Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Know the Rules in Your Next Marathon

Corina Canitz might find herself moving from third to first in the Lakefront Marathon, if race officials decide to disqualify a second woman who beat her to the finish line Sunday.

The fastest woman in the race, Cassie Peller, was disqualified for receiving a water bottle from a friend between official aid stations, around the 19-mile mark of the race on Milwaukee's lakefront.

That's about the same point where Jennifer Goebel decided to turn on her iPod for a musical boost that could knock her out of the top spot, as well. Goebel finished second behind Peller but was elevated to first after the initial disqualification.

Goebel's use of the electronic device violates USA Track & Field rule 144.3, and the potential infraction has been referred to a USATF official, according to Lakefront Marathon race director Kristine Hinrichs.
Milwaukee Journal

MY COMMENT: I wouldn't be surprised if they DQ'd Goebel for using an iPod- she deserves it. iPods are dangerous and have no place in road racing period. On the other hand, the rule Peller broke is ridiculous- what if the heat index were high? A few years ago at Chicago runners were dropping like flies in a fluke heat wave- are you going to DQ runners for taking liquid outside of designated stations that have run out of liquids? I remember a similar rule when I ran the marathon at the NAIA national championships in 1975-6. In those races, water was offered every 5 miles, and we were told not to drink other than at the official aid stations (this was in Arkansas in May with temperatures and humidity in the mid to high 70s). We know better today.

1 comment:

  1. I had a few comments on the DQ due to taking aid outside of a normal aid station, because it's a rule I agree with and for reasons that I might not have considered if I weren't involved in putting on races. (Five years ago I would have completely agreed with you).

    Namely, sure, it's not a disruption to the race if only one person has someone jump out of a van, run with them for a bit, and give them water, but what happens when 50 or 500 or 1500 of the runners do so? Having unauthorized people on the course is a recipe for disaster and could impede getting insurance for the race.

    This marathon was run on the same hot day as Chicago in 2007, and the race director did a wonderful job of adding an additional aid station and ensuring that the race wouldn't run out of aid (they use municipal and not bottled water).

    As you said, though, I think it's a good reminder that racers should review the rules. They were sent out many times in advance to the runners (I ran the race, knew them, and abided by them even though I'm a mid-pack runner).