Santa Rosa Marathon Ends In Confusion

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 27, 2013
  • Updated Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:40 AM UTC

The first two finishers were disqualified for deviating from the course. 

Nothing was easy at last weekend’s Santa Rosa Marathon. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the first two runners to complete the 26.2-mile race were disqualified because they apparently deviated from the course.

These first two runners were first-time marathoners Ollie Ehlinger and Andrew Grant.

After the finish, Ehlinger informed race officials that they may have deviated from the course.

Officials debated the matter for three hours and final decided to award the race victory to Benny Madrigal, who originally finished third.

Apparently, the deviation that led to the disqualifications came at miles 4 and 5 of the marathon.

“I’m not going to comment on the disqualifications,” race director Orhan Sarabi said. “I don’t care what you write.”

Official timekeeer Buzz Ayola commented about the confusion. “You want to get the results right,” said Ayola. “I’d rather wait three hours and make sure we have the right winner than rush and get it wrong.”


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at 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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