Well, this weekend happened to be a very busy one, but I took it off and spent some time with friends instead of paying attention to the running world. I was not able to score a Red Sox playoff ticket, although I did get to go to the circus across the street from Fenway. They were traveling out west at that point, so there wasn’t much to see.

For those of you who (like me) had their head in the sand last weekend and haven’t paid much attention, here’s a quick round up of the happenings and goings on:

  • The Chicago Marathon was a fiasco when a heat wave caused the race to close down halfway through. The organizers knew that it was going to be hot well in advance, and did stock extra water and gatorade at the aid stations. However, they did not stock enough, and they did not increase the frequency of those aid stations. The race had to be closed off due to the high number of hospitalizations and the lack of resources to handle the folks who were overheating. Runners were told to stop and cut the course short if they hadn’t made it through the half marathon within a certain time frame. One gentleman died, a cop named Chad Schieber from Michigan, but it was determined that the heat did not play a major role in that due to his existing heart condition. The race conditions were much worse than people expected, but all in all there have certainly been worse and some races take pride in their extreme conditions. I still plan to run the race in a few years once my wife has the time in October to spend a week or two out there with me (she already has at least 8 or 9 days worth of places to eat planned out for us when we go!) (More Info: Washington Post and just about every other newspaper in the country.)
  • Roberto Madrazo, a former governor and Mexican presidential candidate, has a history of cheating in political campaigns. Now, he has a history of cheating in races as well. He managed to run a 9 mile section of the Berlin Marathon in about 21 minutes, which is about half of the time that it took Felix Limo to set the 15 kilometer world record. A photographer became suspicious when Madrazo came through the finish line way over dressed for the conditions and with a big smile on his face. I doubt that he would try, but I would not let this man register for any of the races that I direct, and I hope that he is banned from other events as well. (More Info: Sports Illustrated)
  • Marion Jones plead guilty last week to doping back around the turn of the century. This weekend, she gave back her Olympic medals from the 2000 games in Sydney. Her relay teammates are also encourages to forfeit their medals, even though they were not caught cheating. This is really unfortunate, and if I were them I would hate Jones for the scandal that she has caused and for putting a cloud over her teammates heads. I am glad that her records are being stricken, and if she does ever compete after her two year ban is over then I hope that she does it cleanly. What I am wondering is whether any of her sponsors will sue her for defrauding them in an effort to regain any of their sponsorship money. (More Info: BBC)

What are your thoughts on any of these stories?