If you do or do not watch the Biggest Loser, it doesn't matter, but this might be slightly more relevant if you did watch this past season.
But, really, this post is about race times, cheating and etiquette amongst us runners.
Here's the story: big boy, Dane (with the hot wife) was voted off the show in March after having lost 100 lbs. He returned to his home state of Arizona. The little clip that they show when someone gets voted off regarding their accomplishments in weight loss, etc since leaving showed that Dane and his wife ran a full marathon together after he was booted. I distinctly remember watching this, because when Dane and hottie wife crossed the finish line, the time clock above them said 3:53. Yes, 3:53.
I was pissed. My husband was laughing his ass off at how pissed I was. I had just finished running my first marathon in 4:03 and was
Then...guess what I find out this week while reading Runner's World?? Dane is not the Biggest Loser, but he is the Biggest Liar! He expected to run a seven hour marathon. The producers wanted him to go faster. He hit the middle of the marathon and knew he wasn't going to make it in time...so...a van picks him up at mile 17 and drives him close to the finish line. Here's what he said about
Interviewer: What would you say to the people in the running community who are upset about the misleading finish time that aired on the show [the clock erroneously displayed 3:53 instead of 5:53]?
Dane: I’m not part of that community and I’m not familiar with runners’ etiquette. I understand why they would be upset. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. If they want to take away my marathon away from me than that’s fine. Before all of this happened, my wife and I were planning on running another one in April and by that time I hope I can be a part of that group.
So to my blogger friends who are part of the running community, what do you make of this?
To me there is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) understanding that you wear your race time like a badge of honor. Good or bad it is your time and you take it. You can explain away after the fact why you didn't PR or why you didn't go faster, but you accept your time with grace, dignity and sometimes disappointment. Cheating is not an option. I don't know anyone who has ever left a course and made a detour just so their time could be less. Or anyone who has ever accepted a ride for part of the race so that their time could be less. It's just not right. Part of running a race is earning every step, every mile. Otherwise what's the point? When the day is done, we're not out there to impress and compete with anyone but ourselves, really. As much as our friends and family are rooting for us, they won't love us any less if we run a 3:53 marathon or a 4:53 marathon, right? (unless they're those really bitchy types whose love is totally conditional, but that's another blog).
Maybe I shouldn't care so much. It's just a dumb show. But you shouldn't say you ran a full marathon when you didn't. Period. I would have had tremendous respect for Dane no matter what his final time was. To lose that weight, to get into shape and to finish a marathon??? We all would have cheered our asses off. But to lie...well, you lose me there.