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Crazy Crap Goes On During Marathons In China

marathon

I’ve re-read this story a couple of times and still am confused about just what the hell happened during the Xiamen International marathon. Perhaps one of my more intelligent readers could assist me in making sense of it. In any event, marathons must be a cut-throat deal in China.

The report in its entirety after the jump.

Organisers of the Xiamen International marathon, held in the south east of the country, found some runners had carried time-recording microchips of more than one competitor, registering two or more results after crossing the finishing line.

Meanwhile, others had hired imposters or used transport to navigate part of the way around the course, according to the Jiefang Daily, a newspaper endorsed by the Shanghai Communist Party.

The vast majority of the disqualified runners had registered times of two hours and 34 minutes or below, the minimum standard for high school students to attain extra credits for China’s ultra-competitive college entrance examinations.

Now, is it common practice during marathons to carry microchips? I can see how this would make sense, but since most of my long-distance running these days is focused on the 10,000 meter race – ha – I was not aware of this practice.

Secondly, is shit so bad in China that there is actually a black market for impostor marathon runners? “How much for a guy who looks kind of like me but won’t shit his pants during the run? Image is very important to me, you see.”

Finally, how much must it suck that marathon running time is considered one of the criteria for getting accepted to college?  Other things taken into consideration during college entrance exams in China:

  1. How well you perform in the game “Pin the Tail on the Dalai”;
  2. Table tennis prowess;
  3. Opinions regarding lead paint.
  4. Armored tank vs. student: who ya got?

I imagine there are others. However, I am busy trying to figure out how Mr. Lee, the guy who runs the laundromat down the street, gets my shirts so clean.

Chinese marathon athletes run into trouble [BBC]