Organiser: runner cheated, but he's probably not the only one

Organiser: runner cheated, but he's probably not the only one
Tam Chua Puh is unlikely to be the only race cheat, says marathon organiser.

SINGAPORE - As far as the organisers of last Sunday's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore are concerned, pastry chef Tam Chua Puh cheated by collecting a medal and finisher's T-shirt although he ran only 6km.

But he is unlikely to be the only race cheat out there.

Said managing director of event organiser Spectrum Worldwide Chris Robb: "He cheated, absolutely. But it wasn't malicious. It was sad more than anything.

"He's probably not the only one. There are many of them who do it and have done it. That's one of the reasons we have these mats along the course."

There are several timing mats along the route which capture participants' split timings as they run across them. The mats act as a safeguard against cheats who take short cuts and miss these mats, or who clock unrealistic split times.

Those who finish without any complete record of split times will still get the T-shirt and medal, but will not be given an official timing. The records would also show they have been disqualified.

Mr Tam, 43, raised the ire of many with the way he gatecrashed the winners' party. He crossed the finishing line after covering only 6km of the 42.195km route.

He clocked 2hr 46min 57sec and was briefly declared the winner of the Singapore men's category, before he was disqualified after a two-hour delay.

Irate readers on The Straits Times Facebook page called for him to be stripped of his medal and T-shirt, although it looks like he is likely to keep them.

Said Robb: "It's more sad and annoying that someone sees the need to walk around wearing a full marathon finisher's T-shirt when they've only run 6km."

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