You be the judge.
Since then, there have been some more well-publicized stories about cheaters. I've had several new inductees into the Hall of Shame which I wrote about, here and here.
Sadly, it seems to me that stories of cheating in amateur events have become rampant. This past week, two women were called out for cheating. One was Gia Alvarez, of the blog RUNGiaRUN. The story goes that Gia, who qualified to run Boston in 2015, was unable to run so she gave her bib to another runner. That runner ran a qualifying time, under Gia's name, and Gia registered to run this year's Boston Marathon. Gia used the finish time run by her friend who wore Gia's bib.
Confused? I was, initially. Let's break it down. There are two wrongs here: first of all, Gia gave away her Boston Marathon bib when she couldn't run the race. I know, I know, people do this all the time. But this is the freaking Boston Marathon, where qualifiers miss the cut off by a minute or less. A few years ago, a friend of mine just missed the cutoff, and she was devastated. So the way I see it, Gia's friend took a spot that a real qualifier could have used.
|Guess who this is?|
By the way, I really want to run Boston, so maybe my friend Sara, who is sure to BQ at Boston this year, could give me her bib and I could run under her name in 2017. Does she really need to run Boston more than once? Sara? Hello?
Wouldn't that be asking a lot of a friend? Not only is Gia banned from all future BAA events, but it looks like her friend will be joining her in purgatory. Isn't that what friends are for?
Sorry, but to me, two wrongs don't make a right. Apparently I'm not alone in my thinking. The running boards on Let's Run have been going crazy with little or no support for Gia. She does have her supporters, though. And the blog lives on.
Another story, this one about a triathlete, Julie Miller, who won her division at Ironman Canada 2015. The second place woman challenged her, reporting that she never saw Miller on the course. Other women also reported not seeing Miller on the course. An investigation by course officials determined that there was no way Miller could have completed the course without cheating. She was DQ'd. Soon after that, she was DQ'd from previous wins at other events and has been barred from competing in any Ironman events.
Her excuse? She says she "lost" her timing chip that was attached to the velcro strap around her ankle. Turns out she "lost" her timing chip at other races as well. I'm not a triathlete, but from everything I've read, the velcro strap sometimes comes off during the race but no one has ever reported a "lost" timing chip. And to lose the chip at multiple events?
We're all amateurs out here, folks. While it's exciting to win an award--I won a few AG awards myself last year--is it really worth cheating a course to win an award? There's no money involved, maybe an extra medal, a pint glass, or something fun, and a few moments of glory when they announce your name. Plus the knowledge that you are pretty damn speedy. I get that.
Would it be worth it to cut the course short?
You be the judge.
Have you ever used a bib that wasn't yours or given one away? Have you ever seen anyone turn around early on an out and back course? What do you think about Gia and her friend? Do you think being banned from all BAA events is too harsh? What about Julie Miller? Should she be banned from all Ironman events? Have you ever lost a chip in a triathlon?
I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is judgmental. Maybe I am. I wonder if the other bloggers are. Check it out!