Marathon Fun

Dallas Marathon female winner has a surprise guest at finish line

Dallas Marathon female winner has a surprise guest at finish line

CORRECTION: The finish-line runner was not an interloper, as originally suggested, but a registered entrant. The story and headline have been updated to reflect the new information.

---

The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon bounced back on December 14 with a new course and a winner in Kimutai Cheruiyot, the fastest male, who ran the race in 2:17:11.

But woe to the runner who broke in on the finish of female winner Shitaye Gemechu.

Gemechu, a runner from Ethiopia, won with a time of 2:46:45. For her final four miles, she ran virtually unaccompanied, other than an escort of bicycles and a jeep.

But just as she neared the finish line, Janice Moore, another runner who was part of a relay team, emerged to run the final block next to Gemechu. Moore, wearing a bib with the number 30417, sprinted to break through a banner that marathon officials had set up for Gemechu.

"Wow, is this an upset?" asked Julie Henner-Benson, one of the commenters on WFAA, which broadcast the race live.

"It reminds me potentially of the old Rosie Ruiz-type thing," said fellow commentator Todd Whitthorne, referring to a runner who broke in at the end of the Boston Marathon in 1980.

Gemechu also avoided a near-collision with one of the event jeeps, which got in her way as she made a turn in the final stretch.

Cheruiyot was one of seven Kenyan participants who've run previous marathons in near record-breaking times of just over two hours. The record time is 2:12:04, set by Moses Kororia, in 2006.

Logan Sherman of Dallas won the half-marathon in the men's division at 1:08:20. Sara Hall, an Olympic Trials finalist, won the women's division in 1:12:26.

Moore, who joined Gemechu at the finish line, was part of a relay team called The Incredibles; her segment of the race was the final 5.7-mile leg.

"I have nothing but the best respect for Shitaye Gemechu and did not mean to go in front of her," Moore says. "I thought she was another relay runner. It all happened so fast. It wasn't until she pulled out her country's flag that I realized who she was."

Moore, who has run a number of marathons and half-marathons, says she was running in the same area as the half-marathon people, but that area was congested.

"We had another rival relay team we were trying to beat, and I felt like I was losing time," she says. "So I switched over to the full marathon area, which was almost empty. She came up behind me in a flash. I didn't even see the banner until I was there."

Changes in this year's race included having half-marathoners and full marathoners begin and end at the same point, perhaps calling for traffic direction at the finish. "It might be helpful to have someone standing where the race splits and give each group their own chute," Moore says.

Dallas Marathon
Banner finish at Dallas Marathon for women's winner Shitaye Gemechu (right). Photo by Teresa Gubbins