238. The Marathon Cheater

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The 2007 Berlin marathon for males over 55 unusual in that the winner cheated. “Hank” skipped checkpoints during the race. The electronic tracking chip all runners must wear confirmed that Hank had only 17 miles of the 26-mile marathon. Instead confessing, Hank let race organizers discover the facts themselves. He accepted the cheers and winner’s trophy. wasn’t officially disqualified until the following day. Race were angry that Hank, who was a well-known retired politician in his native country, had accepted winner’s trophy. “He disgraced himself and his country,” one race official.

Hank later told the media he had never intended to run the whole marathon, as he was still tired from the Diego marathon he had run two months earlier. ’s San Diego marathon time was just under 4 ; his Berlin time was little more than 2 hours. Asked why he had held his arms high as if he was the winner at finish line, Hank said, “Everyone does that. This my fifth marathon this year. I knew the chip would detect my shortcut. The organizers need lighten up; it’s only a race.”

Hank crossed finish line wearing a floppy hat, a long-sleeved -shirt, long pants, and a huge grin. He looked cool as a cucumber, said a suspicious photographer. other early finishers in the over-55 group crossed finish line wearing sweaty T-shirts and nylon running . None of them were grinning.