More Brooklyn Half Marathon Results Changes
Yesterday I wrote about the woman who was originally credited with finishing 4th in the 40-44 age group at Saturday's Brooklyn Half Marathon. She was later removed from the results, as apparently someone else wore her D-tag. Apparently this was far from an isolated incident. There are certainly several other suspect times, but there are two that jump out, and show just how widespread the cheating and banditry was at the race. The winner of the 35-39 women's age group has also been removed from the results after Brightroom photos showed a man wearing her bib, and credited with her time. Apparently not even a very nice man, because a guy he pushed during the race is the one who publicly outed him. The moral of the story is that if you're a bearded man masquerading as a woman, at least be polite.
Now the winner of the 45-49 women's age group has also been disqualified. The good news is that the woman who was named is actually the one who ran. The bad news is that she didn't run the whole 13.1 miles. That explains how a woman with a long history of running 8:00/mile could miraculously run a 1:22. Were it not for the minor technicality of not running over the 5k and 10k timing mats, then emerging at 50:45 for 15k (which would have made her the lead woman) before reverting to her usual 8:00/mile pace, perhaps she would have gotten away with it. The moral of this story is that if you're going to bend the rules, at least pick up a calculator first.
I have no idea what these people's motives are. Did the 45-49 woman try to pull a Rosie Ruiz, hoping for the glory of the AG win, or did she just take a shortcut, planning on crossing the line and getting her 9+1 (or 4+1) credit? Did the 35-39 woman sell or give away her bib, but fail to check on the gender and speed of the recipient?
I know this happens all the time. (Though I suspect that it's happening more and more due to high entry fees, pressure to to 9+1 or 4+1, and in some cases having to register far in advance of the race.) But the fact that others get away with it does not excuse what these folks are doing, nor does it mean that they shouldn't be punished by NYRR and called out here.
When I was a kid I used to buy cheap seats at Yankee Stadium and then in the 3rd or 4th inning I'd sneak down to empty box seats. Lots of people did it and got away with it. But once in a while I'd get caught. The ushers would bust my chops and occasionally threaten to throw me out. Even as a kid I knew better than to use the "but everybody does it" excuse. I took my chances and was willing to pay the price if caught. Hopefully the fact that these incidents have gotten a fair amount of attention will act as a deterrent.