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3503 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 8, 2009 5:02 AM by MikeDaMarine08
Stevemustangred Legend 681 posts since
Oct 10, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 5, 2009 10:12 AM

Taking Unauthorized Aid during a Race can Cost You

I have seem many runners paced by non-participants during races, most recently,  Sunday in Oklahoma.  I have seen runners paced by people on bikes, notoriously at Dallas White Rock.  There are also numerous, non-race sanctioned aid stations at many of the larger races, such as the Hash House Harriers 24 mile beer stations.  This is the first time I have heard of a runner being disqualified though resulting in a loss of $500 award, plus a DNF at the Lakefront Marathon.


Fair or unfair?

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  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Unusual, yes.  Unfortunately, those are the rules, and they are really only enforced for those who win overall or age-group awards.  In this case it may have been an over-reaction by race officials, since the infraction was minor.  A warning at the scene should have been sufficient.  They don't worry about the rest of us.  They could technically DQ anyone wearing headphones, or carrying their own drinks and eats.  Pacing by bicycle is definitely a violation (aside from bicycles generally not being allowed on course).


  • Andrew... Legend 273 posts since
    Jan 24, 2008

    Fair - especially for somene coming in first. I think the USATF rules are very clear on this.


    In addition, I checked out the rules (#6 and #7) on the marathon web site. There were 2 rule that were implied violated here:

    6. Pacers are prohibited.  Friends or family who are not participating as registered participants in the race may not run with you – either to help set a pace or to keep you company for a portion of the course.  This rule includes children running with parents.  The only exception to this USATF Rule of Competition is for pace setters provided by the race that are available for use by ANY runner.


    7. There are 13 aid stations on the marathon course.  We have found this number to be sufficient for the majority of participants.  If you believe that you will require additional fluids or other aid, you must make arrangements to carry them on your person.  With the exception of “citizen aid stations” where neighbors provide additional aid available to ALL participants, you may not accept aid outside of the designated aid stations.  This means that your friends and family cannot meet you on the course to provide aid to you.  Such behavior violates the USATF Rules of Competition and provides you with an unfair advantage over participants who do not have people out there to help them.



    The real issue was the person jumping in, running with her, and providing aid. As I read the rules, taking the water from the boy/father on the course was a "citizen aid station" so not a problem. (good - b/c I really enjoy it when "citizens' provide impromptu aid stations)


    The question I have is hypothetical. IF the woman had a fast guy friend (like a 2:40 marathoner) running with her and pacing her throughout, would she have been DQ'ed?
  • Steelers21 Legend 592 posts since
    Apr 8, 2008

    Andrew... wrote:

    The question I have is hypothetical. IF the woman had a fast guy friend (like a 2:40 marathoner) running with her and pacing her throughout, would she have been DQ'ed?


    No problem if the other runner is a registered participant.  If he is not, then that would be a problem.

  • taylormade050 Pro 77 posts since
    Aug 24, 2004
    I ran this race and also took water at the unauthorized aid station.  It was nice to have water at that point as there seemed to be a longer than usual gap between aid stations at that point.  It was easy to tell it was an unauthorized station so if you are planning on winning $$ or other prize I guess you would know the rules.  The pacer is a different deal as most should know that is against the rules.  I am not excusing the biker/pacer violation because as I said most should know that is against the rules but I have to say there were a lot of people out on bikes along the course.  Enough bikers to be a distraction to me.  The race should have done a better job of keeping all bikers off the course.
  • Tony Rosen Amateur 24 posts since
    Mar 23, 2009

    I'm with the whole "the little boy's water aide" isn't what got her disqualified.  It was her friend running out on the course, not registered, giving her water at mile 19.  Clear infraction of the rules --- no matter how ambiguous she believes the rule is.


    Besides, had she finished mid-pack-ish, none of it would have mattered.

    Heart Attack Survivor (Sept 15, 2008)

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    1) 4/18/09 --- Run For Cover 5K ... CHECK
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    5) 4/25/10 --- Oklahoma City Half-Marathon

  • RunDaddyRunx4 Legend 1,037 posts since
    May 12, 2008
    It's kind of hard for me to weight in because I'm just an average runner who doesn't place and can only dream of placing.  But I would have to say that rules are there for a reason even if we don't agree with them.  Once broken, they become the norm and then bent over and over.  I would not attest to pacers as long as they do not get in the way.  During our Regnar Relay  in DC, we had a bike pacer for all the female runners on our team at night and glad we did.

  • PersianP Legend 468 posts since
    Oct 14, 2008
    She got what she deserved! People who run to win know the rules and they are cheating. I have placed countless times and seen many people breaking the rules and placing and accepting the award! During Fallsburg marathon which was one of the hardest we have ran this year, there was a woman meeting with her family every chance they got and getting aid, sadly enough she was try so hard to pass me! Well she didn't, but I am sure she took someone else's place. There was also a woman who finished the half and brought water and aid for her husband but was nice enough to offer to all runner.
  • Irish Runner77 Legend 780 posts since
    Nov 1, 2007

    Speaking of "citizen aid stations" the best one along the MCM course falls at the entrance/exit to Crystal City. You'll know it when you see it.


    On on!



    MCM Finisher 2007, 2008, 2009
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  • Rogerd430 Expert 49 posts since
    Sep 15, 2007
    Last time I ran this in 2004, I think this was where a beer stop (Unauthorized of course) was located.  Any changes since?

    Roger, an Old'n'Slow NH Runner
  • badgergrl Legend 738 posts since
    Jan 17, 2008



    (not sure how to make that a link anymore )


    Here's another story from the Twin Cities Marathon about an age group winner who accepted "unauthorized aide"

  • MikeDaMarine08 We're Not Worthy 2,498 posts since
    Aug 14, 2008
    On On Chris!

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    Next Race - MCM Baby!!!!!!

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