Monday, October 13, 2008

The Wesley Korir Saga

The controversy for 2008 at the Bank of America Marathon is the Wesley Korir situation. Korir (photo), 26, a native of Kenya who has run track and cross-country, first at Murray State University and most recently at the University of Louisville, placed fourth on Sunday in 2:13:53, beating some of the best marathon runners in the world. The problem is he was not in the elite group that started at 7:55 a.m. He was in the 8 a.m. mass start. USATF rules stipulate that everyone competing for places and prize money ($15,000 in this case) must have the same gun start. The thinking is that Korir wasn't racing against the competition, but rather against the clock and had an unfair advantage. I don't know about that. The issue has raised a stir. Korir, as I am beginning to learn, has had quite a life, escaping violence back home etc. I am attempting to reach him. If I do you'll be the first to know. I feel for the guy, but I also understand that the marathon is bound by the USATF's rules. As of Monday at 6 p.m., a marathon spokesman said nothing had changed. Who said running was dull??


Anonymous said...

it's a precarious situation. while i also understand the USATF rule, it's ultimately up to Carey to decide what to do. the fact that korir was left out of the elite field seems like a gross oversight by race organizers and i hope they do the right thing and award BOTH 4th place finishers $15,000.

John Akii-Bua said...

What's was Korir's PR going into the race? Too slow to be considered an elite?

Lots of talk on letsrun on this subject.

Anonymous said...

it was his first marathon. and he had only done on half marathon but he finished it in 1:05 placing him 5:00 above the elite qualifing