Little 5 participants were informed earlier this week that the course for race day has been shifted due to unforeseen construction hazards.
Riders, who were originally supposed to circle the GCPA in a clockwise fashion, are now preparing to ride around Lilly Fitness Center and Julian Science and Mathematics Center (S. College, E. Hanna, S. Indiana, and E. Olive streets) counterclockwise.
Mason Seeger, co-chair of the Little 5 Steering Committee, explained that when the race was originally planned, committee members were unaware that construction would begin this semester and that the previous course was the best option.
As for the changes, Seeger said, “Riders will have to practice left-hand turns and familiarize themselves with the new course, but this should not have any real effect on the race itself.”
Participants, some of which have been preparing indoors since the start of the semester and outdoors with their teams since the beginning of March, are now tasked with adjusting to the new course.
Rafael Robert, who has raced in Little 5 before for his fraternity Delta Upsilon, said “there’s a lot of little things” that riders will have to pay attention to with the course change. From where the potholes are to where it’s safe to make passes, Robert, senior, plans to use his remaining practice time to take note of these details.
Despite being less than three weeks out from the race, Robert is okay with the changes if it means greater safety. “If that chain link fence is going to be there during that weekend, I don’t want to have to take a spill and get caught up in that fence,” Robert said.
Drew Harris, junior, is frustrated with the recent change to the course. “With the old course, there was a small portion going right in front of the freshman dorms where you kind of go downhill…I would have been able to gain some speed on that portion. But with the new course there’s an uphill battle area,” said Harris, who is racing on the Kappa Kappa Gamma team for the second time. “It’s minor, but it still has an impact.”Emily Troyer, a senior member of Alpha Chi Omega’s team, said, “Safety and course practice have been so heavily emphasized for the last month, so I am surprised that this occurred at all.”
Troyer is competing in Little 5 for the first time and is worried that the changes will add to the danger of the race. “Many changes to the course substantially vary the conditions of the race. This can not only be disconcerting, but it can be dangerous, especially for first-time riders.”
The races are scheduled for Saturday, April 27. The women’s teams will race first followed by the men’s.