This story (http://running.competitor.com/2011/10/news/marathon-cheat-expelled-from-his-running-club_40158) in the news today reminded me of the day I was told point blank by another runner that he had cheated at a marathon.
There are some terrible things people can do in life. In running I would say cheating is one of the worst.
I was recently at a party and was introduced to a man who ran marathons. The host of the party thought we would get along great because we were both runners who had run Boston and Marine Corps Marathons. I instantly started chatting because I’d rather make small talk about running than small talk about other stuff. He asked how many times I had run Boston and how many times I had run Marine Corps? I said 2 times for Boston, 5 times for Marine Corps. He laughed and said yeah technically I’ve run Marine Corps 5 times too, so I can be in the Runner’s Club.
Technically I asked?
Yeah well once I gave my Bib number to someone else (ok I don’t like this but I’m not getting into the ethics of this now) and another time I just didn’t feel like running Haines Point so I just cut the course and finished.
Ummm excuse me?
My face was as white as a sheet. How on God’s green earth can you just decide to cut a marathon and then still have the nerve to run through the finishing chute and grab a medal. How do you not feel bad about it later and write the Marine Corps staff and tell them what you did and ask them to take you out of the results. How are you not so embarrassed by this story that you are telling it to a complete stranger.
Needless to say after that I didn’t have much else to say to this man. The silence got awkward and someone else walked up. I didn’t say anything to him as I slipped away from the conversation.
The place where I was at was not the place for me to confront this man, so I said nothing. But I can’t get it out of my head that people actually cheat at marathons. I wonder if his time was his BQ and if he was able to run Boston off of this cheated time? I’ll never know.
What would you do if you knew someone you knew or didn’t know – cheated in a marathon?