Mexico Marathon disqualifies 11,000 runners for cheating

Aerial view of marathon city runners
Thousands of finishers cut out sections of the course (Image credit: Orbon Alija)

Organizers of the Mexico City Marathon have disqualified thousands of participants for cheating just days after the event took place.

Of the 30,000 participants, 11,000 have been stripped of their finisher medals after organizers realized that their success wasn't just down to wearing the best road running shoes.

The mass-cheating was discovered after anonymous complaints drove organizers to examine tracking data from the race, which took place on August 27. Participants are required to check in at stations placed every five kilometers along the course to ensure they are completing the entire 26.2 miles, however it is believed that thousands cut out sections of the course or used vehicles to cut down on their total distance. 

In a public statement, Mexico City Sports Institute announced they had launched an investigation into the incident, saying that those who cheated "have demonstrated an unsportsmanlike attitude during the event and will invalidate their registration times."

"This great event not only represents an outstanding celebration for all the inhabitants of the capital, but also an occasion to reaffirm the transcendental values of sport."

Those involved in the scandal have claimed their tracking devices were not functioning properly, however this is not the first time the marathon has resulted in mass disqualifications due to cheating. In 2017, nearly 6,000 runners were disqualified and the following year, over 3,000 were stripped of their medals.

The Mexico City Marathon is an annual event over held on the streets of Mexico City in late August or early September. This year’s men’s elite race was won by Bolivia’s Hector Garibay with a time of 2:08:23, while  the women's race was dominated by Kenya's Celestine Chepchirchir in 2:27:17.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.