Monday, January 15, 2018

Rosie Ruiz redux

"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." -- 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

Other Bible paraphrases (as I've learned they are, especially the two HarperCollins versions) use a runner's analogy.  For those of us who have crossed a finish line after 42,195 metres of running (and even walking when our running legs give up), being honest and making a legal path across the course is mandatory, crossing all timing mats, before you reach 42,195 metres and finish.  I learned the hard way in an October half marathon when being tardy and not knowing the changed course resulted in an instant disqualification that I was not informed until hours after I crossed the finish line that my time had been nullified.  (For reference, the infraction involved the baseball stadium as I made a wrong turn at the start, being late because of poor logistics.  I did not make the loop properly and a timing official disqualified me as soon as I made the incorrect entrance, my second DQ in a half marathon.)  Those who follow the rules are the ones who earned their right as a marathoner.  There are others who have decided the "Rosie Ruiz" fraud in Hopkinton 1980 is worth it.  They are the absurd ones such as the one in St. Louis where one runner was caught doing a Ruiz twice in different years, both on the podium and both disqualified.

Now this report came in Arizona regarding the latest type of cheating runner.  Around Christmastide, Arizona's Camelback Ranch holds the Across the Years race of four distances, either 24, 48, 72, or 144 hours (one, two, three, or six days).  The race course is a simple 1.0498 mile out and back, and the object is to make as many laps as possible in the amount of time listed, they can walk, stop, eat, sleep, leave the course , but the clock continues to run.  One fraud runner pulled off the latest Ruiz-type maneuver by running across the finish line, then resting in a restroom, watching the clock, and when he returns to the pace he would normally run, he loops back round the restrooms, then crosses the line, and skipped an entire 1.0498 mile loop while registering another lap.  That was cheating, and he was later found to have made this ruse numerous times.  When discovered, the organisers disqualified the runner from numerous past races.  It is unknown if the real winners will have their winning ceremonies recast, as was the case 25 years after the Ruiz incident.

Oh what a tangled web of deceit in running!

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