The Fly Route
There probably wasn't a whole lot that could be done in the short term to prevent the sewage backup Thursday at the Eudora cross country team's home invitational.
Still, doing nothing about the problem wasn't acceptable and left plenty of runners and fans in a disgusting situation.
The course, laid out just off Church St. between the middle school and the high school, isn't one of the prettiest in the area, but it makes for a good meet, usually yields good times and typically makes it easy for fans to watch the runners at several different points.
Combined with several awesome touches provided by Cardinal coach Paul Boone, the meet is usually a success.
This year's was no different in large part. Both of the varsity races were started by a cannon, a touch I've never seen anywhere but in Eudora, and the finish -- a dash south along the baseball field -- was accented by a giant clock.
A giant clock wasn't the only thing runners found while blitzing toward the finish, however.
A draining ditch that unfortunately ran directly parallel to the last 100 meters of the course reeked of sewage. The ground around it was muddy.
The "mud" came within six feet of the course for most of that final stretch. People stepping in it -- everyone swarms to the finish line -- was unavoidable.
Or was it?
The afflicted areas should have been roped off. That would have been a disaster -- it would have left only a skinny corridor for the large group of fans to stream through at the finish.
It would have saved plenty of equally disastrous scenes, however. Most people started through the muck before their brains connected the smell with the fact that it hadn't rained in awhile.
Some athletes tromped through barefoot right after their races.
A tight corridor would have been better.
While on the topic of the cross country meet, it was nice to see so many fans show up for what, again, is typically a great event.
It's too bad none of the other sports teams took the chance to cheer on their fellow program, though.
The course wrapped around fields where the soccer team, the high school football team and the middle school football team were practicing.
The middle school kept on practicing. The soccer team halted practice during the girls race and gathered for a team meeting. The high school football team continued to practice, too.
None of the teams split up to line the course and cheer. The teams practicing wouldn't have even had to leave the practice field -- just meander to one side of it and watch for a few minutes.
Both the high school teams obviously put the extra practice to good use. The soccer team played great Tuesday and beat Paola.
The football team beat down Anderson County and is really starting to look like the Cardinal team from a year ago.
I can't imagine taking a few minutes to cheer on the Eudora runners would have changed those positive results, however.