Amateur Runner Denied $15,000 Top Finisher’s Prize

If you are an amateur runner and you happen to “miraculously” win a major road race you won’t share in the Jackpot.

It happened at last week’s 2008 Chicago marathon.  The IAAF website reported the fourth place finisher Wesley Korir of Kenya was disqualified and he was not eligible to get the $15,000 on offer for the fourth place finisher in the elite race because he was not a competitor in the elite race.

The reason was that Wesly Korir  started the race among the ordinary runners like us and not among the elite runners.

The elite runners started the race five minutes before the rest of the field of 33,000 runners.

“Gun time” Vs Chip time

The elite runners are timed immediately the starting gun is short, while for the ordinary runners you are timed when your running chip crosses the mat at the starting line.

The rules of the IAAF and USATF, the US governing body that oversees both road and track races in the US, state that only the gun time can be used to determine order of finish for awards, such as prize money, as is given out to the top finishers in many road races.

The rules, race referee Jim Estes of USATF determined, are clear.  The elites and Korir ran separate races.  Korir may have been the fourth fastest man on the day, but he was not eligible to get the $15,000 on offer for the fourth place finisher in the elite race because he was not a competitor in the elite race.

story courtesy of IAAF Website

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