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Man finishes fourth in Chicago Marathon, doesn't finish fourth in Chicago Marathon?

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Wesley Korir finished fourth in the Chicago Marathon yesterday, but he won't get the prize money.

Korir apparently started five minutes after the elite group.

"Wesley Korir, a Kenyan native and track and cross-country runner at the University of Louisville, was the fourth-place finisher Sunday, but he won't receive any prize money.

Korir did not start in the elite wave at 7:55 a.m., but rather with the remainder of the field at 8 a.m. U.S. Track and Field rules stipulate that all runners receiving prize money must have the same gun time so that no runner has an advantage.

This is the first year the race has used an earlier start for the elites. The problem was not anticipated, but according to race spokeswoman Marianne Caponi, because the race is under USATF's jurisdiction, it must adhere to the rules of that organization.

The fourth-place prize money of $15,000 went to fifth-place finisher Martin Lauret of the Netherlands.

Is it possible that Korir outperformed everyone and legitimately finished fourth? Did he hail a cab to shave off some time? Where does Rosie Ruiz stand on all of this?

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But didn't he start at the same time as the elite group? He just stood around for five minutes at the starting line before starting.

How is it any different than someone in the elite group literally standing at the start for 5 minutes then chasing down the leaders?

This is a snobbish rule to keep amatuers from "stealing" the prize money from the pro's. Nothing to do with advantage.

When I was a kid, we called this a "head-start" except it was given to the inferior runners so that they'd have a modest chance of crossing the finish line in proximity to the superior or faster runners--thereby making a "race" out of the actual mismatch in talent.

All that oxygen deprivation from long-distant running must cause more substantial brain damage than generally thought, if this is the kind of logic the "governing" board of track and field has established and enforced.

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