Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Claims of Cheating at the Peachtree Road Race

The AJC published two separate stories this week concerning allocations of cheating at this year’s Peachtree Road Race. In Mark Bradley’s column, he complained about seeing 2 women with high seed numbers who passed the 2-mile mark before the elite runners – a clear sign they started the race past the official starting line. Bradley’s point – why participate if you’re not going to run fairly. The column attracted nearly 200 comments on ajc.com; an indication that Bradley hit on a sore point with a lot of runners. Some of the comments expressed amazement at the number of “runners” they saw waiting at the side of the road to jump onto the course.

Yesterday’s front page featured a story about the disqualification of elite runner Tadese Tola over claims he deliberately elbowed another runner to finish fourth in the race. While I haven’t seen the video of his alleged misconduct, the photo in the AJC does show him tangled with runner Boaz Chebolywo near the finish line.

With 55,000 runners, it’s not surprising to me that issues of unsportsmanlike conduct would occur. However, I agree with Bradley and the comments at his column – why run a race if you don’t run the entire race? In the end, you’re just cheating yourself from achieving a true sense of accomplishment.

This week’s route is the course from the Peachtree Road Race. Click here for map.

· Start at the intersection of Peachtree and Lenox
· Follow Peachtree for approximately 5 ½ miles
· Turn left on 10th Street
· Finish at Piedmont Park

1 comment:

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