Run Forrest Run
Rob Sloan trained and trained and trained some more. Rob is a 31-year-old marathon runner and running is what he loves to do. He’s run in many marathons, but it wasn’t until his last one that he completely knocked the socks off his own personal marathon record. His most current race was the Salomon Kielder Marathon in Northumberland, England. Before the Salomon Kielder run, Rob’s personal best in the traditional 26.2 mile distance marathon was 3 hours and 12 minutes.
Maybe it was just Rob’s week because the day before, he had won a 10 km race at the same location. But unfortunately for Rob, he didn’t win the marathon, but he did finish in a solid 3rd place. But what Rob really had to be proud of was not his 3rd place finish, rather the fact he finished the Salomon Kielder run in a mere 2 hours and 51 minutes, a full 21 minutes faster than his prior personal best. Now, anyone who knows anything about the world of competitive running can attest to the fact that shaving 21 minutes off a marathon time is some serious business. Sloan was so efficient in improving his time that fourth place runner Steven Cairns didn’t even see Sloan when he passed him and moved into third place.
Aside from severe training and taking performance enhancing drugs, how does a one shatter their own personal marathon record by 21 minutes? It’s really not that hard to answer: First you run your heart our for 20 miles, then when you’re completely crapped out you jump on a tourist bus and rest while it takes you 5 miles towards the finish, then you jump off and hide in the bushes for a few minutes until the coast is clear, and you jump right back in the race and sprint the last 1.2 miles across the finish line.
No wonder Steven Cairns was shocked when he crossed the finish line believing he was in 3rd place, only to be awarded 4th place. Cairnes was understandably irritated and wrote on FaceBook, “I started to doubt myself as he [Sloan] was adamant he had gone past me.” When Cairnes put 2 and 2 together he realized what happened and accused Sloan of cheating. Sloan’s response was it was ‘laughable’ that Cairnes would make up such a thing. But when marathon officials investigated and found that spectators could verify Sloan had in fact cheated, Sloan did an about-face and admitted his indecision and apologized for the confusion he had caused.
Cairnes continued on Facebook, “I could understand him taking the goody bag and the T-shirt but to do the press interview claiming he was third…”
Dave Roberts, one of the marathon organizer said this to the Associated Press, “It’s as bad as drug-taking in my book because it’s attempting to improve your performance by cheating. I’ve never known anything like it.”
Well, Mr. Roberts, StrangeRush agrees with you, but I think it’s actually worse than taking performance enhancing drugs. At least with drugs there’s no guarantee you’ll win. I’m no expert, but I’d say even drugs won’t save someone 21 minutes (but I could be wrong). But when you ride a damn bus to the finish line you’re pretty much guaranteed a win. Which brings up a good question: How in the hell did Rob Sloan not come in first? He rode in a friggin bus for 5 miles of the race.
It’s too bad Rob Sloan didn’t know what 27-year-old Amber Miller was going to do in the Chicago Marathon the same day. Miller finished the Chicago Marathon in 6 hours and 26 minutes, she ran half and walked the other half because she was 39 weeks pregnant. Amber started feeling contractions toward the end of the race and her baby was born a few hours later at 10:29pm.
Just wait until Rob Sloan gets wind of what Amber Miller did across the world, I’m sure he’s gonna feel like a complete jackass (evidently he already does)…..I know I would. And yes, Steven Cairns was properly awarded 3rd place.
The moral of the story: If you’re gonna run, run to win and do it fairly. If you’re gonna cheat to win, stay at home.