run-N-Tri have decided to cancel their 2nd annual One Coast Triathlon.

“We were really saddened by having to cancel it. We already had people signed up and we were well on our way with sponsorship,” said Dean Morrow.

Morrow who owns Run-N-Tri, says all of the media attention surrounding the cases of the harmful bacteria had him concerned about going through with the sporting event that included a one mile swim in the sound.

“I did put out some feelers to some of the local people who have been swimming out here for years, and they don't want to get in the water then it's kind of a red flag,” said Morrow.

Blake Rutherford was already signed up for the triathlon and looking forward to it, but he's okay with the cancellation if it means not having to worry about getting sick afterward.

“I would rather just go somewhere and have fun and do a triathlon. I'm glad they took the initiative and so far in advance too,” said Blake Rutherford.

Research shows that Vibrio usually affects those who are immune compromised, but Morrow says when exerting that much energy you usually are.

“Anytime you do a very strenuous activity like a three hour race here with an Olympic distance triathlon, your immune system is going to be compromised,” said Morrow.

Morrow says the triathlon was going to make an economic impact on the coast with an estimated 120 people signed up from all over.

“There are people coming from San Diego and Arkansas for the race. So, I mean people coming in from out of town definitely it is a tourism draw. So, to have to cancel it is heartbreaking, but it's the safe thing to do,” said Morrow.
 
Morrow says they refunded money to all of the triathletes who had pre-registered, and they hope to continue with the event next year.

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