Home > Runs & Races

Human error at a Boston Marathon qualifying race invalidates runners’ times

A human error at the Chattanooga Marathon, a Boston qualifying race, on March 6 resulted in the course being 450m short, invalidating runners' times.

Chattanooga Marathon

A human error resulted in a shortened course at the Chattanooga Marathon on March 6 after a pylon directing runners on course was placed two blocks from the predetermined location, according to the Times Free Press. The error caused the Tennessee race to be 450m (0.28 miles) too short because of the misplaced turnaround point.

“Basically, what it boils down to is we certified the course, and then when we went to lay it out there was a human error that did not play in our favour, obviously,” said Tim Morgan, the president of the Chattanooga Sports Committee.

According to the Times Free Press, the mishap invalidates the times of the 529 marathon finishers last Sunday. Since the race was sanctioned and certified by the U.S. track and field association, the race was eligible to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Entry to the 2016 Boston Marathon closed in September 2015.

RELATED: Ten-year-old winner among runners disqualified for wrong turn at Daytona 5K.

Of the 529 finishers, there were 43 athletes who ran faster than 3:30, a notable time, at the March 6 race. The half-marathon, which also occurred on Sunday morning, was unaffected by the mishap.

Boston Marathon spokesman Jack Fleming said that the Boston Athletic Association has reached out to race officials at the Chattanooga Marathon for more information on the mishap, according to the Boston Globe.

Organizers are looking to come up with the “best option moving forward” but it remains unclear whether times will be adjusted to compensate for the 0.28-mile (450m) discrepancy.

The event was met with positive reviews overall despite the short course, according to the Times Free Press.