DNF (Defection)

In keeping with our unplanned Middle Eastern theme this week, we learn from the Israeli press that two female Ethiopian runners, Malet Mekonen and Mahalat Zalika, started but failed to finish the Jerusalem Marathon last week.

That wouldn’t be so unusual, except the two women seem to have vanished into thin air.

Once race officials determined the runners hadn’t been injured somewhere along the route, they contacted police, who believe the two women “used the sporting event as an opportunity to flee poverty in their home country and to stay in Israel, home to a large community of African migrants.”

The runners left behind their passports and all their belongings, leaving the race with only the athletic apparel they wore. It is not known whether they have any money.