Record-Breaking OC Marathon Winner Disqualified For Taking Aid During Race
LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The record-breaking winner of the Orange County Marathon has been disqualified after video evidence shows he received help during the race from a bicyclist.
Marathon Director Gary Kutscher says the video was brought to his attention Monday by Nathan Shay, the brother of runner-up Stephan Shay.
“We were able to see that yes, in fact, the bicyclist [was committing] illegal pacing, if you will. As a result of that, I was able to make the determination that this was something that needed to be overturned and put Stephan Shay as our winner,” Kutscher said.
Not only did the original winner, Mohamed Fadil, have a friend on a bike riding alongside him, but that bicyclist also supplied him with water.
The video captures a confrontation between the bicyclist and Nathan Shay, who calls him out for breaking the rules.
Nathan Shay can be heard saying, “You’re on video.”
“He wanted water,” Fadil’s friend said.
“So, what? You can’t give assistance. That’s a violation,” Nathan Shay replied.
“That’s what the hydration station does,” the friend said.
“Yeah, but not you,” Shay said.
“Why don’t you relax, buddy. Just because your brother got beat,” the bicyclist said.
Kutscher placed the marathon’s medal Wednesday on Stephan Shay, who now can officially call himself the race winner. The Huntington Beach resident will win $4,000.
Shay’s time was just over 2 hours and 23 minutes — a minute and 20 seconds behind Fadil.
Stephan Shay wanted badly to win for his late brother Ryan, who would have turned 35 on the day of the race. Ryan Shay was a champion runner who died of a heart attack during the U.S. Olympic trials seven years ago: “I really just tried to capture the moment and enjoy it, and think of my brother Ryan during the time, so it was very symbolic that way.”