Why Cheat In A Marathon?

Here are 11 runners who cheated during a marathon. A typical case would be :

4. Skip Miles 13-23: Anthony Gaskell (London, 2010)

At the 2010 London Marathon, 69-year-old Anthony Gaskell smashed records when he crossed the finish line at 3:05:00. It was the fastest time on record for his 65+ age group. But upon closer analysis of his recorded statistics, it was discovered that Gaskell supposedly ran the second half of the race (13.1 miles) in less than an hour – an impossible feat for even a world champion. It turned out he forewent running the there-and-back portion of the course entirely, skipping miles 13 – 23. Gaskell would later claim he hurt himself and was simply trying to get to the finish to receive medical attention. Nonetheless, his honorary plaque and title were revoked.

Each of the 11 cases presented above, the cheat was caught with consummate easy.  So why bother to cheat?

I know it’s easy to ask that question but I think the answers are always fairly complicated.I mean, running a marathon is a very big deal. Of those 11 cases, how many had run a marathon before and just wanted to finish and miscalculated and finished with fantastic times? I am not talking about the ones who either gave their chip away to another runner or just did not run at all. I am talking about the ones who were dedicated enough to make an attempt.

I have to confess that one I had a strong urge to cheat during my running as well. I did not do it, but almost did.

The run was the 30K Midsummer Night’s Run. The run was fairly grueling because the humidity was at around 85%. I was woefully unprepared for the run and went just because I had signed up for it. A crucial mistake I made was to switch from water to Gatorade  for my run. I never have Gatorade. Ever. And my stomach rebelled. At the 26K mark, I had to go to the bathroom and I was in for almost 10 minutes. When I came out, I realised that the bathroom was at a juncture of a loop. I could have easily walked into the bathroom at the 26K mark and come out of the bathroom at the 28K mark. And that’s what I started to do and then the little voice in my head said”what the fuck are you doing?”. I did not bother trying to answer and I turned around to complete the loop from the 26K back to the 28K mark. And then at the end of the run, I puked my guts out!

Looking back my reasoning was not to aim for the best time in the run. I was already doing awful. My reasons to cheat was to finish the run as soon as possible. But thankfully the Jiminy Cricket inside me was able to convince me that it was moronic to try and cheat. I mean, what for! So that I can tell the world I finished the run 10 minutes earlier than I actually did?

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