Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cutting Corners

People do it all the time...whatever way they can get ahead, cheating on their taxes, lying about a project they did, using cheap parts and charging like you used good parts...and you are doing a disservice not only to yourself, but a lot of other people in instances like that. But what about in running?

An interesting question was posed today on a board I read…If you saw someone taking a shortcut in a marathon would you report them and/or talk to the person? This one kind of tears me…I think of the scandal last year at the Marine Corp Marathon with the group from Canada that had some of their runners cut a couple of miles off so they could be sure to make the bridge cut off and be able to "finish the marathon". The excuse was if they didn't do that, some of their runners wouldn't make the cut off time and would be discouraged, OK, so then why did you pick this marathon to do, why not do one that allows slower people time enough to finish? This is a charity group, they raise money and from what I’ve read about it, they encourage women to get off the couch and out the door and do something good for themselves. OK, that’s great, awesome in fact, that you are getting people out to do something like that…and the goal is to do it in a year. OK, a bit tough, but still honestly doable with the right training…this charity group should pick a marathon that has a less strict time limit and allow the women to actually do the full marathon and claim the real victory no matter how long it takes them…some courses are even open for 8 hours!! They were given medals for something they did not complete. The told people they had run a marathon and they had not run the marathon 26.2 distance. Who did it hurt? Mainly them. They were the ones claiming false victory, but to some degree it does tarnish the sport.

In answer to the question, when it isn't someone that is going to win, then yes really it’s only cheating themselves and it’s something they have to live with. If I could report it, or somehow let someone know, I probably would, and it sucks that there are people out there that would do that as I think of runner’s as some of the greatest people in the world, and it sucks that even in our sub-group of the population that there are people like that. And why do it? Does it give you great feel saying hey, I ran a marathon when you know that you only ran 24 miles? What is the point?? My one biggest problem I think that would come from it though would be if someone cut corners and made it to Boston that way. Again, hurting themselves most, but by doing that they are doing a disservice to the sport that I have had the love/hate relationship with for so much of my life, but has now almost become an obsession…

1 comment:

Kurt said...

I remember the MCM thing and they were wrong dead wrong. They cheated themselves and tried to justify it away. It was a bunch of bull and I am glad that particular club was banned from the race. I agree with you, find something that you can do and has the time to allow it.