Arien O’Connell finished the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco with a personal best time of 2:55:11, nine minutes faster than the next fastest runner. She did not, however, win the race.
Because O’Connell didn’t register as an “elite” runner, she started the race twenty minutes behind the rabbits, and her speedy time went unnoticed by race officials. When O’Connell notified them of their mistake, she was politely told to have sex wih herself.
No one seemed exactly sure what to do. The trophies had already been handed out and the official results announced. Now organizers seem to be hoping it will all go away. “At this point,” Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez said Monday, “we’ve declared our winner.”
O’Connell said some race officials actually implied she’d messed up the seeding by not declaring herself an “elite” runner. “If you’re feeling like you’re going to be a leader,” race producer Dan Hirsch said Monday, “you should be in the elite pack.”
Yes, runners should know in advance whether they’re going to have the race of their lives and how fast everyone else will be. That makes much more sense than, say, grouping people together by a specific qualifying time. Let’s not stand for this, America! Let’s unite and have our voices heard! No one can stand in the way of Arien Nation!
…maybe I should find a different name for the movement?
[Story via Half-Fast, photo by Lacy Atkins for the Chronicle]