Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Controversy at The Lakefront Marathon

I west on my final run before the WhistleStop Marathon today. 3 miles and it felt so easy so I hope that is a good sign for Saturday. We will see.

So the Lakefront Marathon was last Sunday here in Milwaukee and it went well, except if you were one of the leading women in the race. Most of what I say here is only what I have heard has happened so please don't take this as truth's, but as what I have heard it to be. But here is the story so far.

Cassie Pellar won the race on Sunday in a time of just over 3 hours. BUT, she was disqualified after the race. It seems she took water from a kid along the course as well as "took a sip" of water from her family who jumped out of a car along the course and gave it to her. The ruling is that she accepted aid along the course and thus should be DQ'd. This cause some uproar here in Milwaukee and even was on talk radio. A lot of people thought this was unfair as it is stated on the Lakefront website, well, I can't put it here because I just went to the site and the rule are now changed. Basically it said, until yesterday that is, that you can only take water from a designated aid station OR family and friends "adjacent" to an aid station. Now it is easy for me to see that getting water in a mile from an aid station would not qualify as adjacent, but then why say you CAN take water from family of friend at all.

The Lakefront Marathon is the USATF Wisconsin Marathon Championships and $500 goes to the winner, but to me, this is a ridiculous ruling. The spirit of the rule was not to disqualify people in a smaller marathon like Lakefront, but keep rules for the larger major marathons and Championships.

The disqualifications do not end there. This morning I read that now the 2nd place woman, Jennifer Goebel, was also DQ'd because she used her iPod from miles 19 to 21. he reason she was found to be using this is that there was a picture taken of her wearing (but not ear buds in and listening) her iPod. The rules here specifically say that a person going for a USATF championship CANNOT wear listening devises. This one seems more cut and dry to me but yet also seems to be off the point as to the spirit of the rule. I would not have DQ's her but I can understand why they did. So now the 3rd place woman is now the official winner. Crazy!

A side note I just remembered. As I looked at the name "Jennifer Goebel" and it is who I thought it was. She is from Lombard, IL and when I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon in 2007, she was one of the pacers in the group I ran with. She was an awesome pacer and got me to my goal. She was very friendly and we even talked quite a bit along the course. Now I feel even worse for her since I know how nice she really is.

Let's hope that this is the end of the trouble at Lakefront.

Good Luck to all of you running in Chicago this weekend and all the other races around the country. A special good luck to Melanie returning to marathoning this weekend in Chicago.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Thanks for the shout out!