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Dutch Marathon Scrutinized For Discrimination

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 19, 2011

Some say the race’s unusual award structure is blatant racism.

There are cries of discrimination coming out of Holland. Organizers of the Utrecht Marathon have devised a plan to award the first Dutch citizen to cross the line 10,000 euros, while only giving the race’s overall winner 100 euros.

Apparently, the reason for the large award is to incentivize Dutch runners. As in most places around the globe, cash races in Holland are dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians.

Tim Looten of the Art. 1 Dutch anti-discrimination organization says this award structure was designed to discourage foreign runners and was blatant discrimination. Louran van Keulen, the Utrecht Marathon race director, dismissed the allegations.

“There is talk of discrimination, racism, oh, yes,” he said. “It is too bad about all the politics.”

Some Dutch citizens see the race as a further example of nationalism and non-tolerance that, they argue, seem to be prevalent in their home country these days.

Gert-Jan van Wijk, a Dutch businessman who works in Nairobi, Kenya has promised to make up the 9000-euro difference.

For More: The Canadian Press

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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