Illegal Aid in a Marathon (Read 955 times)

Running Problem


Problem Child

    From the write-up of this past weekend's Maine Marathon regarding the second place M finisher:

     

    "...Satterfield, 46, only started running seven years ago as a training partner for his son...Daughter...chased her father around the course on an e-bike Sunday morning, handing him a water bottle every two miles."

     

    Hmmm

     

    Does the race specifically ban anything like this? If there are no rules saying you can’t have outside aid for top three placement I see no problem other than third place didn’t think about it. I saw it in a local race.  Guy might have just been pacing on a bike but he was so far ahead I didn’t care.

    Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

    VDOT 53.37 

    5k18:xx | Marathon 2:55:22


    an amazing likeness

       

      Does the race specifically ban anything like this? ...

       

      USATF sanctioned race. USATF rules about runner assistance apply.

      Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

      DavePNW


         

        USATF sanctioned race. USATF rules about runner assistance apply.

         

        Does that mean the USATF requires the race to DQ him, in order to maintain their USATF sanctioning? Or just that he is not eligible for any USATF records? What is USATF sanctioning anyway? I know most marathons are USATF certified for the distance, but I assume that's a separate thing?

         

        As a practical matter, independent of the rules - I wouldn't care if a guy finished ahead of me doing that. It doesn't seem to be any more advantageous than aid station volunteers handing you water every 2 miles. And certainly not more so than the pros having their special bottles set out for them.

        Dave


        an amazing likeness

           

          As a practical matter, independent of the rules - I wouldn't care if a guy finished ahead of me doing that. It doesn't seem to be any more advantageous than aid station volunteers handing you water every 2 miles. And certainly not more so than the pros having their special bottles set out for them.

           

          As a hypothetical, would you feel the same if the last 10K was into a strong headwind, and she (daughter on e-bike) was wind-breaking and runner was drafting and you lost to him by some small margin...like 1 minute?

           

          I don't know all details to the questions about USATF rules in your first paragraph...but here's the summary from the RD:  "We are sanctioned by usatf and must follow the rules. Runners can qualify for the Olympic trials at Maine."

           

          This is not a mid-pack hobbyjogger, this is for 2OA. To be clear, I'm not trying to be some wannabe version of that marathon investigation Derek guy...I'm just posting to share a real-world example of some of the stuff covered in this topic...a "hmmm, not sure that's kosher" comment.

          Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

          DavePNW


             

            As a hypothetical, would you feel the same if the last 10K was into a strong headwind, and she (daughter on e-bike) was wind-breaking and runner was drafting and you lost to him by some small margin...like 1 minute?

             

            No. I can see that situation providing an advantage. My main point was that I don't see what actually happened providing much (if any) advantage.

             

              

            I don't know all details to the questions about USATF rules in your first paragraph...but here's the summary from the RD:  "We are sanctioned by usatf and must follow the rules. Runners can qualify for the Olympic trials at Maine."

             

            This is not a mid-pack hobbyjogger, this is for 2OA.

             

            IDK how competitive the Maine Marathon is or what his finish time was, but if he's 46 and has been running for 7 years, I'm guessing he's not at any risk of OTQ. There's also probably a good chance neither he nor the 3rd place guy (nor any race officials who could've pointed it out to him) had any idea what the USATF rules are. But if that statement is included on the race website, I'd say it's certainly reasonable to DQ him (assuming what he did is in fact in violation of the rules).

             

               

            To be clear, I'm not trying to be some wannabe version of that marathon investigation Derek guy...I'm just posting to share a real-world example of some of the stuff covered in this topic...a "hmmm, not sure that's kosher" comment.

             

            What's mostly funny to me is that he gets outed because the writer thinks the rules violation is a feel-good story. What's also funny is you somehow digging up a 9-year old thread!

            Dave

            wcrunner2


            Are we there, yet?

               IDK how competitive the Maine Marathon is or what his finish time was, but if he's 46 and has been running for 7 years, I'm guessing he's not at any risk of OTQ. There's also probably a good chance neither he nor the 3rd place guy (nor any race officials who could've pointed it out to him) had any idea what the USATF rules are. But if that statement is included on the race website, I'd say it's certainly reasonable to DQ him (assuming what he did is in fact in violation of the rules).

