Mixups In Two Marathons Cost a Victory in One and Bonus Cash in Another

mexico city marathon
Written by Charlie

These two marathon mixups cost one runner a victory and cost another runner a $1,250 bonus! In both marathons, there were nice endings for two people, though!

Last week, I wrote about the ridiculous shortening of the Milwaukee Marathon. This week, we are back with two more mixups. While they did have negative impacts, they did have positive endings for two people!

Mixups in Two Marathons Cost a Victory In One and Bonus Cash In Another

Marathon 1 – Venice Marathon

This first marathon mixup had to do with the motorcycle for the lead marathoners. Apparently, around mile 16, it veered a bit off course and led the lead runners a few hundred meters off the course before it turned around. Estimates place the mistake at costing those runners about 2 minutes.

That allowed Italian runner Eyob Faniel to take the lead (he had been about a minute behind the lead runners) and hold it until the end. This gave Venice their first Italian winner of the marathon in 22 years!

Reading the various news reports, there was some sloppy coverage about this mishap. One outlet referred to Faniel as a “random dude” and others make it sound like he was some random guy that just happened to come from no where and win.

How Much Did He Win By?

The truth is in the details, though. The reports (one such here) say that he was about 1 minute behind when the mistake occurred. Eyob ended up winning by 2 minutes, with one of the misled runners placing 3rd a bit over 2 minutes behind Eyob.

The mistake happened at mile 16 and cost the lead runners 2 minutes (approximately). That is by how much Faniel won the marathon by. While I am sure the disappointment of having gone the wrong way (and the extra runner involved in getting back on the course) dampened the original leaders a bit, Eyob Faniel still ran an excellent race. He did not win with the original leaders snapping at his heels but won by about the same time that they had lost.

So, while it is a great disappointment for the lead pack (and the vehicle leading them is to blame for that), it is a great joy and victory for Eyob Faniel. He finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, and 16 seconds. That is a great time!

I like what Sports Illustrated had to say about him at the end of their article: “A relatively unknown runner? Sure but he’s not just some random fuel-belt wearing jogger who got off the couch and won off a costly error.

What did it cost the lead runners? The first place prize was €6,000 and going under 2 hours and 10 minutes (which certainly was possible) would have netted another €3,000 – ouch!

HT: Sports Illustrated

Marathon 2 – Toronto Marathon

This little mixup really didn’t cost anyone anything – in the end. But, at the time, it did cost the winner a $1,250 bonus! Trevor Hofbauer ran the Toronto Marathon as his debut marathon and ended up winning it. He did it in a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 6 seconds. That was a great time and he, understandably, felt really excited about the time and winning the marathon.

He was so excited, in fact, that he slowed in the final little bit to high-five cheering fans and celebrate a bit on this win (you can only run your first marathon once and to win it is really something else!).

The mixup? That little celebration cost him extra seconds over what he would have finished in and that cost him a $1,250 bonus for not going under 2:18.

Fortunately, some fans took to GoFundMe to make up that amount for him. They did more than that, raising $2,616 for him!

Featured image courtesy of Ostill : 

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.