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Venice Marathon leaders go wrong way, have to turn around, obviously lose

October 23, 2017

Marathon running, as best we can tell, boils down to two main strategies: 1) Run as fast as you can; and 2) Make sure you go the right way (Seinfeld fans, in deference to the beleaguered "Jean Paul" would add 3) Set multiple alarms so you don't oversleep; and 4) Don't drink scalding hot coffee down the stretch).

Regardless, one of these tenets of marathon running was violated in the Venice Marathon when the six leaders were all knocked off course by a sinister, conspiring well-intentioned motorcyle pacer who led them the wrong way for several hundred meters, costing them about two minutes, and opening the door for native Italian Eyob Faniel to win the race. The win by the 24-year-old Faniel was the first by an Italian in 22 years, and while his 2:12:16 is highly respectable, it also helps that he never had to stop to ask for directions.

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