               

               

              Definitely not a highly competitive marathon and the guy is almost 30 minutes off an OTQ, but it would be hard to be an RD or even a reasonably experienced marathoner and not know that one may not receive aid outside the normal aid stations. There have been a number of stories over the last few years of runners being DQed and losing prize money for that reason.  There are certainly enough water stops on the course that getting water every 2 miles wouldn't give him an advantage, but getting water whenever he wanted, and possibly being paced by his daughter on the bike as well, though that wasn't mentioned, could be.

               2024 Races:

                    03/09 - Livingston Oval Ultra 6-Hour, 22.88 miles

                    05/11 - D3 50K, 9:11:09
                    06/17 - 6 Days in the Dome 12-Hour, 35.82 miles

               

               

                   

              xhristopher


                Lot's of stuff listed here that I couldn't give a damn about. I run a lot of races on open roads so what really pisses me off is when the runner I'm behind gets a bottle handoff from a car or bike right in front of me and I have to watch out. This makes me want to fight.

                 

                There is also a half marathon run concurrently with the marathon. Several runners as fast or faster than the one in question shared the road for a bit. Having a bike in that traffic would certainly be unwelcome. Clearly it pissed me off enough to comment a decade ago.

                 

                 

                Definitely not a highly competitive marathon and the guy is almost 30 minutes off an OTQ, ...

                 

                2nd was about 18 off, but who's counting??

                 

                I've run both the half and the full of this race. Sometimes OTQ runners do show up. Second place prize money ($800) for this race doesn't care about time, just place.

                I suspect of someone lodged a protest the race director might be obligated to at least hear it.

                Here's the USATF competition rules:

                RULE 66 ASSISTANCE TO ATHLETES 1. Except as provided in road races (Rule 132) and in long distance walking events (Rule 150), during the progress of an event a competitor who has received any assistance whatsoever from any other person may be disqualified by the Referee. "Assistance" is the conveying of advice, information or direct help to an athlete by any means, including a technical device. It also includes pacing in running or walking events by persons not participating in the event, by competitors lapped or about to be lapped, or by any kind of technical device. It does not mean participation of an officially designated pacesetter in the race. NOTE 1: Pacesetting by a person entered in an event for that purpose is permitted. NOTE 2: Competitors may carry or wear articles of personal equipment such as wrist chronometers and heart rate monitors. 2. (a) Verbal or other communication, without the use of any technical device, from an individual who is not in the competition area to an athlete who is in the competition area shall not be considered assistance. (b) The use by athletes of video or cassette recorders or players, TV's, CD or CD-ROM players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area shall not be permitted. In long distance running, this is not a mandatory rule, but is a strong suggestion as a guideline for safety reasons.  


                an amazing likeness

                   ...

                  What's also funny is you somehow digging up a 9-year old thread!

                   

                  Here's the back story just to illuminate the nefarious 'you dug this up to complain?' vibe...

                   

                  I was a course worker at about the 11K out/10k inbound (out and back course); the half marathon turn. As we waited on the last of the half marathon walkers, it was warming up - 20F above seasonable. There is a water stop about 1/2 mile ahead on the return segment. The leading edge of the marathon relay teams started pounding back and it was clear that temps were having an impact. Later the lead marathoner came through behind the lead vehicle and cyclist, on his own. When 2nd marathon came through, the bike rider was with him, on his side. I chatted with another course worker who is an experienced runner and we both had the same reaction of 'hmmm'.  Neither of us could recall the details of rules on assistance, nor did we know she had been alongside the whole way.

                   

                  Later in the day I had a recollection of a Dave McGillvray article on bikes & assistance on the course, maybe in New England Runner, so fired up google and found the article (here, not NER). Another link in that search was this topic here in RA. Then I saw the write-up which said she had been by his side for all (most) of the course.

                   

                  Thought it might be something to get some conversation active here with a real-world example....so I posted.

                  Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

                  DavePNW


                     

                    Here's the back story just to illuminate the nefarious 'you dug this up to complain?' vibe...

                     ,,,

                    Thought it might be something to get some conversation active here with a real-world example....so I posted.

