Arien O’Connell Wins, kinda…


I can’t imagine what must suck more than putting your all into something, besting your competition, and then being told that winning is not really winning.   On Sunday, Arien O’Connell got the Al Gore like experience of being told that even though you won, you’re not really the winner.  

The difference between Al Gore and Arien O’Connell is that Al Gore lost because of an overly complicated, and easily cheated electoral process.   Arien O’Connell lost a foot race, even though she ran faster than the other runners.   How does an organization screw up a foot race?

What Arien didn’t know was that if she planned to try real hard, she should have let the judges know ahead of time, and they would have put her in the “elite” group, which was given a 20 minute head start.   Does that seem crazy to anyone else?   I mean, I can see putting seasoned runners in a separate class, but why exclude all the other runners from gold?  

The idea is that the “elite” runners can keep pace with each other, and watch their competition.   That honestly sounds a little wimpy to me.   I thought runners were in it for their personal best, not just to be the best of the group.   How does the official winner walk away with an award they know in their heart they don’t deserve?

One of the best things about the past few years of the World Series of Poker is that it’s mostly complete newbies winning.   A chip and a chair is all you need to enter.   Well that and $10,000.   But anyone can play, and anyone can win.   It’s skill and luck.   Running is very little luck, so it’s a shame that Arien O’Connell, a fifth grade teacher from New York, didn’t have the opportunity for her best to earn her some status.

But there is one thing that can turn this around.   The race Arien O’Connell won is the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco.   And one thing we know about Nike, they likey the PR.   So, in the end Nike did decide to declare O’Connell the official winner.

So congratulations Arien O’Connell, on both your wins.

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