A wrong turn sent between 200 to 300 runners off course in today's Rite Aid Cleveland 10K race. So instead of running 6.1 miles some of them ran close to 9 miles. And now the results of the 10K race are in chaos.
According to racers and race officials, a police officer at the two-mile mark of the race (see a map of the route) diverted the lead car guiding 10K competitors through the course. Highway cones had been misplaced in the area, and some racers in the Cleveland marathon who were walking the area had also created a bottleneck.
So instead of going onto the Shoreway, the car's navigator sent runners through the Flats, tacking on as much as 2.7 miles to the race.
Reports have it that the elite men's runners, who didn't come in until about 32:00, were on sub-28:00 pace.
I had scheduled myself to run the Cleveland Marathon a while back, but it became obvious to me that I was not going to get a Boston qualifier out of it so I bailed. I'd also read some poor reviews at MarathonGuide.com which reported minor problems like misplaced mile markers, so I wasn't too broken up about it. Mile markers are a small thing, but it does indicate a certain level of carelessness that is typical of professional race management companies which "amateur" road runners clubs find absolutely unacceptable. So I can hardly say I'm surprised something went wrong, just that it went wrong so badly.
A local Toledo runner wrote the following:
I knew when I was crossing a 4 lane highway without anyone stopping traffic (or even around for that matter) and then running down an exit ramp with cars whizzing by that we were off course. I had to jump a fence in the downtown construction area as well.My BS meter is going off, but I'm going to double-check to see if she's actually joking or not.