Which beat a Utah Transit Authority bus passenger in a 41/2-mile race from a radio station to a restaurant? A marathon runner? A skateboarder? A man walking with a pack strapped to his back?
Answer: All of them plus a motorcycle, a 1922 Model T Ford truck, a horse-drawn carriage and a car driven by a radio talk-show host who got lost during the Wednesday afternoon race and had to call the station for directions.UTA came in dead last in the race, which began at the studio of KTKK radio, better known as K-TALK, 3595 S. 13th West, West Valley City, and ended at the La Frontera Restaurant, 1434 S. Seventh West.
Contestants chosen from volunteers among the station's listeners arrived at the K-TALK studio at 1 p.m., and about 15 minutes later were sent on their respective modes of transportation to the restaurant.
Bea Duarte, a 60-year-old who said she can't drive and has relied on buses to get around Salt Lake City since 1962, walked to a bus stop several blocks away to wait for the next bus.
And wait. It took more than a half-hour for a bus to arrive and a total of one hour and 38 minutes for her to get within three blocks of the restaurant. While on foot, she got lost and had to retrace her steps, adding 14 minutes to her trip.
It had taken Bob and Anita Jacob-son just six minutes to cover the distance by motorcycle. And Martin Davies, host of a K-TALK call-in show, managed to drive there in 16 minutes and 42 seconds, despite not being able to find the restaurant without help from a passing pedestrian.
They were followed by bicyclist J.R. Stewart, who got there in 23 minutes; skateboarder Brian Stone and marathon runner Bryant Saville, who tied at 31 minutes and 31 seconds; Jim Smith, driver of an antique truck, 35 minutes; livery driver Wayne Scott, 39 minutes; and Charles Leslie, who walked, 1 hour, 2 minutes.
The results surprised even the organizer of what was billed as "The Great Race," K-TALK radio talk-show host Mills Crenshaw.
A UTA spokesman, however, said the bus passenger was destined to lose because of the route chosen. "They started in an obscure location and headed to an obscure location," said Craig Rasmussen.
"We tried to make this as fair as we could," Crenshaw said.
According to the UTA's own "BUS-INFO" service, the fastest Duarte could have made the trip was 1 hour, 24 minutes.
Just for the record: A Deseret News reporter and photographer made the trip in about 20 minutes even though they started late in order to take pictures of the racers. They did, however, beat a news crew from KUTV Channel 2.