You can train all you want, but a win like this comes down to straight luck.

Tyler Pence crossed the finish line for the Quad City Marathon this past weekend in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds. Super impressive right? Sounds like a winning time to me. But get this, he didn't win because he ran the fastest, he actually won because a few of his top competitors took the wrong route.

Sounds like a story that would come from a satire website, but it really happened this past weekend. WTVO details -

Pence’s win came after Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet diverted from the course a little more than halfway to the finish line when the bicycle rider leading them mistakenly went straight when he should have turned.

Big yikes. Of course, the bicycles are meant to guide the runners, however, the race director pointed out that -

At that intersection where that incident happened, the course was well-marked. The signage is well-displayed. The volunteers are there. And the fourth element is those elite runners have a meeting the day before to get familiar with the course.


Pence's win was the first U.S runner to win the race since 2001. He's the head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield logged his fastest time ever with the win and took the first prize of $3,000.

According to WTVO -

Race director Joe Moreno confirmed that the bicyclist went the wrong way but said the two runners also should have known not to follow him.


The whole situation seems messy. However, the race director said the race was planning to find a way to compensate Saolo and Kibet.

So it looks like there was a fair ending to a wild race story.

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