Korir 4th in Chicago Marathon, but out of the money
By Philip Hersh | Tribune staff reporter
10:20 PM CDT, October 12, 2008
Wesley Korir, a Kenyan who went to Murray State and the University of Louisville, is listed fourth overall in the official men’s results with a time of 2 hours 13 minutes 53 seconds.
But he won’t get the fourth-place prize money of $15,000, or any prize money, because he started with the masses rather than with the elite men, who began five minutes earlier.
International track rules for road running say that only athletes who start with the elite race’s opening gun qualify for prize money.
The time recorded on the electronic chip in his shoe, rather than times related to a starting gun, was fourth fastest of the race’s 31,401 finishers.
The intent of the rule is to take into consideration that Korir did not race the leaders. He raced the clock.
So, this year the Chicago Marathon race directors decided to have in essence, two separate races. One for the Elites, and one for the masses. And a guy who started with the masses 5 minutes behind the elite runners ends up running the 4th fastest time of the day. I can see all of the arguments about how it isn’t fair to the elite runners as they did not know where he was at and could not tactically run with him to the finish as they would if he were up in the front with them. However, what would happen if he ran the fastest time of the day? The race directors did make it clear that there were two different races this year, and look what happens…that is life I guess. Do you think Carey will have two races again next year?
You hear a variant of this ever year in the bigger races as someone who started behind someone else runs a faster chip time but is listed behind them in the official results as they did not beat them with the gun time. It has just never been at this scale before.
There aren’t many things better than watching everyone start at the same time and watching the runners dressed as Elvis and the schmucks who want to see how long they can keep up with the Kenyans crash and burn.
I don’t like the two races idea, but can understand it.
And what was up with Constantina Tomescu-Dita wearing what appeared to be a thong? I guess she was worried about the warm weather and was doing everything to keep cool. Can anyone find a picture of her outfit yesterday? I looked but couldn’t find any. It was crazy. Whats next, men running in speedos?