Friday, February 13, 2009

pacesetters can be expensive...

I already reported on the Marathon in HK...
but there is an incredible development.
One runner (running for the HK national team !!) gave his spare #4 bib to his coach, so that he could jump into the course to pacesetting another female runner, who was also running for the HK Team in the GROE challenge.

the female runner was bonking hard in the last miles and the coach run with her up to the finish line!!!

The end result is that the public outcry to such a "foolish" behavior led the organizer to disqualify both runners !! I say foolish because the "trio" did not respect the rules, but also managed the action in a silly way (using an elite bib, running with the girl until the finish line under the photographers, etc). Really a poor judgment and too much passion in his duty from the coach.

The collateral makes the story much more interesting:
- the coach is well know locally because he is the HK Marathon record holder (set in 1992 !!), and also in the ranks of HKA
- before pacing the girl for the last 10k, the coach also did take part in the 10k race (collateral to the marathon), in a very respectable time of 37'55" (well... he is 49 ). So a very good workout (10k at 3'50" + 10k at 4'15")
- sadly: the disqualification of one runner in the series of 4 races also cause the HK team to lose all their rankings in the race series. So the effort done by other runners in tough marathons like Singapore and Mumbai goes lost..
- the woman team loses also 30,000USD of prize money for series (aka 7,500$ per head). That is really a great buch of money for those amateur runners.

the morale of the story:

- A. do not give your own bib to anyone...
- B. this pacesetter was more expensive those deployed to beat the world record by Gebre... (the counts stands at 3000$/km..)
- C. the red singlet with the "Hong Kong China" mark is really cute, I am very proud to have mine in the closet as lifetime achievement.
- D. it is further confirmation that the number 4 brings bad luck (according to the local folklore, 4 sounds like "death", so it avoided in all ways)

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