Sunday, October 07, 2007

How much can premature celebration cost?

How much could it cost you to celebrate too soon? Well, in this case, $60,000 and the rights to a marathon title.

This year's Chicago marathon apparently had an exciting finish in the women's race. Adriana Pirtrea had been leading Berhane Adere for miles. With less than a 1/4 mile to go, Pirtrea had a good lead of 80 yards. Unfortunately, she took the win for granted and started celebrating a bit too soon - jogging towards the finish and high-fiving spectators. Little did she realize when Adere caught up with her and blew past her and went on to win by 3 seconds. First prize - $125,000. Second prize - $65,000. Seems like the ingredients for the making of a Mastercard commercial.

On another note, the race director closed down the course after about four hours due to the intense heat (topping 88 F) and humidity. One person died on the course, about 50 had to be hospitalized, and 300 odd were treated on the course. Sure sounds like a tough one.