Tuesday, 27 April 2010


   I rang Sally M. (3.10+) at London to hear how she was recovering and we inevitably talked about race pace and race splits.  She mentioned that an Italian lady had finished just behind her having run the first half in 2 hours!  Being the geek that I am I looked her up and yes indeed she went through the half way in 2:00:40 and crossed the finish line in 3:15:02!!  74.22 for the second half.  Clicking on her name however to look at her 5k times for that second half .....there are none.  She has no chip times for the second half.  Intrigued I "googled" her and saw she had run in the Miami Half Marathon in 1:57.28.  I can only conclude from these two pieces of evidence that she drifted into the crowd at Tower Bridge, freshened up and then jogged the last few miles missing out a huge chunk of the course.  Amazing to think she would travel all the way from Italy to record a false time.  Hard to believe?

Recognise this lady? No? She's ROSIE RUIZ pictured having just crossed the line at Boston marathon 1980 with the clock reading 2:31.56.  Completely unknown, eyebrows were raised. No one had seen her in the race. No race monitors picked her up. Eventually members of the public came forward confirming that they had seen her join the race about 1/2 mile from the finish! It turned out she had used the subway almost all the way.  Another who was happy to take the plaudits but not cover 26.2 miles was New Yorker FRED LORZ who "won" the Olympic marathon in 1904 in St. Louis enjoying the gold medal until it was discovered he had covered 11 miles in his manager's car. He redeeemed himself in winning Boston the following year.

I am not going to ask any readers to confess to cheating! 
Unless you absolutely have to get something off your chest!?

Out and about yesterday several people asked about the marathon. I said that it was great that over 36000 finished; a very large number of them seriously into their running,  having dedicated months of the winter in their preparation but they were all surprised to learn that standards at the sharp end were worse than 20 years ago.  I said last week that it's only natural that old stagers like me compare our times from the past
with those recorded each year.  For the record then

1983   2:25:36 good enough for only 200th place.  
2005...50th    2006....48th    2007....20th! 2008....36th   2009....31st    2010....33rd.

I can only repeat if Dave Bedford would only channel some of the prize money to the UK club team prizes then it would be a great incentive and standards would improve.

Am I wrong?   Why do you think UK standards under 2.30 are so much worse than 20 years ago?


  1. Just a thought, but d'you think the rewards that are now on offer from various other events that people can run more frequently than a marathon affect it? I assume someone could make a nice living running 5ks at exhibition track meets every week (even if not quite world class) etc than put in the hours to run in a couple of marathons a year.

    You and most of your contemporaries had to work for a living - the lottery and sponsorship deals have maybe meant that people don't do it for love any more.

  2. I did read once about two brothers running the Comrades Marathon. They swapped places in portable toilets and the other brother then continued the race. They were only caught when someone with a keen eye spotted that after swapping places they had their watches on different hands.