The Cheater’s Marathon 

26.2 miles IS really far, though.

One need look no further than the infamous Rosie Ruiz to know that people cheat in marathons. Nowadays, however, timing mats placed along the course can at least verify that runners correctly crossed various checkpoints. Marathon course-cutting can still happen, but it’s generally rare. As such, this is very difficult to believe:

Mexico City Marathon organizers have disqualified 11,000 runners for cheating, after trackers revealed participants had been cutting out sections of the course.

The Mexico City Marathon is a massive organized event, with around 30,000 participants. The idea that 1/3 of the entrants cheated seems a bit far-fetched. An alternate explanation could be that one (or more) of the mid-race mats failed, though you would hope that officials have analyzed the data well enough to dismiss that possibility. I’d certainly like to better understand just what happened here.

Still, this massive disqualification is not without precedent in Mexico. The very same race has had issues before:

In 2017, 6,000 runners were denied their finishers medals after participants were found to have not completed the full course.

The same thing happened again the following year, when a further 3,090 participants were disqualified from the 2018 event.

Perhaps the Mexico City Marathon has garned a reputation, and is now particularly popular with course-cutters.