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Marathon winner disqualified after taking water from his father during the race: ‘I know I won’
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Marathon winner disqualified after taking water from his father during the race: ‘I know I won’

Prado knew he had access to aid stations, but was unaware of this rule.

Esteban Prado, a 24-year-old long-distance runner, led for nearly all of the 2 hours, 24 minutes and 54 seconds he ran on the 42.2-mile course of the Orange County Marathon in Southern California on Saturday.

But the celebration for the Fountain Valley, California, native was short-lived when he learned he had been completely disqualified from the race for taking water from a family member during the race, according to ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC.

The problem wasn’t the fact that he drank the water, but rather when he accepted it.

“At yesterday’s Hoag OC Marathon, we were forced to disqualify a participant after it was confirmed that he had received unauthorized assistance from a person on a bicycle, in violation of USA Track & Field Rules and our racing rules,” said Race Director Gary Kutschar said in a statement obtained by ABC News “We take these rules seriously to ensure the fairness and integrity of our event for all participants.”

Under the rules, runners can only get water from official water stations and because he was given water in an unauthorized part of the race, he was disqualified.

“I know I won,” Prado said in disbelief, according to KABC.

It wasn’t until his second marathon that the runner said he had been training for the marathon for about four months and was enjoying the benefit of victory, when he previously received a call from the race director, who said a competitor saw him get a water bottle during the race , KABC. said.

“The only person who could see me within range was second place,” Prado told KABC. “Every time I arrived at these stations, the volunteers were scrambling because I’m the only runner in sight,” he said. “You could barely see me around certain turns.”

Prado knew he had access to aid stations during his run, but was unaware of the rule, specifically Rule 144 of the USA Athletics Rules, that taking facilities outside those areas is considered “aid.”

Prado was not happy with the outcome.

“You don’t get any money or anything,” Prado told KABC. “You know, if (the runner in second place) wanted that congratulations for that first place finish, if he really felt like he needed it, then it’s just for him at the end of the race.” the day,” Prado said. “I really didn’t learn anything from it. I know I won.”

Prado will not be able to use his final race time to qualify for future races.

But Prado says that, at least for now, he may run his third marathon in the fall and that he plans to follow all the rules.

The race, which also served as a national championship for the Road Runners Club of America – the nation’s oldest and largest distance running organization – was officially won by Jason Yang of San Pedro, California, who was declared the winner within two hours. 25 minutes and 11 seconds after Prado’s disqualification.