A friend of mine in CA (where I currently live as well) is interested in racing Nation's Tri. He's concerned about the Potomac's water quality and possible weather issues. How is the water quality? Any issues? Any concerns about weather at that time of year? Thanks!
Thousands of people have swum in the Potomac. Very few have gotten sick. Usually from the runoff of a heavy rain a day or two before the swim.
If the bacteria count is high or the water particularly rough, the race will cancel the swim leg. Otherwise, it's a go.
Heading to the Thursday eve WaveOne Potomac swim at Natl Harbor...
The Potomac is fine. However, it does seem like it is a "big deal" for a lot of people. My first ows was in a man-made lake in ex-coal country WV. Getting into the Potomac for the first time did not even phase me.
It is usually fairly warm here in early September. I do not remember what the water temperature was last year, but it was over wetsuit legal. Nation's does have a wetsuit only wave if that is the case. So, if your friend REALLY wants to wear a wetsuit he can, but that wave is the very last wave. I couldn't find a specific website that plots the water/air temperatures from past Nation's, but if you google it, there are blogs/forums where people have posted about it as well.