20
Oct
09

Train Holds Up Marathon


Iowa MarathonSunday’s Des Moines Marathon was going to plan, the leaders were headed to the finish line, they could see it only 400 meters away but they were stopped in their progress. Despite letting the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IIR) authorities know that the race would be crossing the tracks and arranging for no trains to come through, a long freight train was going through no matter what.

“It’s one of those things, when I heard through our communications — what can you do at that time?” Race Director Chris Burch asked.

The eventual winner, Kenyan Simon Sawe said he was shocked to see the freight train, “Nobody is prepared for that scenario,” Sawe told The Des Moines Register. “I couldn’t believe it. It was a long train.”

Because he was forced to wait, Sawe’s lead dwindled and fellow Kenyan David Tuwei was about to catch up. Once the train cleared the two men sprinted to the finish line, with Sawe winning by about 5 seconds. Can you imagine how furious Sawe would (justifiably) have been had he lost the race because of the train?

Mick Burkhart, Iowa Interstate Railroad vice president, apologized via e-mail. He said the railroad was aware of the race and had agreed not to operate in the area during the marathon.

“Due to some miscommunication, a train was allowed into the race area before it was supposed to,” Mick Burkhart of the IIR said. “There is no excuse for this happening.”

[Fox News]


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