This Sunday, the District will play host to a triathlon -- except it's not.
"Due to the recent storms, city officials and event organizers have canceled the swim [portion of the race]," planners of the Nation's Triathlon said in an email Thursday. "Flooding and fast moving currents have created hazardous conditions for swimmers, so this year's race will be a 40K bike and 10K run."
Olympic-distance triathlons like this one usually begin with a 1.5K (0.93-mile) swim. Participants in the Nation's Triathlon do theirs in the Potomac River.
The event, now in its 7th year, canceled the swim once before, in its first year, an organizer said. That was because their permit didn't come through in time.
On the event's Facebook page, most athletes were disappointed but understanding.
"As disappointed as we all are, I am sure you carry even heavier hearts," Natasha Wieschenberg wrote in part. "I know I will be there Sunday to still give it my all and look forward to trying again for the complete event in 2012."
However, some were disappointed that part of the challenge is gone, and requested a run-bike-run format (known as a duathlon) instead of just the bike-run plan.
Larry Flowers was concerned that so many cyclists would begin the race at the same time. Normally, as athletes come out of their respective swims, the crowd's transition to biking comes more gradually.
"I understand the call but think it's a bit early to make. I'm really bummed; the race was great last year even though it rained," Flowers wrote. "A time trial start with 4,000 riders is a bit risky. I'll sign up again for next year's race but not sure if I'm traveling in for this year.... See you next year for sure."