Runner disqualified for running wrong Sioux Falls marathon route - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Runner disqualified for running wrong Sioux Falls marathon route

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A Minnesota man who ran in the Sioux Falls marathon over the weekend was disqualified for running the wrong race.

All Sport Central timed the Sioux Falls Marathon over the weekend. On Sunday when a runner thought he took first in the 26.2 mile race, officials quickly realized something was off.

"The part he was confused about was why are all these people cheering for me? Why do they have a finish banner in front of me and why is a course for a marathon so short? I think he was confused from the beginning," Kurtenbach said.

Steve Kurtenbach says a red flag was raised because 37-year-old Olok Nykew had a finish time of 1:29:50. The world record for a marathon is just over two hours. That led them to believe Nykew ran the half marathon instead.

"The unfortunate thing is he probably didn't realize just jumping into a half marathon when he registered for a marathon," Kurtenbach said.

The marathon started at 6:45 a.m. Sunday on the streets of Sioux Falls. The half marathon, 13.1 miles long was scheduled to start 45 minutes later at 7:30 a.m. And at 7:30 a.m. is when race officials say Nykew started running.

"I'm sure it was just an honest misunderstanding," Kurtenbach said.

There was more than 1,300 runners taking part in both the full and half marathons. This was the only problem Kurtenbach knows about. In this case they had to disqualify Nykew.

"There's $1,000 on the line. It would have been a world record so it's a little more important to make sure things are done correctly and right," Kurtenbach said.

Kurtenbach says they have no hard feelings and want Nykew to come back and run in the next marathon.

The actual winner of the marathon was from Indiana and ran it in 2:30:10. Coming in second place was a man from Mitchell. He was just 14 seconds behind the first place winner.

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