Brian Morrison of Seattle was disqualified after winning the Western States 100 Miler because he received help maintaining forward motion in the last quarter mile of the race. Graham Cooper of Oakland was then awarded the first place accolodes.
The Western States 100-mile Endurance Run Board of Trustees released the following statement regarding the disqualification: “In his last quarter mile in the stadium, runner number 320 (Brian Morrison), consistently staggered and fell on the high school track. Several times he was lifted, carried, and thereby assisted to maintain forward momentum. It was not a single episode of helping a runner to his feet, but instead a series of material forms of assistance. The actions of runner 320′s crew and others was not given for bad motive; indeed by facilitating his arrival in the medical area, their action likely prevented a life-threatening seizure.”
Congratulations, Graham Cooper. Probably not the way that he wanted to win, and I would hate to be in Brian Morrison’s shoes right now, but it is still a win. Of course, I would not want to be in any of their shoes right now, because (a) I am not in the sort of shape I’d need to be in to run a 100 mile race and (b) the just over 50% finisher rate due to the high heat made for one hell of a brutal race this year.