Sunday, August 26, 2007


I'm back at the hotel for a while anyway, just to decompress a little from the heat. The swim start was the time trial start as planned. From where I was, I could not see the actual start, but I could see athletes swimming and coming out of the water. I had to leave around 8 am however to pick up Nancy, Bruce's wife, from the airport. Befiore I left to do that, I did do a quick check on the status of those I was keeping track of, but only a couple were done already: Courtney, the fastest at 1:11:43, and another one of my group at 1:12:33. Then I was in limbo until we got back from the airport. I only came back to the hotel then to bring Nancy here to unpack and again did a quick check on the status. By then, all had finished the swim, but Don was the slowest, so I don't know what happened there. That's one disadvantage of not being able to stick around the transition area, to get the whole story.

Then Nancy and I drove out to LaGrange to view some of the bike course and try to spot some of the people we knew. LaGrange is about 22 miles northeast of Louisville, but is a little town with quaint shops, a train that goes right through town, and A LOT OF TRAFFIC! I realize some of the traffic was due to the race, but here's what has me upset: they did not close any roads in the area to traffic! There was a 4 way intersection where cars only stopped because of the police there to monitor traffic, but there is no traffic light or 4 way stop, so some of these cars, to avoid the long wait to go through the intersection, turned instead onto the bike course! And the police did nothing. There were so many near collisions with cars it was maddening and scary to watch. The spectators were furious at the stupid cars going through and were yelling and hollering at them to get out of the way. It was like some of them thought this whole thing was set up for them personally! Basically, there was only one lane for them to go through because of spectators in the other lane, and to have cars going through there at the same time? My question: if there was a parade through town, would they allow traffic to drive through it or cross intersections in front of it?? Crazy. To make matters worse, right after this 4 way intersection there is a steep downhill where the athletes were getting up to 30 mph and they were having to dodge cars! I had to get out of there because I was getting so upset, but was glad and surprised that we saw Don and Bruce at least. I doubt they saw us. We were extremely fortunate to come across a parking spot just wide open and waiting for us, right across from a barbeque place, and on the bike course, so we had it all there for a while it seemed!

My opinion then of the bike course? They need to close it to traffic, at least keep it reasonably closed off, so there is no thoroughfare through the bike portion. Its one thing to have traffic going by you; its quite another to have to ride in front of or behind cars while you are in a race, especially a race of this magnitude. And having to dodge around them like in a maze. Very unsafe and congested if you ask me.

Well, back to the race. Maybe more later, but only my observations of course.

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