Posted on October 10, 2007

Would-be President Took Short Cut in Marathon

A Mexican politician who “won” the over-55s section of the Berlin Marathon was disqualified for taking a short cut.

Roberto Madrazo suffered a humiliating defeat in Mexico’s 2006 presidential election but seemed to have run the marathon in an impressive two hours, 41 minutes.

In a photograph taken as he crossed the finish line, Madrazo was wearing a wind breaker, a hat and long, skintight running pants.


“It was so obvious to me, if you look at everyone else in the picture, everyone’s wearing T-shirts and shorts, and the guy’s got a jacket on and a hat or whatever,” Mr Sailer said.

Organisers found that an electronic chip tracking Madrazo’s time and course showed no result for the checkpoints at 25 and 30 kilometers.

According to the chip, Madrazo took only 21 minutes to cover the 15 kilometers between the 20-kilometer and 35-kilometer marks.

“Not even the world record holder can go that fast,” said race director Mark Milde who confirmed Madrazo had been disqualified.

In 1996, Mexico’s attorney general confirmed reports that Madrazo had spent tens of millions of dollars more than the legal campaign spending limit in winning his 1994 bid for the Tabasco state governorship.

While under investigation on those charges, Madrazo told police he was kidnapped for seven hours, beaten and threatened with death by unidentified assailants. Police were never able to find any evidence.

During the 2006 presidential campaign, opponents plastered walls with posters reading: “Do you believe Madrazo? I don’t either!”