Wednesday 11 December 2019

Athletics: Marathon crackdown on pacemaking

Tom O'Riordan

Irish athletes have been warned they will be disqualified if they are found to benefit from any illegal pacemaking in Monday's Dublin Marathon.

The warning has been issued by the Dublin Marathon Committee and Athletics Ireland and is directed at those competing in the Irish Championship, which is being run in conjunction with the international event.

They have been made aware of rules whereby any assistance can lead to disqualification and forfeiture of medals. Judges and referees have been appointed to enforce the rules.

The rule states: "Although men and women often run together, technically, they are running separate races but if a man obviously renders assistance to a woman by pacemaking, both parties are liable for disqualification."

This warning has been issued following a controversy in last year's women's championship when both the winner, Annette Kealy of Raheny, and runner-up, Pauline Curley of Tullamore, received two warnings when it was alleged that their supporters tried to ride beside them on bicycles.

Afterwards, race director Jim Aughney said that both runners came close to disqualification "as their supporters ignored the warnings from the course referee about pacing.

"The Gardai have warned us about the dangers of allowing cyclists on the course and we think it's dangerous and unfair that this type of intrusion should happen."

It was also announced yesterday that a record entry of 13,000 has been received for Monday's 31st running of the event, including the men's course record holder, Alexey Sokolov of Russia.

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