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Can marathons go wrong? Here’s a look at those gone awry

Mismanagement at marathons are more common than one would imagine.

, ET Bureau|
May 27, 2019, 08.23 AM IST
Kenyan runner Biegon Andrew Kiplangat was directed to the wrong route at the Qindao Marathon in Eastern China. (Image:
Kenyan runner Biegon Andrew Kiplangat was directed to the wrong route at the Qindao Marathon in Eastern China just ahead of the finish line. While Kiplangat still won the race, mismanagement at marathons are more common than one would imagine.

Show me the sign
A similar incident took place in Netherlands where not one but around 1,800 quarter-marathon runners were directed on the wrong route during a marathon in Utrecht. The runners, who were accidentally sent on the half-marathon route, ended up running double the distance or found themselves lost in a residential area. The culprit was the lack of proper signposting.

A wrong turn
It’s fair to say things were not supposed to go this way. The winner of the 2017 Venice Marathon, Eyob Gebrehiwet, clinched the first place after the lead pack of seven athletes followed a motorcycle that took a wrong turn. By the time they rejoined the race, Gebrehiwet was in the lead. He went on to become the first Italian man to win the marathon since 1995.


Full-half or half-full?
No one would want to set a record like this. In 2015, the organisers of the Bangkok Marathon were left red in the face when an error turned the race into the world’s longest half-marathon. Instead of a 13-mile run through Thailand’s capital, the participants had to run almost 17 miles.

Lonely star
At the Sunderland Marathon of the North in 2013, Jake Harrison took home the laurels after every other runner took the wrong route. About 5,000 runners were told they fell short of completing the full marathon by only 264 metres after they took a wrong route directed by marshals standing in the wrong position. The organisers had to apologise and offered the affected runners 25 per cent off entry to other events.

Melt down
Nature was in no mood to be kind to the participants during the 30th Annual Chicago Marathon in 2007. An unprecedented heat wave sent the temperatures soaring beyond tolerable levels. Over 300 runners needed medical attention, one died and less than 25,000 of the registered 45,000 managed to complete the 26.2-mile course. The organisers also had much to explain because of the acute water shortage for the runners and the miscommunication that ensued. Finally, experienced runners were left seeing red when the event was cancelled just as they were nearing the finish line.

Mumbai Marathon: Tata Bosses, Mary Kom, Milind Soman Join The Race; Sudha Sharma Wins

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Run, Mumbai, Run

21 Jan, 2019
Mumbaikars woke up early this Sunday for the 16th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon. The big event saw thousands of participants from almost every walk of life. From politicians to film stars, from sports personalities to army officers, the 42 km dream run was steps ahead of its previous installments. A record-breaking 46,414 number of people took part in the marathon which started at 5.30 am and ended at 2 pm.Marathon Ambassador Mary Kom, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife and singer Amruta Fadnavis, actor Gulshan Grover and Tina Ambani flagged off the big race. While Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani completed half the marathon by running for 21 kms, actor and fitness enthusiast Milind Soman ran for the complete stretch. Actor Rahul Bose, Kartik Aaryan and actress Tara Sharma, too, took part in the race.Participants were flagged off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and raced till the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and back to complete the race.(In pic clockwise from left: Rajesh Gopinath, N. Chandrasekaran, Sudha Sharma, Milind Soman, Mary Kom)

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