Media Wednesday

It seems that I have gotten over my slight funk from last week and I have had a great training week so far. Since the TCS NYC Marathon is getting closer and I rarely read anything about running, I decided to post some interesting articles (at least to me).

Selected article topics:

  1. NYC Marathon course strategy

  2. Mexico City’s marathon cheating scandal

  3. Toughest North American marathons

2017 NYC Marathon Course Strategy (***)

“ER” is a blogger, who writes about running in NYC. I have been following his Facebook page (Dirty Old Sneakers) for quite some time. In this blog, he pretty much provides some tips for each borough for for the TCS NYC Marathon. 

One tip that I did not know about the home stretch of the marathon.

At Columbus Circle, you re-enter Central Park. Make sure your bib is visible at this point. If it’s not, you run the risk if getting stopped by Bandit Spotters and pulled off the course. You don’t want someone to break your stride when you’re so close to the finish line.

People do crap like that?!!!

The Mexico City Marathon and 6 more tales of cheating throughout running history (***)

This article, written by Louis Bien for, talks about the rampant cheating allegations in various marathons. It’s so weird that approximately 20% of finishers (5,800 out of 28,206 runners) are accused of cheating in this year’s Mexico City Marathon. I never really understood cheating for a marathon. I get that many people want to qualify for prestigious marathons, such as the Boston Marathon. What’s the point of cheating to qualify for a marathon if you are going to be a struggle, compared to the other runners? Also, what’s the point of cheating if you are not even an elite athlete and there is no chance to win prize money? It’s just seems like a big waste of time, in my opinion. In the article, Bien reports that “runners” were seen jumping into the marathon at different parts; riding the subway; and wearing more than one bib. 

I know that some people sell their bibs to other people. Typically, these folks get an injury while training and would like to recoup some of the money spent for a race. For example, the price of these year’s NYC Marathon was in the range of $255-$295 (although you can defer the NYC Marathon for the following year). *That reminds me, I think that applied for a deferment for the NYC Half-Marathon last year. I have to check on that.* However, I could see why someone would not like to spend $255-$295 bucks for a race that he/she cannot run. I just did a quick check for buying NYC Marathon bibs on, and they are in the range of $400-$500. Five-hundred bucks to run 26.2 miles?!!!! Are you crazy? Another thing: this price gouging pisses me off. I can understand if you are injured and you want to get rid of your bib, but why make a $100+ profit?! Ok, I have gotten a little bit of topic. Let’s get back to the cheating folks in Mexico City’s Marathon.

Below, we have a runner who clearly is wearing two bibs – his and Maria’s. Also, this Maria “qualified” for the Boston Marathon. I mean this was not even a good way to cheat, because you can see both bibs. Wouldn’t have been smarter to put one of the bibs inside of his running gear? I mean that’s how I would do it. 

Image courtesy of Marathon Investigator

More about this scandal can be found at be foundMarathon Investigator’sandRunner’s Worldwebsites. On Marathon Investigator’s website, Derick Murphy does an in-depth analysis of these allegations. One key example is the observation of the percentage of timing mats skipped during the marathon. I’m surprised that there were only eight timing mats for this marathon. I figure that there would be more, since this is a Boston qualifier.  

Toughest Road Races in North America (***)

Run Raves lists and describes its picks for 12 toughest road races. This post lists the races in order of their date and not difficulty, which seems a little weird for me. Plus, the post includes races for 2018. I would think that the percentage of finishers would be an important metric for determining the “toughness” of a road race. Here, I will list the first three of the twelve toughest road races.

  • Heart of America Marathon – Columbia, MO (Sep 4, 2017). This marathon essentially has sloping hills for the entire race. One positive: the organizers of this marathon offer ice baths at the finish.
  • Rim Rock Run* – Grand Junction, CO (Nov 4, 2017). Here, we have a 9-mile ascent to the highest point of 6000 feet. Holy Damn! I guess that this marathon literally will take your breath away. Sorry, but I could not help myself.
  • Polar Bear Marathon* – Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Nov 18, 2017). Did you know that Churchill is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”? In addition to poentially dealing with polar bears, the temperature for this marathon can fall to -30C (-22F). Oh hell no. I wonder if polar bears are allowed to participate in this marathon?

Have you read any interesting articles about marathons or running in general?


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