As a reader posted yesterday
the rules in the race bible are really clear about injured or missing runners. Legs can not be split into pieces (section 10c), and if they are, it results in disqualification (section 8).I've really struggled writing this post because as I admitted, according to the rules we cheated. My post originally went through all the background, justification and reasons for our actions but it doesn't change anything. I could tell you about the lost runner, the injured runners and point out other teams that did the same thing. Basically we did it out of compassion for our team mates. It wasn't done to get ahead of any other team or to win 1st place. It wasn't done to be mean and spiteful or have poor sportsman conduct. It was done to handle the problem as a team and as a team we decided to split up the leg.
One of my team members put it best in his race report.
Cheating and my moral compass
Now, about the 'cheating'. The rules are very clear about what to do if a runner has to drop out. Did we adhere to them? No. Let me tell what we did do. Our team found a way to do what no one individual on our team could. As Dain put it:
We didn't call in another runner outside of our team of 12. If they want to call it cheating because of some technical detail, then fine I'm a cheater, but I know that as I was running up that hill there was no cheating each footstep, there was no cheating the heat, there was no cheating the wind. The entire distance was covered by members of a "team." It was a "team" event. I'm probably not the best one to say we aren't cheaters, but I really think we are okay.
Well said Dain. Everyone from van 1 who ran that 10 mile leg suffered and sacrificed above and beyond what they originally signed up for. They put in extra miles to help us finish what we couldn't in van 2. Please explain to me what advantage we gained by having people (van 1 and Jon) run 4 legs. Please tell me how we bumped some other team out of the running for a top 3 spot. Please tell me how we are worse off for what we did. Christina was called a cheater as she handed the baton to Brad. I'm not upset with those making the accusations. They didn't have all the facts. But they should have given us the benefit of the doubt. Anyone who has ever run distance knows that 'cheating' only does a disservice to the runner. And in an event that touts the team experience, I think we may have broken the letter of the law, but we ran the spirit of the law.