A man who came first in a half marathon has been disqualified after accidently running the wrong race.
Omar Ahmed, who had signed up to run the Bristol 10K on Sunday as part of Great Bristol Run, ended up winning the 22-kilometre half-marathon.
Both races were held simultaneously and used the same route in the beginning stages.
Omar took the wrong route at the junction where the routes diverged and was able to complete the longer course in an astonishing 63 minutes.
According to the Great Run Company, he had entered the 10k race in elite running form. The organisers added that there was no choice but to “unfortunately” disqualify him from the half marathon as he hadn’t officially entered it.
They said that despite his “impressive performance” an investigation was launched following a number of complaints from other athletes.
Paul Foster, the chief executive of the Great Run Company, said: “Rules are rules and in this case, they say we have to disqualify Omar.
“We salute his performance, and he has been invited to take part in next week’s Great Manchester Run as an elite athlete.
“Of course, we also look forward to welcoming him back to Bristol for 2022’s Great Bristol Run.”
Omar’s misfortune was a blessing in disguise.
With a race time of 67 minutes, Chris Thompson of Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club was elevated from second to first place.
This kind of mix-up is unlikely to happen again. The Bristol 10k usually takes place in spring, while the half-marathon takes place at the beginning of summer.
Because both races were cancelled last summer during the peak of the pandemic and were merged this weekend, it was difficult for Omar to keep track of 2022.
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