In a bizarre turn of events, the second place winner at the Nairobi International Marathon
last Sunday was arrested for blatant cheating. Julius Njogu apparently stayed hidden among
the crowd for most of the 26-mile race before joining the other runners for about half a mile,
on the last stretch and laying claim to the $7,000 prize money.
Unfortunately for him, race officials caught on rather quickly – they noticed that he showed
no signs of fatigue or sweat as he breezed passed the other runners to the finish line, despite having supposedly run 42 miles. The
28-year-old was spotted jogging effortlessly as he crossed fellow runner Shadrack Kiptoo
to come in second. When they investigated the issue, they realised that he hadn’t run the
race at all.
When confronted, Njogu was seen arguing with the race officials, even removing his running shoes to show them the blisters on his feet.
But the authorities weren’t buying his story. “I followed the leading team from start to finish
and I didn’t see him,” race director Ibrahim Hussein said. “He will not be recognised and I’m so disappointed that one can cheat in this modern age. He didn’t finish second.” According to Kenya Citizen TV, Jjogu not only
missed on the prize money, but he most likely also spent a night in jail for his stunt. This apparently isn’t the first case of cheating in Nairobi – in 2013, two athletes were
disqualified for cheating their way to the finish line in the women’s race.