Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who Let the Horses Out?

I saw this video of the Criterium International in 1997 and it reminded me of the Hollis Fast 5 Road Race in June 2008 where two horses got loose and ran across the back of the pack. One horse sprinted ahead on the left side of the course going into traffic while us shocked runners watched him go by. His saddle had fallen back and the horse was trying to kick it off as well as catch race leader, Nate Jenkins, who is pictured here. I don't know if he knew the horse was coming (I guess he did) but I think he was ready to outrun the horse! I think the horse veered off the course (or fell over) at one point. I didn't see. I wish there were photos or a video somewhere as it was the strangest thing I have seen in a race.

Here are horse crashes of a different sort during the Tour de France.

Actually there seems to be a lot of horses ready to race. This video is from the 2007 Tour de Suisse.

It would be very interesting to have a race photo of the horse joining the Hollis race. Can you imagine the grins it would give! How about this race video at Sunday' Austin Marathon. Imagine seeing yourself in the video with the meteor!

I saw something like this when I was in eight grade delivering newspapers. I lived in Falmouth and delivered papers on parts of the Falmouth Road Race course. I was at about the 5 1/2 mile mark across from Falmouth Harbor, where the bandstand is today, and even though it was still daylight outside, I saw a fireball like this streak across the sky. It was pretty spectacular. I can only guess that it was a meteor.

Speaking of crashes at the Hollis Fast 5. At the first running of the event the finish line was about 20 yards beyond a tight 90 degree turn into the parking lot of the landscaping place. They no longer have that corner there anymore. The race now finishes in a straight line on the road. Race director George LeCours hinted that he was going to call that corner "Hansen's Corner". While finishing the race I saw I was about to break 18 minutes on the course clock and tried to go fast and quick through that corner. I was a little too quick and slid out on the silt on the side of the road doing a spectacular sliding fall (at least to me). I quickly got up with quite a bit of road rash but did not break 18 minutes (I know it is a downhill course!).

Here is the photo taken seconds before the fall.

1 comment:

Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

Jim, Great post. With all the racing experience that George LeCour has you would think he would have realized his mistake before it caused you to crash and burn. Then again I've indulged in many adult beverages with George over the years and can understand how he might end up with a brain cramp.