Illegal Aid in a Marathon (Read 957 times)

legandtoes


    That's an interesting discussion about aid and outside assistance during races. I've definitely taken water or snacks from spectators before to perk myself up. As long as it's not giving an unfair advantage, I don't have a problem with it for casual races. That woman racing with her dog pulling her though, that does seem over the line! I'd be annoyed too if I was racing for a top spot and lost to her.

    HermosaBoy


      From the Lap Count Newsletter:

       

      Minus One Olympic Trials Qualifier 🇺🇸

      Instagram Post

      The strong field at the Philadelphia Marathon and good conditions made for a prime Olympic Trials Qualifying chasing opportunity. And for the few guys who got under the 2:18:00 mark, they’ll be headed to Orlando. But unfortunately they will do so without Ethan Hermann, who crossed the finish line of his debut in 2:17:03. Although his watch says he did it and we can see the time on Strava, it won’t be in the results. Hermann was disqualified.

      Hermann’s coach was running around the course cheering when he met his athlete at an aid station. Once there, his coach picked up the bottle and handed it over to the competing athlete. However because Hermann did not grab said bottle himself, this is technically against USATF rules due to the “inequality of resources offered to athletes.”

      But who cares, right? He would have finished sixth and his qualifying for the Olympic Trials does not take someone else’s spot. Who – in a world of increasingly bouncy shoe prototypes and systemic doping programs – would consider what might genuinely be the smallest possible advantage an athlete can gain mid-race a sin?

      Well, this infraction was pointed out to the race organizers. Unfortunately due to the formality of the complaint and the specificity of the rules, the organizers had their hands tied on the situation.

      Hermann is taking this tragic situation in stride, puts no blame on the Philadelphia Marathon organizers whatsoever, and is fully understanding of the consequences. He shared with me that, “I don’t fully have to agree, but I fully get it. I just have to learn from it, move forward, and take on the next challenge in time.”

      Ethan is at peace and seems to be walking away from the weekend knowing that his mission of qualifying for the Olympic Trials was accomplished – even if the start list will say otherwise. 

      This is an issue across all parts of our sport where every judgment is made in black and white. If someone false starts, they’re out. In the triathlon when someone breaks a rule, they’re made to just stand in a box for a little bit. What’s one bottle being handed to you worth over the course of a marathon? How about a 15-second penalty? Or you have to choke down one more gel after you finish?

      Rules were made to be broken. And so are made-up time barriers to qualify for qualifying races. #FreeEthan

      And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

       

      Rob

      dktrotter


      Dorothea

        Funny thing is, this thread starts with exactly that rule. Ethan should have been reading the Running Ahead forums!

        Just kidding. But seriously, the man took it in stride and still can be proud of that debut time and finish. He probably is not too concerned as there's enough time to qualify in another race in the given time period.

        Qualifications: I like to run. In Florida. In the summer. At noon.  

        Last race: June 29, Hasenheide Parkrun, 22:19. A bit disappointing time, but it was still a fun event. 

        HermosaBoy


          This part kills me:

           

          Well, this infraction was pointed out to the race organizers. Unfortunately due to the formality of the complaint and the specificity of the rules, the organizers had their hands tied on the situation.

           

          Really, someone made a formal complaint?

          And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

           

          Rob

          Fredford66


          Waltons ThreadLord

            I once raced a half in warm weather in a race where the organizers decided water stations would just be big thermos jugs of water from which you could (re)fill your own cup or bottle from the spigot at the bottom.  Given such a refill would require a full stop and wait, I wasn't thrilled about that prospect.  Since my son and I have the same model belt with water bottle, my wife and son met me at roughly the halfway mark with the second bottle and I handed off my empty bottle and took the full one.  It never occurred to me until reading this thread that I may have thus cheated; I thought I was just adapting to an annoying decision by the RD not to have water for runners to take on the go.

