We have always had the provision in the race materials that we could change the course due to unexpected weather conditions, traffic control problems or other situations that affect the safety of participants, spectators and volunteers. For the first time in eleven years, we have such a situation.
This past Saturday we rode the course to mark road hazards – pot holes, sewer grates, etc. We discovered that a pipeline crew was working on Middle Creek Road. After many phone calls on Monday we discovered that the pipeline was not going to be a problem. However, one of the gas and oil companies is moving oversized drilling equipment on National Road in Elm Grove and on Middle Creek Road. Because of this the West Virginia Department of Highways will not allow us to have the bike race on these roads.
We have designed a new bike course that presents some challenges and is shorter than our old course. The link for the course is http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/111455635 .
This course exits Wheeling Jesuit University on Currie Drive and turns left onto Washington Avenue. Then, turn right onto National Road. Travel East to Junior Avenue. (This is beyond the old turn on Lumber Avenue.) United Bank is near the corner of Junior Avenue and National Road. You will make a right turn onto Junior Avenue and after you cross the bridge turn right onto Community Drive. You will go past HilDar, Camelot Restaurant and Mason Rehab. At this point you will enter the Bike and Run Trail. Follow this to downtown Wheeling. We will have ham radio operators throughout the length of the trail for your safety. The trail is open to the public and you may see runners and other bikers on the trail. There is a point where the trail crosses the intersection of Washington Avenue and Mt. de Chantal Road. We will have police and fire department coverage at this intersection along with volunteers. Please be alert at this point. This is also the route to Wheeling Hospital. If an ambulance needs to get to the hospital, the police may temporarily stop traffic.
When you get to the end of the trail at 17th Street, follow 17th Street to Chapline. Make a right on Chapline and follow this to the intersection of U.S. Rt. 40 (National Road) at the top of the hill. For those familiar with the area, this is where the Indian Statue is located. You will bear right and go down Wheeling Hill. This is a steep hill so we urge you to use caution with your speed. You will continue on National Road to Washington Avenue, turn right onto Washington Avenue and then right onto Currie Drive and back to campus.
There are a few intersections along National Road from the bottom of Wheeling Hill that we need to bring to your attention. The first is the on-ramp for I 70 West just beyond Med Express. Westbound traffic may want to access that ramp. We will have volunteers in that section to control the traffic.
The next difficult spot is the Perkins/ Kroger/ I 70 interchange. We will have police, fire department and volunteer coverage in this area. Traffic is normally heavy in that area and we will do our best to give you the right-of-way.
The section of National Road that you are entering now has a lot of stores and restaurants. We will have volunteers in this area to direct traffic.
After you pass the intersection of National Road and Rt. 88 (Sheetz is on the left and Tim Hortons on your right) you go up a slight hill. After it levels out, you will go down a hill with a very sharp right curve. (For those familiar with the area, this is Chicken Neck Hill.) You level out and in a few blocks you are at Washington Avenue.
As always, we will have volunteers wearing green shirts throughout the course. Please pay attention to them and to the police. We want this to be a safe race. USA Triathlon has approved these changes. The race is still a sanctioned event.
We are grateful to Harry Foose, a member of our planning committee and one of our participants, for designing the course. We are also very grateful for the support of the City of Wheeling, the Wheeling Police Department and the Wheeling Fire Department for their support in helping us make this a safe race course. We ask for your cooperation as we make the best of a difficult situation.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the event. You can reach us by phone at 304-243-5420 or by email. We are looking forward to seeing all of you on Saturday.