Woman accidentally wins marathon

BY Sam Gardner • September 26, 2013

Don’t you just hate it when you go out to run a half-marathon and you accidentally run a marathon instead? I know. Me, too.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to one Canadian woman who didn’t just mistakenly complete the Run for Heroes Marathon in Amherstburg, Ontario — she won the whole race.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, 34-year-old Meredith Fitzmaurice was running the half-marathon event at the race Sunday when she made a wrong turn, putting her on the marathon course.

"I just run with my watch, so I was watching my time since I planned to do my half in under 1:28," Fitzmaurice told the paper. "I was doing the race as training for my first full marathon in Detroit. But I'm looking at the time and wondering where the finish line is."

Eventually, Fitzmaurice realized what she had done, but at that point, she figured, why stop? She realized that there were no women ahead of her on the course, and after verifying that her marathon time would count toward Boston Marathon qualifying, she decided to run until the end.

"I had only ever run 20 miles, but I think at that point the adrenalin just pulled me through," she said. "I just kept thinking, ‘You can do this, just get it done.’ The last couple miles were really tough."

Fitzmaurice finished the race in a time of 3:11:48, 10th overall and the best among women. The result qualified her for next April's Boston Marathon.

"I thought I was only running a half-marathon, so I really gave it out there," she told the Ottawa Citizen. "If I knew I was going to be running the full marathon, I probably wouldn't have ran so fast. So maybe it was a good thing.

"… This was my first one, and even though my family was disappointed they weren't there to see it, maybe this was meant to be. I was alone and maybe this was how I was meant to do it."