Friday, August 5, 2011

Pedestrian wins Errand Run 2011

Walking proves faster than driving or biking in Mountain Rides’ game


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Hailey resident Jeff Wells won the Mountain Rides Errand Run 2011 by walking to complete three simulated errands in Ketchum on Wednesday. Wells is holding the bingo-type card used to document his journey. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority demonstrated Wednesday that it's sometimes faster to get around Ketchum by walking rather than driving a car, or even riding a bicycle.

But that all depends on where someone is going.

About 30 people participated Wednesday afternoon in the Mountain Rides Errand Run 2011, a competition centered at the Ketchum Town Plaza to see who could achieve three simulated errands the fastest. There were nine locations, eight in Ketchum and one in Sun Valley, as designated on a bingo-type card given to each participant.

To complete, players had to go to three locations, picking up a sticker at each to simulate an errand achieved. The three locations could be arranged on the card horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

But there were different rules for pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrians could choose a diagonal combination, but bicyclists had to choose a horizontal or vertical arrangement. Inspection of the card showed that locations arranged diagonally were closer together.

The event started at noon. The best time was recorded by Hailey resident Jeff Wells, who as a pedestrian completed three simulated errands in seven minutes.

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Starting at the Town Plaza, Wells simply walked next door to the Ketchum Visitor Center for his first sticker. He then crossed Sun Valley Road to pick up second sticker at The Elephant's Perch. He had to walk a few blocks farther to get a third sticker at Forest Service Park.

Carrie Westergard, Mountain Rides outreach and public relations specialist, took the same route as Wells but did it by car for comparison purposes. She said it took her 20 minutes.

"Seven walkers were done before Carrie came back," said Eric Grootveld, Mountain Rides bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

Most of the participants received some sort of prize, drawn at random by Mountain Rides Board Member Nils Ribi. There were ice show passes from Sun Valley Resort, free Mountain Rides bus passes and free pass or gift certificates from Scott USA, Atkinsons' Markets, Zenergy Health Club and Spa and the Wood River Community YMCA.

All the participants got a free meal, with hamburgers or hotdogs cooked by Mountain Rides staff.

Wells said he only learned about the event on Tuesday evening when he spotted a story on the Idaho Mountain Express website.

"I saw it in the news feeds and thought it would be a great idea," he said. "I rode from Hailey on my bike, but I thought I'd do [the errands] faster by walking."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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