Marathon Runners

Man Accidentally Runs A Full Marathon Instead Of A Half

May 23, 2018
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Mike Kohler signed up to run his first half-marathon as part of the Sanford Fargo Marathon, but on race day he accidentally ran the full-marathon instead.

Grand Forks Herald is reporting that the 26-year-old made the mistake right from the start because he didn't realize that the half-marathon and full-marathon had different start times.

Kohler was tired and wearing headphones, he saw runners lining up at 7:00 am so he lined up, not realizing however that his race actually started at 7:15 am. "When they said 'go,' I went," he said to the Herald.

Kohler said he didn't realize his mistake until about 8 miles into his run when he realized the course was different from the map that he had studied.

Race organizer Mike Knutson said that this mistake is a rare one. Saying it's only happened, "probably less than half a dozen times in the 14 years we've been putting the race on."

At mile 13.1 Kohler considered stopping and he had even run it at his targeted two hours and thirty minutes but figured he had already come this far he might as well finish.  "I'm just going to go for it, because why not? I'm already here, I'm already running, I'm already tired. Might as well try to finish it," Kohler said.

Kohler finished the marathon in five hours and fifty-four minutes. 

"This just kind of proves you can do a lot more than what you think you can sometimes. Thirteen's a lot, and then to add 13 to it, never having gone that far, that's pretty great," He said.

Unfortunately, the race officials only gave him the half-marathon medal despite the fact that he ran the full thing.