Runners taking the car or public transportation in stead of running, to finish their marathon: it sounds too totally insane, but during the Mexico City Marathon it happened en masse. Analysis of participants’ GPS trackers revealed that as many as 11,000 participants – a third of the total 30,000 runners who started – missed one or more checkpoints.
This created a dire blemish on what was supposed to be a celebratory edition of the marathon; after all, the Mexico City Marathon celebrated its fortieth edition. Soon, however, the organization received complaints about runners who would have taken the car or used public transportation, and after a thorough investigation, these complaints turned out to be true.
It is an embarrassing moment for the organization – which obviously can do little about the bizarre misbehavior of its participants – because as many as one-third of all participants were thus forced to be disqualified at the marathon, which had previously received the World Athletics Federation’s gold quality label. In 2018 and 2019, thousands of participants in the marathon were also disqualified for cheating.
The organization ruled out that the athletes who missed a checkpoint this year were victims of technical issues. “It is about systematic cheating.”