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The Turnstile

Canadian half-marathoner misses turn, runs full marathon, wins race anyway

Jay Busbee
The Turnstile

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The finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Getty Images)

The people who run distances longer than "rushing to catch a train" or "dashing to catch a kid about to fall off a playground set" are different from you and me. They get into a distance-running zone, they lose all sense of time and distance, and strange things happen, like the peculiar event that just occurred at a marathon in Ontario.

Meredith Fitzmaurice was competing in the half-marathon division of the Run for Heroes Marathon in Amherstburg, Ontario this past weekend. The plan was to use this race as a tuneup for the Detroit Marathon next month, the race at which she'd try to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon.

That was the plan, anyway. But somewhere along the way, Fitzmaurice missed a turn, and instead of running 13 miles she realized she'd run 20, and counting. (Again: different from you and me.)

"I just missed it," Fitzmaurice told the Ottawa Citizen. "I didn't do it on purpose," she said, adding that she was "in the zone" with headphones on.

Once she realized her mistake, Fitzmaurice, while running, checked with race organizers to see if she could swap into the full marathon since she'd registered for the half. The race director signed off on the mid-race swap, and Fitzmaurice went on to win the race with a time of 3:11:48. The icing on the sweaty cake? The time qualified her for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

So, there you go: a wrong turn turns out to be right. Congratulations to Ms. Fitzmaurice. The rest of us: time to pick up the pace.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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