Team Spira Runner runs 13 miles too far!
Nicholas Kurgat finished first in the Oaks Marathon but was disqualified because he signed up to run only the half marathon.
Story by Edward G. Robinson III
Kurgat, 29, a resident of Chapel Hill and native of Kenya, had entered the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon portion of the event. He was supposed to run 13.1 miles to the finish of that race, following the course signs.
Instead, Kurgat missed the signs for the half marathon turn and found himself deciding at the 13th mile to keep going, even though he had never run a full marathon and was participating in his first half marathon. Ben Kurgat, his manager and coach, spoke for Nicholas Kurgat. He explained the situation as a mistake.
He said Kurgat missed the signs and followed a police car that was ahead of the front pack. “He just kept going because there was no where to go," Ben Kurgat said. "He just followed the vehicle home.”
Nicholas Kurgat’s long-distance running ability was an “accidental discovery.” He started as a short-distance runner in Kenya and has been making the transition over the past two years to long distance, last week winning a 10K race. He jumped the gun in trying the marathon distance, although he fared well.
Nevertheless, the feat could not be officially recognized by City of Oaks officials. Jim Micheels, the race director, said Kurgat was disqualified from the half marathon for leaving the course, a rule specified by USA Track and Field, the country’s governing body for marathons. Micheels said the City of Oaks full marathon is a USATF-certified event and officials must follow their rules and guidelines. “One of their rules is that if you switch races, intentionally or unintentionally, you’re disqualified,” he said.
It wasn’t the first time a half marathon participant had missed the turn, though Micheels said he thought the course was clearly marked with four signs and bright orange cones. He said there was a volunteer directing runners where to go. “I feel bad he went the wrong way,” he said.
Javier Cruz has a truly InSPIRAtional story to tell.
Javier Cruz was born in a cardboard hut in Sonora, Mexico. At age six, Javier was once believed dead after a boulder fell on him, crushing him. His mother took him to the morgue thinking he had passed away. He miraculously survived, but he was paralyzed from the waist down. Through therapy, Javier overcame paralysis. He later immigrated to the United States, learned English, and attended college. He is now a mail carrier and has run many marathons, including the Boston and San Diego’s Rock and Roll marathon.
Javier is determined, optimistic, positive, and energetic. We are very proud that Javier’s running shoe of choice is Spira!
Heel spurs have limited my walking and exercising ability for four years. I had custom orthodics made and tried many shoes. Yesterday I received my Spira walking shoes and used them all day today. I could not believe it: My feet propelled my heavy-heel-walk toward my toes, my posture naturally improved so that my shoulders were back and my belly was tucked in, and I wanted to walk fast and even run with my dog.
These are the best walking shoes ever!