Arien O’Connell this week won the Nike Womens Marathon in San Francisco. Her time was 11 minutes faster than anyone else.
Arien O’Connell was not declared the winner. I know what you are thinking: she cheated …. hardly new in marathons. Or (it is San Francisco) she wasn’t a woman. Nope and nope. She ran a fair race, and is indeed all woman.
Arien opted to not enter the elite division, which left 10 minutes before the rest of the field. Thus, she did not reach the finish line first, and did not win the race, despite having a time 11 minutes under the first person to cross the finish line.
When this was pointed out to race organizers, they stuck to their guns: the trophies have been awarded, the winners have been declared. Because one runner didn’t know how good she really was, first place was taken from her.
The article notes that in other marathons, this has also happened. No matter your time, only racers in the elite division get to compete for first place.
You would think in this era of computer chips and such this wouldn’t be a big deal …. but it is.
Another example of the great individual being squashed by layers and layers of rules that do nothing but squash the little guy (or gal as the case may be).