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Friday, June 03, 2005


OUT OF BREATH? THE FEET HURT? UNWITTING MARATHON RUNNERS GO EXTRA MILE, LITERALLY 

Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon race-course was 1 mile longer it should have been!



You have to feel for the runners who probably thought this race was never going to end. Runners must have wondered why they were so far off their expected times. It is understandable why so many participants were upset by what happened. How could race organizers be so inept?

[Chicago Tribune]: All 529 runners who finished Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon set a personal record for the distance. The problem was the race--27.2 miles--was a full mile longer than a traditional marathon. But participants didn't know about the mistake until the event was over Monday.

This gaffe, along with other organizational disasters, including missing mile markers and unstaffed aid stations, unleashed a firestorm of criticism from Chicago's running community over Illinois' only spring marathon. Some runners are so livid they are urging the city to stop issuing permits for the Lakeshore Marathon until it's under new management.

On Thursday, after nearly a week of mounting fury on Web sites among many of the marathon's entrants, race founder and organizer Mark Cihlar issued an apology on www.marathonguide.com. "[Last-minute changes] caused us to miscalculate and we foolishly added an extra mile--how terrible!" he wrote in the memo to Lakeshore participants.
[...]
Paramedic Hector Contreras, the director of security for the race, said he was so unnerved by the death of a 28-year-old runner in the Soldier Field 10 Mile race the day before that he reassessed the medical situation. He ordered more defibrillators, more water stations and more medical tents. "We started adding things and got all screwed up," Contreras said.

Adding to the chaos was the half-marathon, which also turned out to be too long and poorly marked. Some participants were so befuddled, they were running in circles.Bridget Sullivan was the lead woman for the first part of the half-marathon when she was directed off the course at Fullerton Avenue and the lakefront. Course marshals sent her to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

"I started to pass the marathoners, and a few of them tried to save me by telling me the half turned `way back there.' I was so confused at this point that I wanted to cry,"


We know that the Chicago baseball teams, the Cubs and White Sox are cursed. Does this mean that Chicago marathons are cursed, too? Yikes, good grief.

Chicago Tribune : Unwitting marathon runners go extra mile

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