By now, any runner with an internet connection has heard about Tabatha Hamilton and her ill-gotten win at the the Chickamauga Battlfield Marathon last weekend. Prior to Tabatha, there was the tale of Kip Litton, the man who cheated in dozens of marathons, including Boston, before he was finally figured out (if you haven’t read the New Yorker piece about Kip, now is the time; it’s a great read!). Both cases are mystifying – the first because she insisted she didn’t cheat in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and the second because he was so good at it for so long and it’s still not clear how he managed to do what he did.
When faced with stories of the Tabathas and Kips of the world, there is one question that has thus far gone unanswered: Why? Why go through all that effort and bother? In today’s Friday 5, all is revealed! Follow the jump for 5 good reasons to cheat in your next race!
1. Everyone knows that faster people are better people. Who needs a cure for cancer or world peace? Run a really fast race time and you’re up there with Gandhi without having to deal with all that civil disobedience and years in prison stuff.
2. Training is, like, so overrated. And it is just so, well, hard. Why go through months of brutal training blocks filled with weeks of blood, sweat and tears when internet race results are the only thing to show for it? So instead of spending 10+ hours a week training, spend that time cultivating the perfect Athlinks profile and looking at course maps to figure out where to stash your bike.
3. Bling. The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon website promised “special awards” to the overall winners of the race. Why wouldn’t Hamilton execute her elaborate cheating scheme when “special awards” are on the line? Special awards are awesome! One time I won a marathon and I got a fleece vest and a photo of trees. I love the vest and the photo is very lovely. Another time I won a half marathon and got a special medal to go with the finishers medal. Mint once won a rock for a second place spot in a 5k. Not just any rock either, but a plastic rock! Maybe the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon gave out baskets full of all these things: heck I’d cheat for a vest, a photo of trees, a second medal and plastic rock!
5. Glory. We here at Salty Running believe in dreaming big and GOING for it! But if you’re a bit of a control freak and very impatient, cheating is the only way to guarantee you can make it happen.
Good luck out there!
Got any more reasons why someone might cheat?