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  • 21 Apr 2014

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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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‘Own set of road rules’

To The Editor:

The Mad Marathon has successfully completed its third year. From the organizers to the volunteers to The Valley businesses to the going on 1,200 participants from all over the country, it's been a success story. As volunteers, we are always delighted to see the way the runners embrace the event. I love it when they take the time to stop along the way to take pictures (can't run without an iPhone!), even shooting fellow competitors with cows, horses and sheep in the background. That's my kind of fun! Others are more challenged, focused and just want to get on with it and that's okay, too.

My husband and I are "course marshals" and we've enjoyed the interaction of the runners and spectators at the North and Meadow Road junction for those three years. It's a beautiful spot and we get to see them run by three times from different directions. This year, when they had all progressed by there, I transitioned to the intersection of Route 100 and Slow Road at TD Bank where the half-marathoners and teams were already finishing and the full marathon winners were about to come into view.

My job was to direct four-way traffic plus the extremely tired and hot runners, almost running on empty, safely. It was my first time ever doing this and even though my father was a policeman, I'll admit to being pretty nervous. The job entails keeping traffic moving smoothly and, most of all, seeing to the safety of the tired runners, many of whom are obviously confused. It was an eye-opening experience.

My take from all of this is that I will never again be impatient with the traffic control crews that we have been seeing on a daily basis through all of the Route 100 construction. I surely appreciate those 99.9 percent of drivers and motorcyclists I encountered this past Sunday being friendly, observant, obedient, safe and cooperative of my position. Thank you.

I also observed 99.9 percent of bicyclists who were not. I'm amazed to this moment that no one on a bicycle was hit or injured. When they proceeded, with no attention to traffic control, directly through the closed portion of Route 100 without stopping or acknowledgement, it was the drivers' skill and further patience that averted incident or injury. It was as if they had their own set of road rules. Can that be? The next time I ride my bike on the public roads, I pledge to be more tolerant of the rules of the road and the safety of others. Is that too much to ask?

Kerry Keown
Waitsfield

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