Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Spectator's Observations : NJ Devilman Triathalon

New Jersey Devilman Half and Sprint Triathlon, Cedarville, NJ.
My brother did the Half Iron: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. I spectated. And took a few notes because the day was ripe with possibility. Before I detected the nefarious goings-on.

  • Opportunities for Bookies promoting Games of Chance. I'm going to make a fortune next year. On occasions when the Sprint route diverged from the Half Iron route, high stakes wagering could add some auxiliary excitement to the event.

    Given the absence of signs or obvious directional assistance of any kind, athletes less skilled in orienteering had equal odds of picking the correct route. Additional game tables could be set up near most of the unmarked and unmanned turns on the course.

  • A Chance to hone my Math Skills. 500 racers. 6 porta-potties. Probably plenty but I was never good with fractions. I was surpised to find the toilets filled to the brim. In the spirit of adventure, they had been set up on a slight hill so when the wind blew you suddenly became very anxious.

  • Freedom for my Uplifted Spirit. Coming out of a confusing intersection, runners would whip down the wrong road and wind up in a parking lot. In the parking lot was a truckload of Police Department Explorers in yellow T-Shirts with VOLUNTEER written in bold black type across the backs.

    It was so uplifting to see young men with such empathy and concern for others. They clatched and chatted and blithely looked on while two spectators stepped up and directed runner traffic at the intersection.

  • The Inspiration of a Well-Coiffed Mentor. Probably the role model for the Police Department Explorers was from the local fire department. Runners spilling out of a side street pretty much got clipped by oncoming motor vehicles whizzing down a major local artery.

    The Role Model was supposed to be directing traffic but got into his car when it started raining. Probably didn't want to muss his hairdo. Completely understandable.
  • My Conspiracy Theory. At first, I merely found the lack of signage inconvenient. We couldn't figure out how to navigate to the race start or where to park. Then I took note of the aforementioned token attempts to guide or assure the safety of triathletes on the course. I got to thinking.

    The chances seem good that contenders who had not memorized the race route would wander around lost for many hours. Or even better, get hit by a car. And because their fans couldn't figure out how to drive in, no one would notice. Conspirators would have ample time to pilfer all the racers abandoned gear in the transition area. Those cunning bastards!
To be fair, the water stops were well-organized and the traffic cops did a great job at the intersections they manned.

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