If you have run a lot of ultra’s, you may have ended up missing a turn and going the wrong way. I think many of us have experienced the awful gut-wrenching feeling that you are no longer on the race course. Most of the time, a wrong turn means extra miles. But occasionally, it’s a short cut. It’s not really a huge moral dilemma, you have two choices, keep running or retrace your steps back to the wrong turn and continue on. The only difference is if you keep running, you let the Race Director know at the finish you accidentally cut the course. I remember the Sun Mountain 50 miler where most of us missed a turn and shorted the course a bit. And then there was my 8 extra miles at Waldo 100K
I’ve heard many stories where runners retraced their steps and ran the extra miles to complete the race. But what about the fast guys when there is money on the line? A couple of years ago at the 50K national championships in Bend Oregon, the first finishers all took different routes to the finish. Quite a mess, but they sat down and figured it out amongst themselves who deserved the prize money! Now I’m not one to say that all ultra runners are angels, but isn’t that the way sports should be?
So what do you call a runner who cuts courses all the time for personal glory? I suppose most marathoners have a very low opinion of Kip Litton, the Michigan dentist who shorted marathon courses for almost 2 years to get the win. Of course he denied he ever cheated, but if he suddenly came clean, would you feel any different about him?
What about Lance? I marveled at his triathlete wins even before he stared road bike racing. He absolutely destroyed the competition at the Tour de France year after year. Yes we knew there was a lot of doping going on, but this was Lance! An incredible pedaling machine that raced clean. His denial was so great, that he used his vast resources to discredit anyone who spoke otherwise. So now he decides to fess up. How do I feel about him now? The same way I feel about Kip Litton, except worse. To me he is just a thug that used his money and power to cover up his cheating. I’m glad he is finally telling the truth, but I have no compassion for him in regards to sport. Should he get permission to compete again? Absolutely not!
What do you think?