             

            In another race, on a very hot day, I noticed one of the pacers in the group I was with would occasionally fall behind at water stops and then catch up.  I learned she was stopping at the table and having a volunteer fill her water bottle so she could keep drinking between aid stations.  At the next table, I did the same thing.  Was that also a cheat?  Or was that OK because it was an option available to everyone from a race-provided aid station (available to everyone carrying a bottle, that is)?

            5k 23:48.45 (3/22); 4M 31:26 (2/22); 5M 38:55 (11/23); 10k 49:24 (10/22); 
            10M 1:29:33 (2/24); Half 1:48:32 (10/22); Marathon 4:29:58 (11/23)

            Upcoming race(s): Firecracker 4-miler, 7/4

             

            Running Problem


            Problem Child

              This part kills me:

               

              Well, this infraction was pointed out to the race organizers. Unfortunately due to the formality of the complaint and the specificity of the rules, the organizers had their hands tied on the situation.

               

              Really, someone made a formal complaint?

               

              Rules aren't there just for looks. Perhaps Ethan would have missed the bottle and his race went to shit. If you don't like the rules then don't play the game. His coach fucked him and cost him a chance at the Olympic Trials Qualifiers because he thought "I'll grab this bottle and hand it to him so he doesn't miss it' which is against the rules. He could have chosen NOT to grab the bottle from his coach. He had a decision to make, he made it and so did his coach. This isn't a new rule. Fuck around and find out. Play stupid games and win stupid prices.

               

              I bet he never takes outside at during another race again. I also bet he never offers it to a runner unless they're both IN the race.

              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

              Half Crazy K 2.0


                I once raced a half in warm weather in a race where the organizers decided water stations would just be big thermos jugs of water from which you could (re)fill your own cup or bottle from the spigot at the bottom.  Given such a refill would require a full stop and wait, I wasn't thrilled about that prospect.  Since my son and I have the same model belt with water bottle, my wife and son met me at roughly the halfway mark with the second bottle and I handed off my empty bottle and took the full one.  It never occurred to me until reading this thread that I may have thus cheated; I thought I was just adapting to an annoying decision by the RD not to have water for runners to take on the go.

                 

                In another race, on a very hot day, I noticed one of the pacers in the group I was with would occasionally fall behind at water stops and then catch up.  I learned she was stopping at the table and having a volunteer fill her water bottle so she could keep drinking between aid stations.  At the next table, I did the same thing.  Was that also a cheat?  Or was that OK because it was an option available to everyone from a race-provided aid station (available to everyone carrying a bottle, that is)?

                 

                The page numbers are out of whack, but go to page 141 for the official rules.

                 

                The second example seems fine assuming she carried the waterr bottle from the start and wasn't given it at a water stop.

                 

                I think this is one of those situations where if you are an elite runner, you need to be aware and knowledgeable of these rules, plus all the anti-doping stuff. If you aren't winning prize money or OTQ-ing, most races probably won't notice of care that you got water from your family.

                 

                With sites like Marathon INvestigation, I think the outside assistance was called out in the paast when someone posts their thanks for it (pacing or whatever) all over social media. Probably would go unnoticed if it wasn't on social media.

                Running Problem


                Problem Child

                  (e) The Organizing Committee shall delineate, by barriers, tables or markings on
                  the ground, the area from which refreshments can be received or collected. It
                  should not be directly in the line of the measured route. Refreshments shall be
                  placed so that they are easily accessible to, or may be put by authorized persons
                  into the hands of, the athletes. Such persons shall remain inside the designated
                  area and not enter the course nor obstruct any athlete. No official shall, under
                  any circumstances, move beside an athlete while he is taking refreshment or
                  water.


                  (f) A competitor who collects refreshment from a place other than a refreshment
                  station is liable to disqualification by the Referee.

                   

                  If someone is handing you something outside a designated aid area, where the tables are the only place you can get aid from, it's a DQ.

                  There is not a single "technicality" about it. The coach was not an authorized person. End of story. Disqualified because your coach is a moron and made a bad choice.

                  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

                  Angel17


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