In the April 12th sports section of The New York Times, reporter, Sarah Lyall wrote a story about an Ironman Triathlete, Julie Miller from Canada. She crossed the finish line and won her age group at Ironman Canada. But did she?
According to the article, the second and third place winners didn’t even see Julie on the run course. It was later found that Julie had cheated on this race and a few others and was disqualified from racing for two years.
The article compares this story to Rosie Ruiz who won the Boston Marathon and was later found to have cheated.
Interestingly, the same day a story came out on Endurance Sportswire that talked about another athlete who had qualified three years in a row for Boston, but sold her bib to another person. This year she planned to run it herself. However, after blogging about this on her personal blog, reports were in and she was disqualified from running this year.
And then of course, there is the case of people giving bibs to other people to run for them. Isn’t this all the same thing to different extents? Isn’t cheating, cheating?
Training is hard, especially for a triathlon. I’ve never done a half or a full Ironman, but I know that it takes hours and hours of dedication and training. You do this for one goal — to do your best in the race and then when someone comes in and cheats like this, well, it feels like a betrayal to you and to the sport.
However, the person it hurts most is the cheater. How could that person sleep at night? And, if he/she cheats during a race, what else is he/she cheating in?
The cheater, in my opinion is cheating himself/herself. If you’re not ready to do something, don’t do it. Or, better yet, try and and if you fail, at least you tried.