Posts Tagged ‘boston marathon’

Has Athlinks Caught Another Cheat?

You may have seen the story about Mike Rossi, the Pennsylvania dad who received a letter from his kids’ school principal for unexcused absences. Rossi’s kids accompanied him to Boston while he ran the marathon. Rossi’s reply to the principal about the values instilled by the marathon went viral. He has subsequently made media appearances across the country.

Now Rossi has set the Internet ablaze for a different reason. Some people believe his Boston qualifying time – achieved at the Lehigh Valley Marathon last September – is suspect.

The 47-year-old Rossi ran a 3:11:45 at that race – a pace comparable to his best 5k time, according to Indeed there is nothing among his 20 recorded results that suggests he is capable of that fast a finish.

Whatever the case, the incident does illustrate the value of Athlinks. If you have run a race in the last 10 years that has posted results on the Internet, they are almost certain to appear there. Athlinks may not eliminate race cheating, but it leaves cheaters with only two options: cheat every single time, or cheat within your previous parameters.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 6, 2015 at 09:52

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Running Times quickly deleted the tweet, which linked to a 2009 article, and apologized.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 26, 2015 at 14:29

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Sign of the Times

The new security measures for this year’s Boston Marathon are understandable and probably necessary, but I do have a question about this one:

Large flags or signs bigger than 11 inches x 17 inches are also banned from marathon venues.

Who’s going to be out there with a yardstick measuring signs and wouldn’t their time be better spent elsewhere?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - February 27, 2014 at 11:36

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Who’s At Risk?

I just want to reiterate something I touched upon in yesterday’s post. I’ve skimmed through hundreds of news stories about the Boston Marathon bombings in the past two days, and while it is clear that some of those taken to area hospitals were runners, the vast majority of the injured were spectators.

This disturbs me, as I am also reading a lot of stories about runners who insist the attack will not affect their future races. None of them was asked if they still want their families and friends waiting for them at the finish line.

If the bomber had wanted to specifically target runners, he would have planted the devices in Hopkinton, or somewhere else along the route. The finish line might be the most secure place for runners along the entire 26.2 miles. The video of the first blast shows that only one runner was affected by it, and he immediately got up and finished the race.

Stories are already appearing that ask about security and the future of marathons. But in terms of the bombing itself, there was nothing special about the marathon. It was an event that by its nature called for a large number of people to be placed in very close proximity, and allowed for the anonymity needed to simply drop the device at one’s feet.  It could have been a shopping mall, a movie theater or an amusement park instead.

I’m going on about this because we are the increased security measure. Nothing is foolproof, but being observant is something we can all do. Even if it doesn’t prevent a tragedy, it can greatly help in catching the perpetrator and preventing future tragedies. It can happen even now. Someone knows this guy, and he’s more worried about that than he is about the FBI pulling his DNA off of a pressure cooker. Remember the Unabomber?

So runner or spectator, keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. It will go a longer way to keeping you and your loved ones safe than just about anything else.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 17, 2013 at 10:50

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There’s nothing funny to say today, so I hope you’ll indulge me because I noticed something only one outlet has focused on in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Will Rogers once said, “We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” So while runners all over the world join in solidarity for runs or other efforts to memorialize the victims of yesterday’s tragic events, let’s remember that most of those killed or wounded were spectators, cheering on their loved ones as they engaged in their favorite avocation.

Erin Gloria Ryan wrote a piece for Jezebel headlined, “The People Who Watch Marathons.” She makes an important observation:

Without those people, a marathon would just be an exercise in self-abuse from a large group of crazies. But there is meaning in marathoning: the people who watch.

Running can be a lonely sport — hours on the road solo at times so early people can still be seen stumbling out of bars and hailing cabs home, declined invitations to evening activities, neglected significant others, and truly disgusting feet. In fact, unless a runner trains with a group that doesn’t annoy the living daylights out of them, the months leading up to a long race can be profoundly antisocial. But on race day, all of that disappears when, as the marathon runner embarks along a path lined with people — all kinds of people, they’re bathed in the encouragement of thousands of people who cheer for them without knowing their names.

So before we get all caught up in the perseverance and determination of runners, let’s remember the people who make it possible are those with the sports drinks, and the mylar blankets, and the medals, and the funny signs, who clap as we go by. It’s doubly horrible to think they should have to suffer for all that good will.

9 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 16, 2013 at 10:37

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A Test of Endurance

Starting with press reports on Thursday, the message was clear: IT’S GOING TO BE HOT AT THE BOSTON MARATHON! YOU MIGHT DIE!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!

Nevertheless, the runners seem to have persevered. The heat was also a challenge for the non-runners and spectators, who evidently have added Patriots’ Day to the list of Holidays That Are Really Just Excuses For Drinking Heavily (see St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve).

BostInno collected drunken tweets from the race. My favorite was this one:


Congratulations to all of you who braved the heat and conquered the suds. Excelsior!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 17, 2012 at 09:32

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Boston Police Investigate Crime of the Century

At about Mile 22 of the Boston Marathon, Boston College student Brendan Quinn, who was watching the race, apparently vaulted over the barricade and ran into a crowd of runners, knocking one woman to the ground. Quinn kept running, evidently intent on reaching a friend who was in the race. His victim was helped to her feet, after which she seems to have carried on and completed the marathon. Quinn was apprehended by police and charged with disorderly conduct and disrupting an assembly. Police said while Quinn “was not trying to hurt anyone, his motive is not the issue.”

Amazingly, this incident led to stories in both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald and not one, not two, not three, but four lengthy video reports on the local TV news. Then Competitor picked it up. The police want to talk to the woman runner to see if she wants to file additional charges, but they can’t find her. She’s described as a “white female in her mid- to late thirties, with a slim build, dark colored hair and a dark colored outfit.”

That narrows it down to about 2,000 runners.

Not to diminish what happened to the woman, but really. How many people get knocked down by other runners during the Boston Marathon? Runners are always vulnerable to crazed spectators, but let’s face it, by Mile 22 spectators are vulnerable to crazed runners suffering from hypoglycemic rage.

Anyway, it seems media time and space would be better devoted to less trivial issues, such as, what is up with the Red Sox?

UPDATE: She’s OK! Read about it here. And here. And here.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 21, 2011 at 09:48

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