Thursday, June 07, 2007

Athlete Down

Monday night I was at our monthly club meeting. Our guest speaker was pro athlete Matt Reed. He had won Escape last year and took 4th this year. As the evening was winding down, Terry, the head of Tri-California, addressed the club briefly. He thanked the club for our continued support of the race and more importantly updated us on a serious accident that occurred on the bike course. Accidents happen all the time in triathlons but sometimes you get a real serious one, this was one.

According to Terry, a male cyclist was on a downhill section headed out towards Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach. The road is wide and clear for the most part, a good cyclist could pick up a lot of steam here. It's unclear how fast he was going but he hit a hidden obstacle on the course. Basically its a bump on the asphalt where a bike could pick up air and a cyclist could lose control. It wasn't marked because unlike a pothole or a crack it wasn't a break on the surface of the road. The athlete lost control, crashed, went over his handlebars and hit the ground with his head. Undoubtedly saved by his helmet, he was able to get up only to be hit by an oncoming male cyclist. I've been on this hill, it's not unreasonable to be going 30+/40+ miles per hour on this stretch. A female cyclist was also injured when she wasn't able to avoid the ensuing crash. The first guy suffered the most and remains in the hospital, the other two were released from the hospital the same day. He's reportedly safe now but his injuries will take some time to heal. He's expected to stay in the hospital for about a month and his parents who came to see him race will be staying here in San Francisco while they attend to their son's recovery.

In the athletic endeavours that we participate in there's always that element of danger that for the most part never materializes. Now and then however something happens and we are reminded that it's not all fun and games. My friends, train hard, race hard and do your best to be safe.

The race itself, from a volunteer's point of view, was great. I got pictures and a report that I'll share later.


  1. Scott Dunlap had his close-up view in his latest blog entry.

  2. Yikes Rick, when I have seen some crashes on TV it was scary enough... I think for now I am going to keep my feet CLOSE to the ground.

    Look forward to your pics & report!

  3. I just spent some time reading and re-reading Scott's blog entry. That's just f crazy. I'm so glad he's ok and the woman was alive. I'm also totally impressed by the ultra community's response to his situation. What a community of friends.