This just in! Just minutes ago, Nike issued a formal statement announcing that Arien O'Connell is in fact the winner of last weekend's Nike Women's Marathon. Initially, O'Connell was not recognized as the official winner, even though she had the fastest time, because she was not registered as an "elite" runner. I think it is great that Nike has responded to this issue, and it looks like they are changing the rules for next year.
To read Nike's official announcement about the matter, just
Nike is announcing today that it recognizes Arien O'Connell as a winner in last weekend’s Nike Women’s Marathon completing the full race in 2:55:11. She shattered her previous time and achieved an amazing accomplishment.
Arien will receive the same recognition and prize, including a Tiffany & Co. trophy, the full marathon elite group winner received. Arien was unfortunately not immediately recognized as a race winner because she did not start the race with the elite running group, which is required by USATF standards. Because of their earlier start time, the runners in the elite group had no knowledge of the outstanding race Arien was running and could not adjust their strategies accordingly.
Learning from the unique experience in this year’s race, Nike has decided today to eliminate the elite running group from future Nike Women's Marathons. Next year, all runners will run in the same group and all will be eligible to win.
Nike has a proven track record of supporting athletes and we’re proud to be able to honor Arien and other athletes who surpass their goals and achieve great accomplishments.
Yay for Arien and for all the other fast, but non-elite, runners out there. I think it is great that Nike will be changing the format of the race next year. I think it will bring some extra excitement to the race. What about you?