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Chaos at the finish line

October 26, 2015 - Morgan Ryan

Julius Njogu barely broke a sweat while powering to a second-place sprint finish in the Nairobi International Marathon. He was arrested soon after and throw in jail. It wasn’t the first time someone tried to pull the stunt in the same race.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A man was arrested and will face fraud charges for cheating his way into second place at Kenya’s Nairobi International Marathon.

Police and race officials said the man, identified as 28-year-old Julius Njogu, hid among a group of spectators before joining Sunday’s race near the finish.

Njogu claimed second place in a sprint finish after breezing past another competitor in the final stretch at Nyayo National Stadium. He was in line to claim around $7,000 in prize money before being caught out and disqualified.

Officials said they became suspicious because Njogu showed no signs of fatigue and was not sweating when he had supposedly just run 42 kilometers (26 miles). They discovered that he’d run barely one kilometer after emerging from a bunch of onlookers and joining the leading group of runners just outside the stadium.

Through the final few meters, Njogu jogged easily past a weary-looking Shadrack Kiptoo to cross second. Joshua Kipkorir won the men’s race in two hours, 13 minutes and 25 seconds. Elizabeth Rumokoi won the women’s title in 2:29.32.

Television images showed Njogu arguing with race officials, and even removing his running shoes in an apparent attempt to show organizers blisters on his feet to prove he’d run the entire course.

“I followed the leading team from start to finish and I didn’t see him,” said race director Ibrahim Hussein, a former Boston and New York Marathon champion. “He will not be recognized and I’m so disappointed that one can cheat in this modern age. He didn’t finish second.”

In 2013, two athletes were disqualified at the Nairobi marathon after also attempting to cheat their way to podium finishes in the women’s race. -------------------------------------------------—

The Nairobi Marathon is a huge race, but was not listed among the top 15 of the world’s largest marathons by competitor.com.

The New York City Marathon, set for Sunday, Nov. 1, was by far the largest in the world in 2014:

New York City, 50,386

Chicago, 40,595

Paris Marathon, 38,575

London Marathon, 35,878

Tokyo Marathon, 34,097

Boston Marathon, 31,932

Berlin Marathon, 28,984

Osaka Marathon, 28,076

Honolulu Marathon, 21,814

LA Marathon, 21,508

Naha Marathon, 20,027

Marine Corps Marathon, 19,689

Walt Disney World, 19,201

Kobe Marathon, 17,027

Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon, 16,472

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The Lake Placid Marathon had 241 26.2-mile and 815 half-marathon finishers this year.

 
 

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