Cardinal Triathlon officials move race from Oldham County, cite safety concerns

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By Tracy Harris

Safety concerns have prompted organizers of Saturday's Cardinal Triathlon to relocate the event out of Oldham County. The race, in its fifth year, has drawn elite athletes to the area as a tune-up before the August Ironman Louisville event.

Organizers Todd and Cynthia Heady made a last-minute decision to move the race to Taylorsville after learning there would be no police support for the race.

An email sent from Prospect city officials through the "City Mail" alert system Thursday told residents the race would be coming through the city at two different times as participants biked down River Road and U.S. 42.

"There are no plans to close any roadways, nor will there be an attempt to direct traffic manually," according to the email.

The email also stated traffic signals would be working normally and cyclists would be sharing the road with vehicles and obeying all traffic signals.

"This comes as a shock to us as well," said Cynthia, who posted online Thursday that the event would change location.

But Prospect Police Chief Jeff Sherrard said the decision wasn't his — it came from the private security firm the Headys hired for traffic control.

Off-Duty Police Services told Sherrard there would not be traffic control on the bike portion of the course. 

Sherrard said officials from Off-Duty Police Services told him riders were to obey all traffic regulations.

Sherrard said he does not have enough officers scheduled for Saturday morning to designate one to traffic control.

"If we had prior notice we may have been able to make an arrangement for a car to help," he said.

The Headys applied for an event permit through Louisville Metro Police as they have done in the past — the start and finish are in Jefferson County at Captain's Quarters.

Sherrard said his department didn't have advance notice about the event and he only learned about it Wednesday.

He contacted LMPD and was learned Off-Duty Police Services would be handling traffic control.

The race will now take place at Taylorsville Lake State Park, where Headfirst Performances hosts several other events.

"After much consideration and looking at all our options, we decided this was the only safe way for us to go," Cynthia said. "As you can imagine, we have a lot of work ahead to make this happen."

Refunds or entry transfers are available for registrants who can't participate at the new location. Early registration was $130 per participant.

 About 200 people are registered for the event.