                     

                    FTR, I did not intend to imply anything nefarious. I can never remember old threads, and when I do, I have a tough time getting the search function on this site to find it. I only disagreed that the guy was actually aided, even if it was a rules violation, but I agree it’s an interesting anecdote and conversation. Also educational—some comments here that “how could anyone not know.” As a guy who started running later in life and never closely followed the sport—if I were in that position, I probably would not be aware or thinking about it. Of course I’m unlikely to ever be in that position; it might be assumed that anyone who is would know better. But for a smaller race, to me it’s not a stretch that even one of the lead runners would violate an aid rule unintentionally. Just the fact that this guy did it so openly makes me wonder.

                    Dave

                    xhristopher


                      Many years ago I ran a small fall local half with only about 4 water stations. It turned out to be sunny and in the mid 80s. I was pushing my son so I loaded the stroller with tons of water. We started dead last to see how many people we could pass. By the time we got to the third water station they were out. Having constant and on demand  access to water made a massive difference. At the end people were dragging badly. I’d probably have been a lot slower myself had I not carried so much water with us.  

                      Point is, in the last miles of a marathon having access to optimal hydration is likely incredibly more valuable than in most other running circumstances. 

                      Also, would it be a jerk move if I went for a bike ride in the middle of a foot race?

                      Half Crazy K 2.0


                        In the past, the Baltimore Running Fesitval encouraged residents (who were stuck on the route) to do unofficial aid stations. In years I did it, it ranged from candy to people lugging the entire contents of their bar to the sidewalk. I assume leaders aren't supposed to partake, but the candy I got really hit the spot.

                         

                        I can definitely see how at a hot race, getting outude water/beverage can be an advantage--especially if it's a hot day and everything is warm at the stops.

                        DavePNW


                          Well sure, there is no question there are situations where what the guy did would provide a significant advantage; I have no idea whether this race was one of them.

                           

                           

                          Also, would it be a jerk move if I went for a bike ride in the middle of a foot race?

                           

                          LOL. The way the article was written (from what was posted here, I haven’t seen an actual link) made it seem like it was his 10 year old daughter on a fixed gear bike with big handlebars and tassels hanging from them, and the whole thing was adorable. If it was his 25 year old daughter on a racing bike, it would sound less adorable. It would certainly be a jerk move if you did it.  

                          I’m sure most of us have run races that were not closed courses, and had to navigate cyclists. But in those cases they’re generally working against you.

                          Dave

                          Half Crazy K 2.0


                            I've done a handful of raceson the local rail trail. The cyclists get pissy when they can't ride 3 abreast because there are runners.

                             

                            The rail trail also is never a closed course, so it's definitely possible to get outside assistance and quite possibly no one will ever know. Small race if you are in the front or back, you may not see anyone around you and limited access points to the rail trail. There were posts on both here & RWOL several years ago about pacing of a runner in the marathon. I think the pacee wound up in the top 3 and there were definitely pictures that showed the unregistered folks all around the registred runner. I did not contact Derek, did just eye roll a bit.

                            Lianwilkinson


                              I often contemplate the gestures of locals, like distributing refreshments or offering to cool down participants, during races. I've occasionally accepted an orange slice from a spectator myself. Speaking of potential rule violations, there's a local woman who frequently races with her sizable dog, and it certainly appears as though the dog is providing some assistance in pulling her along. Surprisingly, she currently holds the top position in the Master's Division for women. This situation does leave me somewhat surprised, and I can't help but wonder why no one in her division has raised any concerns or complaints.

                              Cyberic


                                I have not read the article, just the comments here, and here's how I would feel if I were to be behind the person "cheating".

                                 

                                In my actual position, I couldn't care less if someone did something illegal and finished ahead of me as I'm simply competing to improve my own times and am never competitive on the field. So others cheating doesn't change a thing for me.

                                But, if there was prize money involved, or even simply a podium spot, and I felt like I was being robbed of something that mattered to me, I'd definitely be pissed, and I would expect the person that cheated to be DQed if it can be proven. In the case of the girl helping her dad, I'd imagine many many people saw it. I don't think I'd make it a personal mission, but maybe I wouldn't race there again if I thought the RD "robbed me" of some prize money by not acting on it.