Wednesday, January 7, 2015

METERS Knoxville Marathon Support

In the latest newsletter from the Knoxville Track Club, there is an article about a woman who cheated during a marathon by not running the full distance. One of the local ham radio clubs gets an acknowledgement for their part in ensuring the integrity of the results:

"At our Knoxville Marathon, we have a somewhat similar course layout. Our full and half marathons start simultaneously, and both finish on the 50 yard line of Neyland Stadium. They run together for 12.5 miles before the half splits off toward the finish line. Every year, we get folks who have signed up for the full and for some reason (bad day, cramps, underestimation of the hills), opt for the half when the split comes. One of two things has always happened."
"We get novices that don’t know better. They finish the half, grab some food and drink, and then they head home. They assume that we’ll know that they only did the half. Do we?

Yes. We use METERS (Middle East Tennessee Emergency Radio Service) to spot participants running the half wearing the full bib. They radio in the bib numbers so we can switch them in the results. Our timing crew also checks the top finishers to make sure that they have a 10k split, a half marathon split, and a 20 mile split that correlate to their marathon time. If someone only has a split at 10k and it is for a 10 minute mile, there is no way that they finished the marathon averaging 7 minutes a mile.

Never, have I ever, seen one of these folks stick around for the full marathon award ceremony and attempt to claim an overall or age group award."

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