Friday, September 14, 2007

Perspecitve On Triathlon

The Capital ran an editorial today about the triathlon, announcing their support for making this an annual event on the condition that the planning is better.

I wanted to give some perspective, if possible, on the effect such an event has on the city. Below are percentages--ratios of event participants in relation to city populations:

Boston Marathon: event participants equate to 3.4% of population
Chicago Marathon: capped at 45,000 participants, or 1.6% of the population
New York City Marathon: less than .01% of the population
Annapolis Triathlon: 1,500 participants, 36,500 citizens, or about 4.5% of the population

I actually agree with The Capital, and certainly with the triathlon participants, that we should continue this event if better planning is possible. But can the event be run as smoothly as we (we meaning churches, businesses, travelers, residents) would want? For what it's worth, there are more event participants per capita than the other events mentioned above.

Also, a glaring difference between New York, Boston, and Chicago, as opposed to Annapolis, is that they have good public transportation that many (most?) of their citizens use, so closing the streets for an event has less of an effect. In Annapolis, everybody drives everywhere. As we have seen, closing roads in Annapolis at any time has a terrible effect on everything.

There is no amount of planning that could provide for an event in this town for 50,000 people. Can we accommodate 1,500? If the triathlon becomes an annual event, hopefully the answer is yes.

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