The Casual Runner

It Is OK to Laugh at Cheaters

It Is OK to Laugh at Cheaters

Cheaters? Someone is not impressed.

Unfortunately, lately we have been hearing a lot of chatter around the Casual Running community about cheaters. For reasons beyond our understanding, there are some folks who just don’t get it and feel the need to cheat in races.

In the past we looked at how dishonesty is a black mark on the racing community
and how runners should remain committed to running real.

For today, we will leave the sleuthing and discussing of these running cheats to other forums. Instead, we want to have a little fun with this inexplicable phenomenon and look back in history on some of the more infamous folks who thought they could cheat, and get away with it.

Yes, we all know about about the most infamous running cheat of them all, Rosie Ruiz, and how she rode the T en route to a nefarious Boston Marathon almost-victory. Sadly, she is not alone in the pantheon of running cheaters. And yes, it is OK to laugh at these would-be cheats, who would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!

We guess some folks just didn’t get the message.

Chariots of Fire

Who hasn’t heard of Spyridon Belokas?

Well, we hadn’t either. But he did earn a place in history when, during the inaugural 1896 Athens Olympics he sort of finished in third place in the first ever Olympic marathon. Evidently the allure of this first modern marathon was so compelling that Belokas took a carriage ride to traverse part of the course.

For his trouble he was awarded one of the first disqualifications in modern Olympics history.

Meet Me in St. Louis

What is it about the early Olympics that led folks to assume that cheating goes hand-in-hand with international fellowship and sportsmanship?

At the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, 1905 Boston Marathon champion Fred Lorz decided that running a marathon is for chumps. So hehopped in a car driven by his manager. He said that after the first 9 miles he was exhausted, but we all know that is not an acceptable excuse.  Because we all know just what karma is, the car broke down. This meant that Lorz “only” got to ride for the next 11 miles, and was forced to finish the rest of the race on foot.

Crossing the finish line first, officials initially declared Lorz Olympic champion, but he would soon be undone by do-gooding spectators who reported his cheating ways and led to him being stripped of his laurels.

Who’s On First?

Who crossed the finish line first in the marathon event at the 1972 Munich Olympics?

If you guessed Olympic Champion Frank Shorter, you would be wrong.

Before Shorter could claim his Olympic glory, a young man entered the Olympic stadium and circled the track to the roaring ovation of the gathered crowd.  It took the crowd and Olympic officials some time to realize that this was not in fact an Olympian, but rather an Olympic prankster having a good laugh.  It is believed that the prankster did not actually interfere with any of the competitors, so, while not technically a cheater, it may just be one to chalk up to no harm, no foul. But we would most definitely advise that none of our readers try this one at home…or in any race…anywhere…ever.

Ok, we had our fun, but don’t let these cheaters take away from the fact that, for most Casual Runners, running races is for real, and is pretty damn impressive.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!