It’s not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds.
NASHVILLE, TENN – Tabatha Hamilton ran the second half of her marathon in 49 minutes. This piece of information upset second place runner Lilian Gilmer, because she believed that Hamilton completed the race too quickly.
The reason that Lilian thought this was not because she was a sore loser, but because the world record for a half marathon, set by a man, is 58 minutes and 23 seconds. The women’s world record for a half marathon is 65 minutes and 12 seconds. Again, Tabatha Hamilton ran the second half of her marathon in 49 minutes, a time that absolutely shatters the world record for people that were running half the distance that Hamilton was running in total.
Lilian Gilmer noticed Tabatha’s short second half of her marathon time, and noticed that the first half of her marathon time was significantly longer.
“I had emailed the race director and said, “Look, I’m not trying to improve my standings, but I think this is a little bit strange that somebody would be so far behind and then set a world record,” Gilmer recalled to a local news station.
After a brief debate, race organizers agreed, and Hamilton was disqualified, making Gilmer, the 42-year old marathon veteran the winner. It was the first time in her 20 years of running marathons that she had ever won.
Tabatha Hamilton insists that she ran all 13.1 miles of the race.
There is a lesson to be learned here. The lesson isn’t to avoid cheating and play fair. That’s lame. The lesson is that if you’re going to cheat, don’t be an idiot and break a world record. Cheat in a way that you’re not putting yourself at a major advantage, just a minor one, that way nobody notices.