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WATCH: Over-celebrating almost costs cross country runner the race

Where do we draw the line on finish line celebrations?

We get that race victories do not come easy and that all victories are earned, but is it possible to over-celebrate? Celebrating too early could be costly, even if you’re about to win a race. Over the weekend at the cross-country championships in France, Jimmy Gressier, a three-time U23 European cross-country champion, won his first senior men’s national title in showboating fashion, but had to sprint to the finish line after realizing his competitors were right behind him.

Gressier began slapping hands with the crowd and high-fived a mascot before looking back to discover that he wasn’t as far in front as he thought. Instead of breaking the finishing tape, Gressier hurdled the finish banner as if it was a steeplechase barrier.

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Gressier, who is notorious for his finish-line celebrations, grabbed two French flags from the audience and waved them to the crowd during the final 100m of the race. He ended up face-planting over the finish line to win the 2018 U23 European XC Championship.

Awkward Cross Country GIF by European Athletics - Find & Share on GIPHY

In 2019, he won the European U23 race again and walked across the finish line. 

France Win GIF by European Athletics - Find & Share on GIPHY

Although his premature antics have not hurt him yet, it is only a matter of time before he is outkicked to the line. 

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At the 2017 Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, Canada Trevor Hofbauer high-fived the crowd and veered off to the stands to celebrate with fans before finishing. He occasionally checked over his shoulder to see if another runner was approaching, before crossing the line just outside of the 2:18:00 mark (his official time was 2:18:06). Unfortunately, there was a prize money reduction if the male national champion’s winning time was not faster than 2:18:00. He ended up losing $1,250 for his celebrations.

Regardless of your lead, never celebrate too early. 

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