The Circuit of Americas track, which will host the Formula One race in less than two weeks, saw its first race Saturday, with Formula Run, a foot race put on by RunTex. Unfortunately, horrendous traffic kept many runners from making it in time for the start of the race, including mayor Will Winn, Statesman.com reports.
5,000 people participated in the race, compared to the 120,000 fans that are expected for Formula One. Heavy fog and congestion at Texas 130 and FM 812 left people waiting more than an hour and a half. The race was delayed by 40 minutes to give participants more time to arrive, but many runners said they still missed the starting gun by half an hour.
Officials are going to implement several traffic controls for the Formula One race, like using the shoulders of FM 812 as lanes to make it a four-lane road. Three lanes would move in one direction in the morning and switch to the opposite direction in the afternoon. They also plan to transport the majority of ticket holders by bus from downtown and East Austin.
The expected travel time to and from the track will be slightly over three hours at its peak. They plan to study how things went with the Formula Run and use them for the actual race.
RunTex, who sponsored the run, plans to use the track for 20 events a year in the future. He plans to hold Marathon Kids, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, bicycle races and other non-profit fundraising events at the track in the future. He hopes it will cut down on the need to close downtown streets, thereby cutting costs for races as well.