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Dutch Watchdog Group Says Utrecht Race Discriminated

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 14, 2011
  • Updated Dec. 14, 2011 at 7:10 PM UTC
A Dutch watchdog group says organizers unfairly discriminated with their prize money structure. Photo:http://rinazijgers.wordpress.com

Kenyans won $100, while lower-finishing Dutch collected thousands.

A Dutch watchdog group says organizers unfairly discriminated with their prize money structure. Photo:http://rinazijgers.wordpress.com

According to a Dutch watchdog group, the organizers of this year’s Utrecht Marathon are guilty of racial discrimination. The group, the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission, had been requested by the organizers to look into practices that awarded $13,000 in prize money bonuses to twenty top-finishing Dutch citizens, while the race’s actual winner took home a mere $132.

“Our intention was always to stimulate national athletics, never to shut out foreign athletes,” said race organizer Louran van Keulen.

Apparently, the incentive to keep out predominately East-African runners worked. Dutch citizen Michel Butter was the first to come across the finish line in a race that had, in the past, been dominated by Kenyans.

Second-place finisher Mutai Kipkorir of Kenya collected a mere $105, while Olfert Molenhuis of Holland won $79 for coming third. However, Molenhuis also compiled another $9,900 for being the second-fastest Dutch finisher.

The watchdog commented that the organizer’s motives were “understandable” but that the way the prize money was structured leads to “discrimination”.

For More: Washington Post

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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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