A couple of weeks ago, the GO! St. Louis Marathon saw an unfortunate incident where the female “winner” jumped the course after the last checkpoint. This runner has been banned from the organization’s future races and also had her Boston qualifier from last year’s St. Louis marathon disqualified.
The Fake Winner
It is unfortunate to see runners cheat themselves and the legitimate race participants. In such a situation as this St. Louis Marathon, this female runner not only cheated herself out of the marathon experience but she also cheated the real winner. The prize for the first place female was $1,500. Not only did the cheating runner try to take the $1,500 prize in her cutting of the course but she also broke the tape at the finish line taking the attention away from the real winner.
Finding The Real Winner
In cases such as this, it is always a great thing to see how a marathon organization handles it. In this case, the head of the organization moved quickly to check the facts of the results. A few days later, the marathon committee officially disqualified the fake winner and announced Andrea Karl was the real winner. They cited the lack of evidence from photos, race officials, and timing mat reports – as in zero evidence.
Honoring The Winner
The GO! St. Louis Marathon did a really special thing to honor Andrea Karl and give her the chance to break the tape of the race that she had legitimately won. In fact, they gave her that honor on a much larger stage – a pre-game ceremony at Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals. They let her run a lap around the field in front of the home-team crowd and break the tape which was held by an Olympic Gold Medalist (article here).
Kudos to the organizers of the St. Louis Marathon and the people with the St. Louis Cardinals that made this work out to honor the rightful winner. She certainly deserved it.