Anyone who has ran a half-marathon knows the weeks – or rather months – of hard work and planning that goes into getting yourself fit enough to complete the 13 miles.
The 6am wakeup calls for pre-work runs, the hours spent on treadmills in an attempt to prepare your legs for what’s to come, even the healthy eating in the lead-up to ensure you’re at your fittest.
Of course, this is all hypothetical because I have never run a half marathon – let alone a whole one – in my life. That is not something you would want to see.
Anyway, my point is this: people work hard to prepare for these things and will go to any lengths to succeed, even if they run themselves to the point of exhaustion.
But it seems some people are prepared to go to different lengths for success, as 237 runners were caught ‘cutting corners’ in a race in China this week.
Police surveillance footage showed runners crossing a grass verge from one road to another while competing in the Shenzhen Nanshan Half Marathon on November 25.
The footage was uploaded to social media site Weibo, exposing for the whole world to see.
While crossing a grass verge might not seem like such a big deal, let me give you the context. Crossing it meant that a whole section of track was missed – between 1.2 miles to 1.8 miles according to MailOnline.
Now, I don’t know about you but if I’d have prepared months for a 13 mile run and worked my arse off to cross the finish line, I would not appreciate people beating me who hadn’t even ran the whole distance.
Not that that would ever happen; if I ran a marathon I can guarantee I’d be the last person to cross, in a pool of my own sweat. So attractive.
Anyway, enough about me – the surveillance video showed hundreds of people crossing the grass on the main track, Shennan Avenue, to the other side of the road.
In addition to this, other people are suspected of cheating with regards to faking bib numbers and people running in place of someone else.
In total, 258 people cheated and were dealt with in various ways. The race organisers released a statement detailing their punishments.
For those who took the place of others and faked their bib numbers, they will be permanently banned from the Shenzhen Nanshan race in the future. Those who ‘cut corners’ will only be banned from participating in the race for the next two years.
The Shenzhen Nanshan Half Marathon Organizing Committee said:
It is hoped that the majority of runners will abide by the rules of the competition, respect other runners who are participating in the competition, respect the spirit of sports, and consciously maintain the order of the stadium;
Shenzhen Nanshan Half Marathon Organizing Committee will strengthen the supervision and management of the competition and integrate technical means in the future competitions. Experience first, and jointly create a healthy, fair and fair marathon environment.
Who’s betting there will be some extra barriers surrounding the roads next year?
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).