It always seems that we talk about cheating way more than we should. Over the last few months, we heard about doping scandals in the pro world and BQ cheating among the masses. A couple of years ago, Rocket wrote about a cheater she helped bust at the Columbus Marathon. This hit home as I’m heading to Columbus on Sunday to race my heart out.
Just this week I received the Columbus Marathon elite runner summary. We were reminded about three rules, that runners seem to want to ignore. I can’t believe we have to talk about these again!
Rules: There have been issues in the past with respect to rules. There are no exceptions!
Per USATF rules the use of headphones is not permitted for competitors competing for prize money.
Elites may accept nutritional aid (water, other fluids, food, gels, etc) only at one of the official aid stations. Accepting nutritional aid from any outside source (family member, friends, un-official front-yard stations, coaches) may subject a competitor to forfeiture of prize money and awards.
“Pacing” may only be done by officially entered competitors with bib numbers.
I recently witnessed several of the prize money winning women in a marathon with headphones on. These rules aren’t new and any runner even remotely close to competing for prize money should know them.
My point is that when my competitors cheat, it really annoys me: I work really hard to simulate race conditions including aid stations, water bottle tables, gels, and pacing feedback. If I missed out on third place to a woman whose friend bikes up and hands her a water bottle, I’d be really annoyed. Wouldn’t you? So I want to hear your thoughts:
How do you know if you might be in contention for prize money: shouldn’t everyone have to follow these rules? And WHY are these rules so often ignored? Would you report a rule breaker?