I just saw a story on the San Francisco Chronicle about the fastest time in this weekends Nike Women’s Marathon. 24-year-old Arien O’Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women. The only thing, is that she didn’t state that she was an elite runner and started 20 minutes behind the elite wave of runners.
In the end O’Connell finished 11 minutes faster than any other racer. She finished with the only sub 3 hour time with 2:55:11 which was a 12 minute PR. The winner of the race ended up with a 3:06 winning time. O’Connell was told by Dan Hirsch, the race director “If you’re feeling like you’re going to be a leader, you should be in the elite pack.”
I think that if you have the fastest time on the course you should be declared the winner. I have previously wondered about this outcome in a race and how it would be handled. Everyone should start at the same time to eleviate something like this happening.
I also saw a story from the Chicago marathon that there was a runner who ended up 4th in the race, but didn’t receive the prize money. Due to the same issue of elite runners starting earlier, Wesley Korir, a Kenyan native and track and cross-country runner at the University of Louisville, ended up 4th in the results, but didn’t receive the fourth place prize money of $15,000.
Maybe in the future we will see everyone that runs the race sign up as elite, for that just in case moment that they place in a race.