'Smooth' Triathlon, some still upset

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By The Staff

Another Louisville Ironman Triathlon has come and went with no major incidents, according to several police departments in the county.

Oldham County Sheriff Steve Sparrow said his deputies did not have anything “out of the ordinary” with Sunday’s triathlon. La Grange Police Department reported no problems as well.

Oldham County Police say they also did not have any problems with the competition, while coordinating with Kentucky State Police and Louisville Metro Police.

While the race went off without a hitch, including a new record time for the men’s competition, many Oldham County residents were still displeased with the race.

Chuck Kimberl, a longtime constable and farmer who lives in Skylight, says the race makes him and his neighbors “prisoners” for a full day, since many roads are shut down for most of the day for the competition.

Kimberl says he can’t do normal farming operations, like cut hay, during the triathlon because police shut down the road that separates his property.

“I wish that event would move to China,” Kimberl said. “This is not just one day a year. As soon as the weather is halfway tolerable, (competitors are) in our neighborhood until the weather is crappy in the fall.”

Kimberl would rather the event go through other neighboring counties, but the contract for the event calls for it to continue through Oldham for the near future.

Not all Oldham residents are upset with the triathlon.

Bill Hoelscher says he believes the triathlon is a good public event for the county and that road closures one day a year is just part of living in the area.

Hoelscher says he’s stood along the competition route in Oldham for years, cheering on competitors and taking in the fun of the event, calling the triathlon “tremendous” for the area.

“People don’t realize how hard that is and what type of commitment these people have,” Hoelscher says. “Most people are not pros.”

Hoelscher says most people in the county aren’t trapped by the multiple road closures and ample public notice allow people who didn’t want to be in Oldham during the road closures the chance to go somewhere else for the day.

Email us about this article at news@oldhamera.com.