Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 Boston Marathon - I'm confused, did Lance win the race?

I am a pretty easy-going person, not a lot gets under my skin, but Lance's finish at the Boston Marathon yesterday really has me steamed. Let me explain...

As a 3-time Boston Marathoner, I understand what it means to qualify and what a tremendous blessing it is to be a part of the race. I was excited as always to watch the race yesterday, and both the women's and men's winners were phenomenal efforts. Once they had crossed the finish line and broken the tape, they both gave humbling interviews about their success. Folks, THEY were the winners of their respective categories, there should be no more finish line tapes to be broken through, period.

Several minutes later, they join the coverage of Lance, and pretty much follow him in non-stop over his last 4-5 miles. I was impressed with the fact that he qualified, with the fact that he was not given a race spot like other celebrities have received in the past, that he can run a sub-3:00 marathon which I could not do in my wildest dreams, and especially his raising money for charity. Other than that, he is simply another runner out there and should be treated exactly as such.

The race goes on with Lance, he turns onto Boylston Street heading down the last few hundred yards to the finish, the crowds are cheering for everyone...

...and then it happens. He gets to within 25 yards or so of the finish, "appears" to be a bit confused as to where he is supposed to go, and then is directed off to the right BY HIMSELF AWAY FROM THE OTHER RUNNERS, and lo and behold what is awaiting him???????? His own personal tape to break at the finish line! Are you kidding me? I have no idea who thought that up, but it was 100% TOTALLY WRONG. His effort to run that race was no better than the people that finished ahead of him nor the people that finished behind him, but he gets a finisher's moment and photo breaking the tape?????? My hope is that Lance did not know they were going to do this and that the BAA rethink ever doing anything like this again. If he did know they were going to do this, it is one of the most ultimate ego "hey look at me" things I have ever witnessed, and ratchets down my respect factor for him considerably. A classy move would have been to wave them off and continue across the regular finish line like everyone else.

2 comments:

Shelley said...

I didn't know that happened and I can honestly say I have lost my respect for him and the way he treated this race. I felt in his interviews that is was "just another" race to him..no respect at all I tell you!

Jim said...

Not a rant at all. I agree with you entirely. As a mid-pack runner, I understand that the only difference between world class runners and 5 hour marathoners is the amount of time devoted to training, amount time it takes to cover 26.2 miles, and genetics. How dare he be treated (or treat himself) as if he were any better than the last man through the chute. I've always joked that second place is the first loser. Lance is a bigger loser than that after that stunt!