Canadian Woman Who Runs Marathon by Mistake Qualifies for Boston

Uh, what?

By | Boston Daily |
runners

Marathon runners photo via Shutterstock

Here’s the strangest headline you’ll see today: Canadian wire service Postmedia News reports that a Canadian woman took a wrong turn during a half marathon race, accidentally ran the full marathon, won her division, and qualified for the Boston Marathon to boot.

Um, excuse me?

Meredith Fitzmaurice, 34, was running the half marathon at Sunday’s Run for Heroes Marathon in Amherstburg, Ontario in order to train for the Detroit Marathon, where she hoped to qualify for Boston. At some point, she looked at her watch, wondered why she hadn’t seen the finish line yet, then realized she’d accidentally taken a turn on the full marathon course. She decided she’d use the race as a long run and go for 20 miles. But when she made it to a certain point, she realized he was, at that point, the first place woman.

The news wire reports that she asked a bike official if she could count a marathon finish toward the Boston qualifier even though she hadn’t signed up for the marathon. He checked with the race director and said yes. So she finished in 3 hours, 11 minutes, and 48 seconds. In first place for women. That’s right, after some debate with a race official about whether to finish the race, she decided yes, won said race, and ran well beyond the required 3 hours and 35 minutes she needed to qualify. (That’s not to say she’d have an easy time registering for next year’s race.)

Then, uttering a sentence no one who just won a marathon has ever said before, she told the reporter of taking a wrong turn and running a marathon, “I didn’t do it on purpose.” Ha ha, happens to the best of us.

Correction:
The post originally stated incorrectly that Fitzmaurice didn't realize she'd taken a wrong turn until mile 20. She actually committed to running the full marathon at about mile 15. We regret the error.