The Greeks Don’t Want No Cheats

One might expect that as road racing became more popular, so would road race cheating. Detection systems, however, have become more sophisticated. Electronic timing and tracking of runners is used in most major races, and photo coverage of the course is widespread. Add to these the advent of amateur cheating detectives and it’s difficult to get away with cutting a course or banditing a race.

But if you’re going to cheat, it’s best to stay out of Greece. While most race organizers concentrate on runners who cheat to get to the front of the pack, officials at the Athens Authentic Marathon scrutinize everyone.

Indicatively, we have a runner who covered the 42-odd kilometers in 4 hours and 27 minutes who appears to have run the first half of the race in 31 minutes. At least three participants seem to have started the race at the 30th kilometer, clocking in a final time at the stadium of around 3 hours. In one of the most confusing cases, a professional doctor and amateur runner is spotted at every checkpoint and ended with a time of under 3 hours and 30 minutes, but is seen to have an irregular – and suspicious – pace at different points of the race: He runs the first 15 kilometers in 1 hour and 20 minutes and then covers the next 20 kilometers, an uphill slog, in just 1 hour and 18 minutes. His name is no longer on the official record, though his Facebook page is full of congratulatory messages from his friends and he writes that he is not pleased with his performance, vowing to do better next time.

They even went the extra mile, so to speak, and put a tail on a suspected cheater:

Dousis remembers a peculiar case from a few years ago, in the 10,000-meter race that takes place in parallel to the Authentic Marathon. It concerned a 60-year-old amateur with a decent record of times who appeared to cover the toughest uphill leg of the race in just over 3 minutes per kilometer. His final time was not recorded and the runner lodged a complaint.

“When you can prove that you can run uphill faster than [Kenyan pro] Eliud Kiptanui, then I’ll admit I made a mistake,” Dousis recalls telling the 60-year-old.

When he saw that the same runner put down his name the following year, Dousis decided to take more drastic measures and assigned an athlete to follow him over the entire course to ensure the 60-year-old was not cutting corners. On the day of the race, however, the man never showed up at the starting line.

It makes me wonder if there is money to be made in the up-and-coming field of “marathon shadow.”

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - December 9, 2016 at 11:52

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Don’t Bet on the Wrong Horse

It’s that time of year again for the London Pantomime Horse Race and this year’s contestants have been training hard.

We’ve featured the race in previous years, but I have yet to see anything quite like the Grandest National.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - December 5, 2016 at 11:43

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Disguised in Running Clothes

Over at Canadian Running, Seanna Robinson describes a problem she has concerning her running buddies.

I have some good friends who I still struggle to identify if I see them in casual clothes. Business clothes are even worse. Walking down the street, I hear “Hi Seanna!” If the speaker is in running clothes, I can identify them immediately. If not, I panic.

This happens to me all the time. When I run, I look like this…

wdwrundisney_wdwmaracourseaction23_20161106_392721263381

…but I usually look like this…

No wonder people don’t recognize me.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - December 1, 2016 at 14:24

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The Undercover Helps You Change Out of Your Plainclothes

A couple of years ago I brought you news of The Undress, which is a “portable changing room” for women. It allows them to change in and out of athletic wear in public while maintaining privacy and modesty.

I thought it was marvelous, but added this observation:

Men, on the other hand, are likely to find themselves buns-up with their pants around their ankles if they tried something like this. I don’t know how a similar product for men would work, but I’m fairly certain it would look just like this…

Well, those wacky creators of The Undress have gone out and designed a unisex version called The Undercover. They have raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter.

If their product is as good as their promo video, they have a hit on their hands.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 30, 2016 at 12:13

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Ultraman World Championships Missing Out On PR Possibilities

You would think after all the years of writing this blog I would have known about the Ultraman World Championships, held – naturally enough – on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The race consists of a 10K swim, 261.4-mile bike ride, and a double marathon.

Now if you’re going to force participants to do something that extreme, why stop there? It’s an Ultraman. Make them dress up!

Have them battle kaiju situated throughout the course!

Finally, don’t let them cross the finish line until they sing the theme song!

Now that would be a race.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 29, 2016 at 14:31

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You, Too, Can Make Your Buttocks “As Firm As Tinned Hams”

British talk show host Graham Norton had as guests both actor Tom Hanks and Olympic gold medal runner Mo Farah. Naturally, the discussion centered on Forrest Gump. Here’s the video.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 28, 2016 at 12:53

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The Terrible Warning in Wikileaks Hacked E-Mails

No, I haven’t turned Running Is Funny into a political site, but everyone has overlooked this important bit of news.

If you aren’t familiar, for the past few months Wikileaks has been posting hacked e-mails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Analysts and pundits have gone over them with a fine-tooth comb, commenting on their contents and political implications. How could they have missed this one?

podesta

Yes, shocking as it seems, Podesta failed to order his race pics from MarathonFoto.

The 67-year-old Podesta is a pretty strong runner for his age, finishing 17th of 102 in his age group at the last Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler in DC.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - November 21, 2016 at 11:36

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