What the hell??!
This story is just too weird on several levels.
EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Passing freight trains disrupted the 2005 Quad Cities Marathon, prompting a race organizer to drive a pace truck onto the path of an approaching locomotive.Egads! I know Moreno is an avid runner, but..... I mean, how would this story change if the train turned the former East Moline mayor into a grease spot?
After runners were forced to stop and wait as two trains made their way through East Moline on Sunday, Joe Moreno sped over to an intersection near the 22-mile marker and parked his truck on railroad tracks, blocking a third train from passing.
"I don't know how fast it was coming, but you could hear it coming from a distance. It was blowing its horn," Moreno said Monday.
The train stopped less than a block away from Moreno's truck.
Moreno says he then sat in the vehicle with the doors locked -- for nearly an hour and a half -- as several hundred runners crossed the tracks. A railroad employee tried to get Moreno to move his truck, but it wasn't until police arrived that the former East Moline mayor agreed to move the vehicle.
"With every minute, I was buying time for the runners," Moreno said.
Richard Stoeckly, vice president and chief operating officer of the Iowa Interstate Railroad Co., said the disruptions were the result of a "breakdown in communication" between race organizers and the Cedar Rapids, Iowa,-based company.
The disruptions did not affect the marathon's elite runners, Moreno said, adding that a passing train also interrupted the marathon in 1999.
And what sort of planning routes a marathon race across active railroad tracks with no effort to prevent it being stopped by slow moving freight trains?? I mean, I have this picture in my head of hundreds of runners jogging in place as the lights blink and bells clang and a slow moving freight lumbers by for about 10 minutes. Wouldn't it be great to travel all the way from California or Kenya to run in some dinky town in the midwest only to have to wait for a freight train to pass in the middle of the race?
And this is the mindblowing part.... this was not the first time this had happened! And they STILL didn't change the route or make any arrangements with the railroad?! Michael Brown could do a better job than THAT!