Area Marathon Race Officials Looking Into Questionable Victory
Marathon runners have athletic prowess that few of us could ever imagine. They, apparently, also have a propensity for following directions to their own detriment. The Quad City marathon is marred in controversy today after the winner, Tyler Pence of Moline, Illinois appears to have come out victorious due to an error by a race volunteer.
The 23rd running of the marathon took place on Sunday and two Kenyan athletes at one point had been way ahead of the pack. Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet were then veered off course by a race volunteer on a bicycle who "went the wrong way".
The Quad-City Times says race officials acknowledge the volunteer's mistake but it appears Pence's victory will stand as, according to the officials, Saolo and Kibet "should have known the route". They say the route is marked plainly with clear signage and a meeting to familiarize the runners with the route the day before. While Pence feels somewhat sympathetic, he also admitted he was not going to point out the mistake and risk losing his spot, and based on comments in the Quad City Times from race director Joe Moreno alluding to the factors above, it doesn't sound like he will have to.
For the record, the volunteer who made the mistake is apparently quite dejected, saying "I messed up royally." First prize in the race is $3,000 and race officials are looking into some way to compensate, financially or otherwise, Saolo and Kibet, who had set up a GoFundMe page to cover their expenses related to participation in the race.
For what it's worth, Pence became the first runner from the United States to win the event since 2001.
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