Runworks
Welcome, Guest      Blog      Forums      Calculator
     Log in  


 
 Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat
Submitted by Bricks :: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:48 am
Organizers of the Marine Corps Marathon are considering banning a Toronto coaching group next year, after discovering that the head coach had helped some of her slower runners take a 4-mile shortcut off the course during last month's race. Dr. Jean Marmoreo, founder of the Toronto-area coaching group JeansMarines, encouraged her slower participants to leave the route near the 10-mile mark, and rejoin it at the 14-mile mark, before the 14th Street Bridge. Participants must reach the bridge within 5˝ hours or they are automatically out. Marmoreo has apologized and asked those who did not run the full distance to return their medals. Marathon director Rick Nealis commented "This is an Olympic sport and people lose sight of that. It's not a touchy-feely, we're all going to feel good, Kumbaya."


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:14 pm 

I'm of two minds about this. I can certainly understand what this coach was thinking-- these runners were way at the back of the pack, far out of any competition, basically in a race against themselves. To train for months and then not get to finish the race because you missed a cut-off would stink. Why not give them a little help?

On the other hand, I can think of many reasons why this was a bad idea. For one thing, it's a slap in the face to all the other runners who were on the cusp and pushed themselves to legitimately beat the cut-off, as well as those who tried with their best effort but still missed it. It also cheapens the "victory" for those who took the shortcut. Can they really feel good about their accomplishments this way? Wouldn't they ultimately feel better if the disappoinment of not finishing motivated them to train harder and do well in their next race?

But I think the best reason is the one the RD gave-- this is a competitive athletic event, with clear rules. Just because 40000 people are running the race doesn't mean it's okay to break those rules.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:28 pm 

I'm mostly bothered by Jean Marmoreo's comment:
"..there are people in the running community who feel some of our runners and walkers did not earn the medals we so proudly wore that Sunday evening," she wrote."

I can't belive she would say, or any of the "cheaters" would feel, they wore their medals with pride. The medal is for finishing a 26.2 mile distance. No matter how noble your intentions, if you don't meet the criteria for earning the medal you shouldn't have it. And how could you feel proud to wear such a medal. Fine, cut the course short...but you shouldn't take the medal at the end.

I can't help thinking that if they cut the course short because they were in jeopardy of not reaching the cut-off time then they weren't very well prepared by the JeansMarines coach/trainer. The Marine Coprs Marathon requires runners to maintain a 14 minute pace in order to finish before the cut off time. If they trained for this event they should have been able to at least fast walk it in that time.

Ms. Marmoreo implied that it's okay because the Team in Training utilizes the same short cut in order to "finish their own race." This is further proof that this woman doesn't have a lot of scruples.

I feel bad for the people who followed her suggestion to cut the course short; they must be feeling a bit mislead.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:19 pm 

This honestly makes me sick, for so many reasons

"This is an Olympic sport and people lose sight of that. It's not a touchy-feely, we're all going to feel good, Kumbaya," he said.
"You play by the rules. Here, we have a clear violation of people losing sight of the rules, and modifying the rules to make everybody feel good."

-I agree with the RD with those sentiments 100%, HOWEVER:

"They can go run Chicago, they can run New York."

- Don't even get me started on that comment. AND:

He said that he eliminated 69 people from the finishers' list yesterday. There were about 230 people who cheated this year, up slightly from last year.

-Why weren't all 230 disqualified?


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:29 pm 

Bricks, I think the comment was meant to say that they are banned from the Marine Corp Marathon and that if they want to continue to participate in any more marathons as an organization they'll have to look to other marathons to do it.

I don't think it's possible to cheat at NYC without your chip time showing it. I suppose you could always step out, go over a block, pick up a ride parallel to the course until just before the next timing mat and then jump back in. But I don't think you can actually take a shortcut without missing a timing mat. I've not done Chicago (Yet!), is it possible to cut the Chicago course short without much trouble.

I don't have a problem with people cutting the course short for whatever reason (time, fatigue, injury, etc.)...but just DON'T take the finisher's medal at the end of the race.

I once ran the Boston Marathon as a bandit (it was fun...but not worth the guilt-trip) and refused the medal at the end. I felt I had earned it but hadn't paid for it. I didn't think it would matter when I started the race...but afterwards I had wished I had waited to run the course as a qualified runner so that my first time would have left me feeling more a part of the race community at the end. So now qualifying for the Boston Marathon has taken on a bit more meaning for me.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:39 pm 

I saw on MarathonGuide.com there is a follow up to their story about t his. They received a letter from the Marine Corps Marathon race director, Rick Nealis. They have banned Jean's Marines from the 2006 marathon.

See: http://www.marathonguide.com/images/frontpageArticles/MCM%20thoughts%20on%20results%20nov%2017%202005.pdf


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Marathon Coach Leads Runners To Cheat Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:07 pm 

I really like what the RD is saying here. Maybe I should do Marine Corps myself next year.

I, for one, say “enough.” Runners, event organizers, sponsors, media outlets and
businesses involved with the sport must stand up and be counted. The almighty dollar
cannot be what drives us in our quest. Product sales, entry fees, sponsorship dollars and
charity pledges can’t be the path to justify our actions.

Hallelujah!


View posts:     


All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1
 


Copyright © 2014 Runworks. All rights reserved.   Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group

Questions or Comments  Privacy Policy