Two runners crashed through a set of steel barriers thinking they had finished first and second at the Wuxi Marathon in China. Unfortunately, for the top two at the time, the duo did not realize that there was still 200m to go in the marathon, fooled by a 90-degree left turn in the leadup to the finish.
As can be seen in the below video, two of the leading runners crashed into the roadside barriers opening the door for the eventual winner, Bahrain’s Khalid Kamal Khalid Yaseen, who went home with $7,700. (One Reddit user notes the prize money was $60,000.) Kamal Khalid Yaseen ran 2:13:12 for the win moving up to first from third in the final minute of the race.
The Wuxi Marathon was held on March 19.
The video, posted to Imgur, and shared via Reddit, an online news aggregator, has been seen more than 645,000 times. There has been online debate over whether the mistake can be attributed to course design, lack of signage or runner error. As can be seen in the video, the finish line area had a large red banner, as well as a winner’s tape, indicating the 42.2K point.
According to Newshub, a New Zealand-based news service, the two runners, both from Ethiopia, were Chala Lelisa Debele and Gardisa Birhanu Shumie. According to the report, the race organizers “passed on the blame to the runners” indicating that the runners failed to read the signs.
A notice on the Wuxi Marathon website indicates there were no grounds for an appeal.