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Wrong Turn Costs Runner The Miami Half Title

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 31, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 31, 2012 at 10:32 AM UTC
Tesfaye Sendeku Alemayeh made a crucial mistake on Sunday. Photo: Einuvoherald.com

He followed the marathon lead vehicle.

Last year’s ING Miami Marathon winner, Tesfaye Sendeku Alemayeh, had a race everyone wishes to avoid on Sunday. The Ethiopian was competing in this year’s ING Miami Half Marathon and was well on the way to shattering American Brian Sell’s course record of one hour, three minutes, and 46 seconds.

But then disaster struck for the Ethiopian.

Alemayeh followed the lead marathon vehicle  that turned right onto Southeast Third Street. He was supposed to run straight as the course had diverged at that point, separating the half marathoners from the marathoners.

When Alemayeh realized his mistake, it was too late. He doubled back, but Kenya’s James Boitt had already seized the lead and won in 1:06:41.

“I promised for them to improve the course record,’’ Alemayehu said. “The leader took me to the full marathon. I was focused on my pace. I ran for 1:05 and then I looked at my watch and said, ‘Where is the finish line?’ ’’

The rules of the race state that each runner is responsible for knowing the course.

For More: Miami Herald

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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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