California Marathon Winner Disqualified for Accepting Water From Dad During Race

California Marathon Winner Disqualified for Accepting Water From Dad During Race
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Este¬≠ban Pra¬≠do, the 24-year-old win¬≠ner of the 2024 Orange Coun¬≠ty Marathon, was dis¬≠qual¬≠i¬≠fied after it was con¬≠firmed he received unau¬≠tho¬≠rized assis¬≠tance dur¬≠ing the race.

The assis¬≠tance came in the form of a cup of water pro¬≠vid¬≠ed by Prado‚Äôs father, who was rid¬≠ing a bicy¬≠cle along¬≠side the course. Under USA Track & Field rules, this type of ‚Äúout¬≠side sup¬≠port‚ÄĚ is pro¬≠hib¬≠it¬≠ed in marathon events.

‚ÄúBecause I was first place, a lot of the vol¬≠un¬≠teers were just like scram¬≠bling,‚ÄĚ Pra¬≠do told NBC Los Ange¬≠les. ‚ÄúBy the time I got there, they were‚Ķ grab¬≠bing the water. So a lot of the time the water sta¬≠tions, they real¬≠ly had noth¬≠ing for me.‚ÄĚ

How¬≠ev¬≠er, race offi¬≠cials said Pra¬≠do passed by at least three water sta¬≠tions before accept¬≠ing the water from his father, a clear vio¬≠la¬≠tion of the rules.

‚ÄúWe have videos show¬≠ing him pass¬≠ing water sta¬≠tions and not tak¬≠ing the Gatorade or water but receiv¬≠ing it in a bot¬≠tle from a guy on a bicy¬≠cle,‚ÄĚ said race direc¬≠tor Gary Kutschar.

The dis¬≠qual¬≠i¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tion meant that Jason Yang, a 33-year-old run¬≠ner from Cal¬≠i¬≠for¬≠nia, was award¬≠ed first place after fin¬≠ish¬≠ing 17 sec¬≠onds behind Prado‚Äôs ini¬≠tial win¬≠ning time.

Yang crit¬≠i¬≠cized Pra¬≠do for not apol¬≠o¬≠giz¬≠ing, say¬≠ing ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs quite absurd Este¬≠ban Pra¬≠do isn‚Äôt apol¬≠o¬≠giz¬≠ing to every¬≠one that com¬≠pet¬≠ed and still seems to think he won the race fair and square.‚ÄĚ

The OC Marathon serves as a qual¬≠i¬≠fi¬≠er for the pres¬≠ti¬≠gious Boston Marathon, mak¬≠ing Prado‚Äôs dis¬≠qual¬≠i¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tion all the more sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cant. Race offi¬≠cials stat¬≠ed they take the rules seri¬≠ous¬≠ly ‚Äúto ensure fair¬≠ness and the integri¬≠ty of our event for all competitors.‚ÄĚ

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