If you’re going to be a motorcycle outrider for a marathon event, then there are probably some things to practice. Like low-speed throttle and clutch control. Or carrying a pillion, potentially with a camera on their shoulder. And maybe, the route? Because when this motorcyclist makes a marathon mistake, it potentially alters the result of the 2017 Venice Marathon!
The IAAF Bronze Label road race took place on Sunday October 22nd. And the 32nd running of the event was going pretty well. Coming up to almost half way through the race, a lead group of 7 runners were leading by almost a minute from the next pack. Until the lead motorcycle outrider took a wrong turn and led them up to what appeared to be a busy main road!
By the time following bikes had flagged them down and the runners realised the mistake they were now a minute behind. After all of that, the marathon win was taken by Eyob Gebrehiwet. The Eritrean-born Italian athlete was competing in just his second marathon event.
Meanwhile you have to wonder what happened with the motorcycle rider who sent the runners up what looks like a motorway slip road? Sat Nav failure? Map problem? Or just momentary brain fade thinking he or she was heading to work by mistake?
Either way, if you’re planning to volunteer and help an event, or even being paid to do it, then it’s a good idea to run through the route that one more time. Just in case…
Still. Could be worse…. At least the runners were still in one piece. Which is better than this mishap at the Red Hook Criterium cycle race in 2016, when the lead motorcycle outrider apparently stalled and couldn’t get away at the start.
Incidentally, we should make it clear we’re not trying to dissuade anyone from volunteering to help at events. It’s usually really good fun, and a nice way to not only help out. It also reminds people that motorcyclists are generally nice and friendly. And even shows how useful and practical a bike can be instead of a car…