Rob Krar won Leadville in 16:09:31. It was the second fastest winning time ever and he won the race by nearly 30 minutes. Once he took the lead, the race was never in doubt.
However… shortly after the race, a runner/blogger named Brandon Fuller called into question Rob’s GPS data. Now, let’s not go crazy here. This is not Rosie Ruiz. Basically, Brandon just pointed out that Rob’s GPS data did not match the course on Strava. In fact, as Brandon pointed out, Rob ran an extra mile and the section he did was more difficult than the official course. Post-race, Rob admitted to missing a turn – he actually ran the 2012 course.
Ultrarunner (and diplomat?) Ian Sharman, who was not far behind Rob at the time, stated:
“Rob Krar took a wrong turn due to what must have been trail sabotage, costing him around six mins so he was perhaps 10 mins back from Mike. I would have gone the wrong way too but saw Rob heading back up the turn I’d have missed. That got re-marked in time for the next competitors but meant that Zeke caught up to me.”
Apparently, Brandon’s post gained a little traction because the Leadville Race Series issued a response. They stated:
“Upon review, the event management team has determined that the announced 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Run winner, Rob Krar, encountered inadequate race course markings during his outbound travels to the Winfield Aid Station. Krar chose the more defined Continental Divide Trail, which sent him on a longer course into Winfield, adding more than one mile of distance, along with significant elevation gain. As such, this course deviation did not provide Krar with any advantage whatsoever in completing the event relative to other competitors. Therefore, the race result stands and we congratulate Rob Krar for his impressive victory.”
I think Leadville handled the situation perfectly. Of course, the facts favored an easy resolution. Rob ran extra on a more difficult course and he won by nearly thirty minutes.
However, the facts won’t always be this favorable. Next up for Rob is Run Rabbit Run. There is a $50,000 prize purse that includes $12,000 for 1st place and $4,000 for second place. Let’s just hope everyone stays on course so tough decisions don’t have to be made.
What do you think about this situation? Would you have resolved it differently?
Have you ever gone off-course in a trail (or road) race?