Modern Athlete Mag Issue 155 MA_Issue 155 | Page 22

MANN the running mann by STUART MANN

I work in the software industry , where we call problems in production systems “ defects .” Good software teams will aim to prevent defects from ever getting into production systems , and when a defect is detected , will aim to remove it as quickly as possible . Software teams will also put steps in place to ensure that the defect is never allowed to resurface . I see runners that cheat in Comrades as “ defective humans .” They should be removed from the results and forbidden from re-entering our running systems .

This article discusses the different types of Comrades cheats and cheating , analyses how much cheating occurred during the 2022 event , and uncovers some defective humans . ( At this stage , I have not included the names


MANN the running mann by STUART MANN

Defective Humans

I have been a grumpy old Running Mann the last few months – a persistent injury will do that to your mood . Sadly , that means there are no new race reports , but the silver lining is that time away from the road has left me with plenty of time to run Comrades statistics . Most of the stats fall into the interesting and inspiring categories , but the odd result jumps out and adds to my grumpiness , because uncovering cheats at the world ’ s greatest ultra-marathon leaves a bad taste in my mouth , and a shooting pain in my bad knee .
and faces of potential cheats , but do plan to do so after the outcomes of disciplinary hearings .)
The seven types of cheats and cheating covered in this article are : 1 Tag Teaming ( running Comrades as a relay race with a buddy ) 2 Taxiing ( covering a portion of the route in a vehicle ) 3 Phantoms ( one runner , two timing chips ) 4 Bad Seeds ( cheating on your qualifier ) 5 Bandits ( running in someone else ’ s number ) 6 Ritchie McCawing ( entering from the side ) 7 Suppositories ( pushing from behind into places you don ’ t belong )
The Comrades 2022 finish in Durban ’ s Moses Mabhida Stadium , where a number of cheats also claimed medals


I ’ ve been doing different stats on every conceivable aspect of Comrades and this sometimes uncovers suspicious data . I was interested in the slowest runners to go through each timing mat by medal earned , and I picked up a few anomalies , including one definite cheat .
The timing data shows that our first cheat ran the second half of Comrades almost 90 minutes faster than the first , whilst the photographic data shows two different people at the start and finish . Running Comrades definitely changes a person , but normally it ’ s an internal change to one ’ s psyche , rather
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