While entertaining at times this isn't a discussion about anyone's paticular abilities, or lack thereof. The issue is whether this was cheating...and what to do with the participants who have a hard time making the time cutoff.
On part A of the issue was this cheating: In my opinion, absolutely! The people who were really being cheated however are the ones who were cheated of the opportunity of finishing a marathon.
The second part is just as simple. The rules are clearly laid out when you sign up for the event. You cover 26.2 miles in the alotted time and you get your completion medal. If you can't make it in 7 hours maybe you're just not prepared enough to complete a marathon.
I applaud the efforts of the charity groups both for generating money for their charity and for getting inactive people invloved in physical activity. But selling inactive folks on the notion that anyone can finish a marathon on 18 weeks of preparation (and a commitment to raise $3000+ for the charity) is a disservice to the "athlete" as well as to marathoning.
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