Tabatha Hamilton was the female winner of the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon on Saturday finishing in 2:55:39 seconds. A very fast time for a female finisher of any marathon. And even more impressive is the way she closed in posting one of the biggest negative splits in marathon history by running the last 13.1 miles in 49 minutes, after she had, in comparison, slowly ran the first half in 2 hours 6 minutes and 51 seconds.
Red flags were flown immediately upon analysis of the numbers and the race officials of the race disqualified Hamilton for finishing too fast aka cheating.
Race officials determined that it was impossible for Hamilton to cover the last half of the marathon in 49 minutes after finishing the first 13.1 miles in 2:06:51, according to the Chattanooga Track Club.
The 31-year-old Trenton, Ga., resident told at least one person, when asked if she did the full marathon, that she ran all 26.2 miles, crossed the final timing mat at 2 hours, 55 minutes, 39 seconds.
She was removed from the official results Sunday night.
Contacted early this afternoon, Hamilton told the Times Free Press that no one had told her she had been disqualified, and she insisted again that she completed the full marathon. She disputed the reported time for her first 13.1 miles, saying that her husband was looking at his watch as she ran by and called out to her then that she was at 1:36:51. [Chattanooga Times Free Press
Nashville’s Lillian Gilmer, from Nashville, finished a distance second in 3:21:28 to Hamilton but having actually ran all 26.2 miles. Gilmer has now been named the rightful winner of the 2014 Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon. Congratulations to Lillian!
More and more stories of cheating are starting to pop up at marathons and ultramarathons across the country. There is also probably a good bit of doping going on as well by those looking for a competitive edge to be the king or queen of the amateurs.