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garbanzo a gogo

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It was one of those weird Tejas Trails night races a long time ago. Gumbo knows them.

They swerve all over the place. The old RD was big on packing a bunch of race into a small course.

I was having a lousy night. Trail running on a technical course in the dark isn't as much fun as the brochure would indicate. I should probably get a flashlight. I was toodling (yes, that's a technical trail term) along, looking for ribbons or markers or glowing squirrels or anything that might suggest I was on course. I was running the 10K, the shortest of three options. I am lazy.

The garmin was showing about 13-14 minute pace, which I was OK with. Spooky night through the woods, gazing at the moon and the occasional headlight in the distance. The night went on forever. The Garmin buzzed the 5 mile split. I went around the corner, and there was the finish line.

How could that be? This wasn't one of those goofy fun run courses where the course is measured with a jeep and a prayer. I had watched the RD measuring the course with a wheel early in the afternoon, adding a short out and back to get precisely 10K. And yet, on a 6.2 mile course on which I was averaging 14 minute pace, I had finished in just over an hour. What could have happened?

Oh, well. I was ready for it to end. No harm, no foul.

And then as I crossed the finish line, the worst thing happened. I was third in my age group. I was handed a hand-drawn painting of a bird made into an award. And it was dawning on me that I must have cut the course somehow.

I had cheated.

But then, it was too late. I wandered off, looking at the watch. Could it have been short and I was legit? Was everyone running the same course so it was OK? Was the Blair Witch Project an actual documentary?

In the end, I had two options, one of which would require talking to another human. I was tired. I am a recluse. I went home.

The award bugged me for years. I eventually set it free during one of our moving purges. I never looked to see who should have gotten it.

I've been reading about a woman who appears to have cheated on a series of 100 mile races. One jumps to the conclusion that it's intentional. But I guess I'm slow to jump on the bandwagon. Stuff happens out there on the trail in the dark. Wrong turns. Missed markers that you never even know you missed. You re-join the trail, none the wiser. Squirrels. Witches. Trail running is not for the sane.

Below is my garmin file for the Wild Hare 25K. I ran this race, but I have no idea what distance the Garmin showed. I may or may not have stayed on the course. I never saw s single wild hare.

I cheat. But I'm not a cheater.

I miss those Tejas trails ...

Have you ever accidentally cheated?

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Not that I know of? 

I followed Marathon Investigation on FB for a while, but then that one guy went and killed himself after he was outed. Left the group after that because running is only running and people shouldn't die over it.

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2 minutes ago, ocrunnergirl said:

Not that I know of? 

I followed Marathon Investigation on FB for a while, but then that one guy went and killed himself after he was outed. Left the group after that because running is only running and people shouldn't die over it.

you illegally jumped a fence to run the mad dog mile. 

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This would be so easy for me to do.  Once during Ouachita trail 50 we showed up at the AS coming from the wrong direction.  They made us turn around and find where we went wrong and come back the right way.  It ended up being the Ouachita trail 55.  
 

I ran it again this year and almost made the exact mistake.  I stood around debating which way for at least 10 minutes 

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I was the victim of accidental cheating in a local 5k when course marshals posted to keep runners from making a right turn were directing them to turn right. I told them as I ran past that they were sending people the wrong way, and they said they weren't. Then I told the lonely marshall standing at the correct right turn that the runners were being sent down the wrong street. From that point on it was basically me and another runner about 50 yards ahead of me for the half mile stretch before we rejoined the pack to the finish. The shortcut runners probably shaved 3-5 minutes off their times. I finished 4th in my AG with a time of 25 something, which shows how thin the field was. Looking at the times ahead of me, I should certainly have finished 3rd, and possibly 2nd. Those times were close enough to mine that I would have seen the runners if they had been on the correct course. I didn't make a stink because it was a small charity fundraiser and the marshals were kind enough to volunteer to be out there, but still, they could have at least been instructed on where to direct the runners.

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12 minutes ago, Scott said:

I was the victim of accidental cheating in a local 5k when course marshals posted to keep runners from making a right turn were directing them to turn right. I told them as I ran past that they were sending people the wrong way, and they said they weren't. Then I told the lonely marshall standing at the correct right turn that the runners were being sent down the wrong street. From that point on it was basically me and another runner about 50 yards ahead of me for the half mile stretch before we rejoined the pack to the finish. The shortcut runners probably shaved 3-5 minutes off their times. I finished 4th in my AG with a time of 25 something, which shows how thin the field was. Looking at the times ahead of me, I should certainly have finished 3rd, and possibly 2nd. Those times were close enough to mine that I would have seen the runners if they had been on the correct course. I didn't make a stink because it was a small charity fundraiser and the marshals were kind enough to volunteer to be out there, but still, they could have at least been instructed on where to direct the runners.

agggggghhh! that stinks. poor marshall though. 

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6 hours ago, garbanzo a gogo said:

you illegally jumped a fence to run the mad dog mile. 

And I had pacers! Ugh! I'm a terrible person. The things I'll do for M & Ms.

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1 hour ago, Scott said:

I was the victim of accidental cheating in a local 5k when course marshals posted to keep runners from making a right turn were directing them to turn right. I told them as I ran past that they were sending people the wrong way, and they said they weren't. Then I told the lonely marshall standing at the correct right turn that the runners were being sent down the wrong street. From that point on it was basically me and another runner about 50 yards ahead of me for the half mile stretch before we rejoined the pack to the finish. The shortcut runners probably shaved 3-5 minutes off their times. I finished 4th in my AG with a time of 25 something, which shows how thin the field was. Looking at the times ahead of me, I should certainly have finished 3rd, and possibly 2nd. Those times were close enough to mine that I would have seen the runners if they had been on the correct course. I didn't make a stink because it was a small charity fundraiser and the marshals were kind enough to volunteer to be out there, but still, they could have at least been instructed on where to direct the runners.

This sounds so much like one of our local race companies. Every year something goes wrong. The 1st year they ran out of medals. The next year the 1/2 marathon was a .25 mile short. So many people were upset since they were on PR pace. They also run triathlons and the swim course was short by about 40% of the distance.

You are a good person to just have let  it go.

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20 hours ago, ocrunnergirl said:

This sounds so much like one of our local race companies. Every year something goes wrong. The 1st year they ran out of medals. The next year the 1/2 marathon was a .25 mile short. So many people were upset since they were on PR pace. They also run triathlons and the swim course was short by about 40% of the distance.

You are a good person to just have let  it go.

I know people who will keep running if the course is short to complete the distance. I actually wish I'd done that in my best half marathon. It was only 13 miles even by my watch.

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My first race ever had a big kerfuffle with the bibs.  It had me winning outright by chip time but there's no way that that happened (obviously).  I had only been running for four months, didn't have a garmin, didn't know how fast I ran, and didn't know anything about anything, but after piecing together what time the race started and what time I saw my sister, I realized that my time was impossible.  (Yes, I actually had to figure out that I didn't win)  I contacted the RD and said, "I didn't run XX:XX I finished in 40 something minutes," thinking like 48/49ish and they thanked me and changed my time to 40:00.  No matter how many times I asked to get that changed to a more reasonable time or just deleted, they haven't.  Every year since, I've tried (and failed) to "earn" that 40:00 in that race but so far no dice.

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Missed a turn at a relay. The team van I was with caught me and gave me a ride back to where I should have gone. I ran an extra mile, but also got a short van ride. Legal? Who's gonna know?

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