CLEVELAND-- Officials from the Cleveland Marathon announced the official results of the men's race following a controversial finish.
Daniel Mesfun was clocked as the unofficial winner of the 41st annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2:16:32. On Tuesday, executive race chairman Jack Staph confirmed his victory.
According to Staph, the second-place runner thought Mesfun was running the half marathon because he had a shirt over his bib and disputed the results.
"We do not believe Mr. Mesfun was attempting to deceive anyone or gain an advantage," Staph said. He also said the second-place finisher, Philemon Terer, showed a great deal of integrity by admitting he couldn't catch Mesfun and withdrawing his complaint.
Officials consulted with spotters, video, chip data and official rules. They determined Mesfun did have his bib covered, but he was the clear winner of the race.
"We checked the mats, the chip mats throughout the course. They were always within 30 seconds to a minute apart so he knew he was behind him, he knew he was there. I just think that Mesfun ran a more deliberate race, more calculated race," Staph said.
"Also at 20 miles, 21 miles, our spotters were sending word to us that Terer was losing it, they felt. They felt that he was cramping up a bit and his drag was off, and that he was checking behind him then. That's usually the sign of a guy who's fading."
Both Mesfun and Terer will be invited back to compete in next year's Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.