The winner of the Louisiana Marathon was disqualified for receiving on-course assistance in Baton Rouge on Sunday morning, race officials say.
Mandy West, a Nike Running specialty account executive from St. Louis, finished the race in (unofficially) 2:49:26, shy of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials standard of 2:45:00 before being disqualified for a “technicality of assistance,” according to the race’s co-founder Danny Bourgeois.
To be disqualified, West must have received aid from an area other than the 17 official aid stations along the Baton Rouge course.
West’s goal was to qualify for the Trials.
Rule 241(g) of the USATF, the national governing body for athletics in the U.S., handbook states:
A competitor who collects refreshment from a place other than a refreshment station is liable to disqualification by the Referee.
Competitors are allowed to carry liquids and nutrition if they begin the race with them or, under certain circumstances, runners can also pre-arrange for specific bottles to be left at official aid stations.
Prior to race weekend, race director Jonathan Dziuba sent out a letter to all participants entered in the race stating the following (an excerpt):
Please understand that outside assistance given to runners by people not affiliated with the race production is not allowed. I know this may be a touchy subject, but it is an important one and is a crucial one to observe as our race continues to grow and gain national and international attention.
Amany Ishaq, who completed the marathon in 3:07:58, was announced the winner following West’s disqualification.