The winner of the Marine Corps 17.75K in April was not who he seemed -- literally.
The winner of the race was disqualified after race officials learned that he had transferred his bib to another runner, who not only ran, but won the race, the MCM said.
On April 12, the winner was declared to be former U.S. Army runner Steven Henry of Odenton, Maryland. But on April 16 race officials said the person who actually won the race (with a time of 1:04:25, according to the Military Times' PT 365 blog) was Gerardo Avila of Triangle, Virginia.
Avila even gave interviews as Henry after the race, saying, “I guess I am in a lot better shape than I thought I was.”
Transfers of bibs are only allowed through the MCM's Transfer Program. Transferring bibs illegally not only confuses the race's age awards, and -- if a runner needs help during a race -- delays properly identifying the runner.
Both Henry and Avila are banned from 2014 Marine Corps Marathon events. Second-place finisher Jeremy Lynch, 33 of Springfield, Va., was named the winner.
“This is one event that captures the essence of the Marine Corps because it’s one where you have to take hill after hill and meet the challenge just like a Marine,” said Lynch.
On the women’s side, Kelly Swain, 28, of Arlington, Va., finished first among the ladies in 1:14:02.
“I thought the course was tough and at one point around mile five I thought I was tanking but then I really picked up my pace,” she said. “I really want to run the Marine Corps Marathon.”
Those who finished the 17.75K race are guaranteed access to the 39th Marine Corps Marathon in October.