That actually happened in Des Moines, where would be marathoners were held up on the course as a train passed through. Race organizers were disappointed that they didn’t choo-choo-choose a better race course.
[Kenyan David] Tuwei caught the 40-year-old [Kenyan Simon] Sawe and the two waited … and waited … and waited for the train to pass. Third-place Geoffrey Birgen had nearly caught the two leaders when the train finally crossed the street about 40 to 50 seconds later.
A 26.2-mile race came down to a 400-meter sprint, and Sawe used his speed as a former 1,500-meter runner to pull away and win the $3,000 top prize in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 50 seconds. Tuwei finished 5 seconds back.
“When you have to wait, you think about crazy things,” said Sawe, who indicated for a fleeting moment he thought about jumping onto the train. “Usually you don’t get me at the end when you give me a chance.” –Des Moines Register, via Sports Rubbish.
Of course, this is much better than what would have delayed any marathon in Kenya: rampaging gunfire from angry militants. It’s easy to see how great a country America is when people are getting pissed off about trains. Hey, that train’s carrying over 200 tons of happiness across the country. What the hell did you ever do?