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Rookie mistakes even the pros make

Professionals, they forget to double-knot their laces just like us

A professional runner’s job is to be good at running, so you’d assume they might be immune to making obvious mistakes. But just like everyone else, professional runners are human, and even the most talented have made some pretty blatant rookie mistakes during their careers.

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Double knot your laces

Usain Bolt’s first 100m world record, which he set at the 2008 Olympics, was done with an untied shoelace. Evidently it didn’t hinder his performance that day.

The race isn’t over until you cross the line

Molly Huddle, American half-marathon and 10,000m record holder, celebrated just before the line at the 2015 World Championships. This mistake ended up costing her a medal. Emily Infeld, her American teammate, was coming full-bore down the homestretch and ended up taking third, just one tenth of a second ahead of Huddle.

Don’t miscount your laps


Hagos Gebrhiwet, a former world champion, is further proof that even the best runners make crucial mistakes. On Friday evening at the Lausanne Diamond League, Gebrhiwet crossed the line with 400m to go and pulled off the track, raising his hands. The runner was under the impression that he’d won, but he’d miscounted his laps.

Jenny Simpson, one of the all-time greatest American runners, made a similar mistake in 2014 when she miscounted the laps in an indoor 2-mile, but still managed to come close to breaking the American record in the event.

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Use preventative chafing measures

Yuta Shitara ran the fastest marathon ever run in Australia at Sunday’s Gold Coast Marathon, finishing in 2:07:50, almost a minute faster than three-time winner Kenneth Mungara’s course record of 2:08:42. Shitara’s run was extremely impressive, but he sustained some serious chafing during the record-setting effort. He’ll probably take a few more chafing precautions before his next effort.