Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marathon Madness

First hot day in SLC ~ 80 degrees.
Today was the ninth annual Salt Lake City Marathon.  Although I'm happy for many of my friends who ran and completed the marathon, half-marathon, and bike events, I've gotta tell you that I'm really quite displeased with this event.

Every year, the event "boxes me in" to my neighborhood.  This year was no exception.  I wish I had snapped a photo of the cop whose car I pulled around, rolled down my window, and told him that I was on my way to the Madsen Clinic near the University Hospital.  He told me that I had to turn around and go to I-80 (a good 10 miles round-about out of the way route) instead of merely crossing the street and proceeding on my way.

I drove past him, and encountered the next group of cops a block later.  When I pled my case and showed my ID badge, he laughed and told me the "hospital was closed today, didn't they tell you?"  and turned to his buddy, who was on a motorcycle.

The motorcycle cop was the cool guy.  "I'll escort you to 700 East, but after that, you're on your own... " and we got up to the area where hundreds (hundreds... ) of runners were streaming out of Liberty Park.  He looked over his shoulder and put up his hand, "Are you ready?"  I waved that I was ready.
My own bit of Solitude.

And we darted through the runners, crossing the street.  Frankly, I'm surprised I didn't hit anyone.  It was not a very safe situation.  But it was my first (and likely only... ) motorcycle police escort.  Shoot, I felt kind of foolish.  But it seems that I'm put in this situation every year.  I wasn't even supposed to work this weekend, but another one of the Nurse Practitioners was out of town visiting her family back east and I was happy to pick up some extra hours.

Each year, I say, "Never again.  Never again will I try to leave my house during the marathon."  But how ridiculous is that?  Cutting off access to thousands of people who live in this area because of a race?  There has got to be a better way.  Can't they build some sort of runners' bridge or something?  So that cars can get through on a couple of critical points so that they can get from one side of the city to the other?  What if there was an emergency?  I sure hope they let the fire trucks and the ambulances through.

After work, (thankfully I got home, at 12:20 the last of the participants were straggling through the park, and access was still limited on the main streets, but I snuck back to my house on some smaller surface streets) I put the dogs in the car and we headed up to our new favorite spot in the hills.  I saw no one for over an hour, and it was glorious.  10 minutes from the trailhead at the end of the jaunt, I saw one guy.  Thousands upon thousands of people down below, and I got to experience my own piece of solitude.  I am grateful for that.


  1. I'm glad that I was not the only one who was thoroughly pissed off because I couldn't get out of my neighborhood at 0630! There weren't even runners yet, but the police wouldn't let me pass! Seems that going to pick up your coop basket isn't a legit enough reason to get out...

  2. the city does not stop for the SL Marathon. it's ridiculous that they think we will just stop living for a day...