COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – Completing a race has its own obstacles, but runners were thrown for a loop when a train crossed their path.
On Saturday morning the Mill Race Marathon kicked off at 7:30 a.m. in Columbus, but a Louisville and Indiana Railroad that goes along the path of the course had a train rolling down the tracks at Lindsey Street.
According to 24-Hour News 8’s news partners at the Columbus Republic the train stopped and several runners in the lead had to curve around the front to cross the tracks. The race eventually backed up and runners had to climb between the train cars.
Police attempted to stop the runners from crossing over the cars, but runners continued to run across the cars after police stopped one line.
Race Director Joel Sauer attempted to talk with railroad personnel on the scene to get them to stop. However, the train blew a long blast from its horn, and started to move forward with no regard for the runners’ safety.
Police managed to get runners away from the danger.
“We had no clue this would happen,” Sauer told the Republic. “We worked extra hard to make sure no trains would come through. There were supposed to be no trains We’re going to need to do more digging to find out what happened.”
Another train was expected to come across the same tracks at the start of the 5K, but Sauer said he was working to make sure that didn’t happen.
According to organizers some runners in the middle of the pack were delayed up to two to three minutes by the train.
Organizers say those who were delayed can’t necessarily have their times adjusted.
Columbus Police spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris said thankfully, no one was injured and the train was moved out of the way.
Louisville and Indiana train officials spoke with Harris and city officials on several occasions to assure that no trains would be on the tracks during the marathon.
Course officials say officials at the railroad apologized to the marathon organizers.