For today’s Thinking out Loud Thursday link up with (fellow Canadian!) Amanda from Running with Spoons, I wanted to talk about cheating in races. No, I’m not talking about doping today but about course cutting.
Boston has come and gone and so has the little running scandals pop up alongside it. Last year it was the running bandits and this year, it was the man who apparently cheated for his qualifying time to get into Boston (and don’t forget the lady who got busted for cheating the course at St. Louis to BQ for next year)
I seriously do not get it. Why do runners cheat? Why train for a race only to cut the course for a faster time? A time that is unique to you and is a reflection of how much work and effort you put yourself through. I’ve done out and back races before and can see how it might be “easy” to shave off a couple minutes but I why would I pay for a distance only to run part of it?
I’m sure there have been a lot of course cutters that have gotten away with it but do they not understand that it really doesn’t take much more than your bib number to get your name then compare all your stats to see if you magically shaved an hour off your PR? Is it so they can feel good about “winning” something? Something that can be disproved once you put them back on the course and ask them to bang out a sub 3 marathon. Is it a narcissistic personality that gives them the compulsion to cheat to “win” in order to get their 15 minutes of fame/bragging rights on social media? Especially if they end up taking away the prize/title from someone who genuinely earned it by putting in the work – do they feel no remorse?
Whew – I totally needed to get that off my chest!
So what’s your take on this? How do you feel about cheats? Why do you think they do this?