Mexico City Marathon disqualifies 11,000 runners

Mexico City Marathon disqualifies 11,000 runners for cheating

Mexico City Marathon 2023 witnessed a disheartening episode of cheating, where approximately 11,000 runners out of 30,000 runners failed to complete the full 26.2-mile course, depriving them of medals and official results.

Approximately one-third of participants in the recent Mexico City Marathon, held on August 27, 2023, concluded the race without receiving a medal due to their involvement in course-cutting activities. This year’s event was ruined by a staggering level of cheating, with nearly 11,000 out of the 30,000 registered runners failing to complete the full 26.2-mile marathon course.

Reports from the sports publication Marca revealed that race organizers were flooded with complaints regarding participants taking shortcuts, utilizing vehicles, bicycles, and public transportation to reduce the distance they needed to cover on foot. In response to these allegations, race organizers initiated an investigation, utilizing race tracking data that clearly indicated several runners had failed to pass the checkpoints situated every 5 kilometers along the route. As a result, these participants were ineligible to receive official race results or finisher medals.

In a countermove, some of the disqualified participants claimed that their tracking devices were malfunctioning and asserted that they had indeed passed through all the designated checkpoints along the course. However, race organizers issued a statement: “The Mexico City Sports Institute informs that it will proceed to identify those cases in which participants of the XL Mexico City Marathon Telcel 2023 have demonstrated an unsportsmanlike attitude during the event and will invalidate their registration times.”

Furthermore, the organizers emphasized that the Mexico City Marathon not only serves as a significant celebration for the city’s residents but also as an opportunity to uphold the fundamental values of sportsmanship.

Unfortunately, this year’s incident of foul play is not the only occurrence for the Mexico City Marathon. In fact, it represents a continuation of a trend that has plagued the event in recent years. In 2017, approximately 6,000 runners were found to have deviated from the official course, and over 3,000 runners were disqualified for the same reason in 2018.

These incidents are particularly surprising given that the Mexico City Marathon achieved IAAF Gold Label Road Race status in 2018. The Gold Label designation is the highest recognition bestowed by the IAAF Road Running Commission and signifies that the race meets stringent criteria, including exceptional organization, rigorous enforcement of rules, and successful execution.

Established in 1983, the Mexico City Marathon has become a prominent fixture in the road racing calendar, boasting impressive course records. Titus Ekiru of Kenya set the men’s course record with a time of 2:10:38 in 2018, while Lucy Cheruiyot, also from Kenya, established the women’s course record with a time of 2:27:22 in 2021.

As the Mexico City Marathon continues to solidify its reputation as a prestigious event, it raises questions about the need for enhanced measures to prevent unsportsmanlike conduct by participants in the future, especially in light of its Gold Label credentials. Feel free to share your thoughts on this issue in the comments section below.