Section: News

Accident halts triathlon

By Lauren Eller

The Kenyon Triathlon,  which was hosted by the Kenyon Swimming and Diving teams, Kenyon College Athletics and the College this year on Oct. 4, unfolded in an unfortunate way.

“It was definitely not what I was expecting going into it,” Cecina Babich Morrow ’18 said. She reported that she’d been experiencing bike trouble while completing the cycling leg of the triathalon when she came upon a large group gathered at one point along the route. They were clustered around one of the triathlon participants — a community member and Kenyon alumnus — who had been struck by a truck as he was making a turn on his bike.

“I got to the first turn and there were all these people standing around,” she said. “I had no idea what was happening, so I was going to ask for help fixing my bike, and then I pull up and I see him on the ground … and just general mayhem occurring.”

Ellie Crawford ’17 was one of the first people to arrive on the scene, saying that the driver of the truck was already calling 911.

“Within a couple hundred yards, I had gone up this hill to a stop sign, and I saw [the participant] lying on the ground.” she said. “At first I thought, ‘Oh, he fell off his bike, I should look and see what happened.’ And then, as I got closer, it was clear that something really bad had happened because the bike was everywhere.” She and a few others removed broken pieces of the bike from the road and kept him conscious while waiting for paramedics to arrive. The remainder of the race was cancelled after the incident.

Nate Novak ’18, another participant, said that the route for the triathlon was marked, but that it was probably near impossible for the biker to have slowed down enough at the designated stop sign. “He had a lot of speed,” he said. “He was going at least 25 miles per hour.”

“I’ve heard recently that he’s doing okay, all his vitals are fine,” Crawford said. Babich Morrow heard similarly, saying, “I’m really glad that he’s okay.”

Given that this was the third triathlon put on by the swim team — though this was the first one that was open to public participation — the team plans to work to prevent such accidents from happening during next year’s event.

“We are thinking about getting in touch with whoever is in control of the Gap Trail so that [future triathlon participants] don’t have to cross any streets,” swimmer Celia Oberholzer ’15 said.


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