Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maybe her pants were on fire?


Looks like we have a new inductee to my Great Liars in Running Hall of Fame! If you've been following me for a while, you may remember my post from last spring, where I wrote about the jerks who copied a woman's Boston marathon bib and raced in it, taking medals and all the glory that goes with running the Boston marathon. I also found a few other well qualified recipients for my Hall of Fame award. You can chase the link above to read more about them. Rosie Ruiz, anyone?

Let's learn a little about our newest inductee. In case you haven't heard, yep, Tabitha Hamilton, 31, of Trenton Georgia, ran the Chickamauga Marathon last weekend. In 2:54:51. Wow! Amazing finish time, right? The interesting thing is that she ran the first half in 2:00:06, but found tremendous speed and ran the second half in 54 minutes. Talk about negative splits! Wow! A finish a runner could only dream about, right?

Maybe that was her motivation?
Speedy finish aside, the most interesting thing about all this is that her past races don't fit with this 5:54 min/mi pace in the second half of the race. Her most recent half marathon was run 2:19. A recent 15k was run in 1:42. A previous attempt at this race in 2011 shows a finish time in 4:42. She ran another marathon last year in over 6 hours. Yet, she maintains she ran this race and won fair and square.

Ok, I get that. I myself have been running much faster than I have in the past. I finished this year's Chicago marathon a full 1 hour and 10 minutes faster than I did 3 years ago. Of course, my finish time this year was 4:17. Nowhere near medal contention. And considering my half marathon finish times of 1:58-2:16 over the past year, this year's marathon finish time was what you might expect from me. So I've got that going for me. Whew! No one will be examining my finish times.

So, Tabitha, girlfriend. Let's talk. How do you explain going from 9-ish min/mi to 5:54 min/mi? After running 13.1 miles? And maintaining that pace for 13.1 miles? Was it your training? Some magic fuel that you'd like to hip us to? I'd love to know. I bet a lot of us would love to know. Truly amazing and what a great athletic feat! My finish times are faster than yours, so if you share your secret with me, just think what I could do at my next marathon! Come on, spill it, sister!

But let's just say, for the sake of discussion, that you didn't really run this fast. That you...um missed a turn and the race course was a little shorter than you might think. I was spectating at a race last spring and saw the first runner come in...but she was running pretty slow. Didn't exactly look like an elite runner. I'm pretty sure she wasn't actually the winner. I'm pretty sure she took a wrong turn. Pretty sure she was disqualified. Like you.


Still not going to back down? You know that you didn't really win this thing, right? How do you look yourself in the mirror? How did you really feel when you broke the tape? Victorious? A little guilty? How did you take that medal? You know that it belongs to someone else, right? Why won't you just admit it? Seriously. We all know something went wrong. Time to come clean and save face. Stop defending yourself. Really. It's making us embarrassed for you. Angry at you.

As I have said before, and I'll say it again...runners are by and large an honest group. We are notoriously compulsive about our training. For example, so many times I've seen my friends, who have a 20 miler on the schedule but want to run a half, agonize over what to do. Asking themselves, do I just run the half and skip the last 7 miles? And what do they do? They work it out to get that 20 miles in. We try to run the tangents so we don't run farther than the actual race distance. But when we do? We move on. We runners take pride in our honest accomplishments. We don't cheat ourselves. And we sure don't cheat at a race.

You, Tabitha, are not a runner. You are not a cheetah. You are a cheater. And we all know it.


14 comments :

  1. Ha, I love that cheetah picture!! So funny. But yeah, this whole issue just infuriates me. When will people realize that the only person you compete against in races is yourself?! Honestly.

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    1. Makes me mad too. Not that you could tell from this post, right? Great point, that the only person you compete with is yourself. Unless you're an elite. Which she is not...

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  2. You just have to shake your head & wonder how they think no one will catch on!

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  3. This is such a bizarre story! You almost wonder how it could even happen. Weren't there photographers on the course? Even in relatively little races (1200 or less) there are usually photographers. Or just spectators with cell phone pics of the leaders? Crazy.

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    1. It's a really small marathon, and I don't know much more than that. But I did read a quote from the woman who officially won, who said there wasn't anyone ahead of her.

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  4. What kills me is when confronted, she tries to defend it. I mean really. Who is she kidding. Don't they have those mats every 5 or 10k or so?

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    1. I don't know about this race, because it was pretty small. But still, it seems pretty clear cut that she didn't win. I don't know why she won't just own up to it.

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  5. That's a crazy story! hadn't heard about it. I don't get the whole cheating thing in general. How can she live with herself? Kind of feel sorry for her

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    1. In a way, yes, because she's really clueless--how could she think she won? We all know our paces...I'd sure question a finish time like that if it were me!

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  6. Wow, crazy story. Does she really think people believe her?! Crazy!

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    1. It really is! I still can't believe she hasn't come forward with the truth...and an apology!

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  7. Yes, this story is just crazy; I could hardly believe the stupidity when I heard about it this weekend from another running friend. Good grief. I can't believe she's trying to deny the fact that this is even possible. Wow.

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    1. If it wasn't so upsetting, it would be hilarious. Seriously?

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