Some of you may have seen the following picture:
Fernández pointing Mutai the finish line (source: Calleja, Diario de Navarra, via El País).
That is Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya letting Abel Mutai win after the latter had stopped thinking the cross was already finished.
This kind of situations do not have always the same ending. See the video below:
After hours running, and coming to an end the poor guy in the lead takes a wrong turn off the route and is overtaken by 3 runners, not being able to retake the lead.
When I watched these situations I always thought “How can this be possible? Is the guy not seeing the road, is nobody telling him the coming mistake on time?”.
Now, I got the answer. Some times shit happens. I had today my epic-fail moment.
I was going to take part in the race Course des Rois, in Villemur-sur-Tarn, over 10km. I ran it last year so I was acquainted with the route, installations, etc. Thus I paid no much attention to the specific rules of the race.
I knew that the race started at 10:05 (*), so I warmed up beforehand. Then removed some clothes, drank some water and went to the start line. And started.
After some 300 metres I noticed that I was surrounded by many teenagers and middle-aged women instead of a big pack of middle-aged men, who are the average popular runner. Then I wondered: “am I running my race or the 5km one?”
At 500m I stopped and asked a volunteer from the organization: “is this the 5k or the 10k race?” to which he replied “I don’t know” (!!). Then I asked the next woman coming, and she confirmed that it was the 5k one!
You see! It can happen! There I was, running another race.
Luckily I noticed only 500m into it 🙂 Then I went back running moderately fast again, as I didn’t want the start of the 10km race to catch me in the middle of the two!
Fortunately in my case there were no cameras to make further fun of me! 😀 But see below the record of the GPS:
Fail: wrong start with the 5k race.
(*) My 10km race was indeed starting at 10:15am; if I had just read the rules of the race…