Suspected Cheating in Chiangmai Marathon 2015
I joined the Chiangmai Marathon last Sunday and would like to share my unhappy experience.
The organization was not bad. Pick up of race pack was smooth. The start was in order and many food stalls provided after race. The event Tee and finisher tee was great.
However, it got a big demerit, which was lack of timing detector on most of the u-turns. There was only 1 timing mat at around 10k. There were u-turns at around 17k, 22.5k, 26.5k & 30k, but only a hair band of different colour was given at each u-turns.
The race was started at 4am in the dark and there are lots of chances for short cuts!
Although I didn't notice any cheating before I complete the marathon, my friends saw many runners walk to the other side of the road to short cut.
Moreover, as I was started at the front row and not much female participants had overtaken me, I was expected to be ranked the first 8 or below. It was so surprise that I became 15th overall and ranked 9th in my age group!
I did keep an eye on the u-turns to find my competitors ahead. It was found around 5 to 8 ladies only on the way. So there were 5 to 8 ladies appeared suddenly after 30km! One way of the cheaters could be simply run the 1st 10km and last few km as the hair bands were not checked at the finishing point. Another method was the number bib was carried by a male runner and replaced the runner before reaching the finishing line.
Moreover, 2 of my friends who ran the half marathon encountered the same experiences.
Perhaps the prize money attracted those cheaters. However, if the race organizers place timing mats on each u-turns should help!
Since the race organizers failed to post up the official results to the public, I was not able to appeal. I felt a bit disappointed as I had tried my best to run but could not get a fair result.
I had run the other marathons in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket marathon but did not encounter such cheating problem.
Hence, I would like to remind Hong Kong runners to consider about this problem before joining this marathon.