MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) - Jeffrey Drayton is trying to run a marathon in all 50 states, but after finding out that last weekend’s Milwaukee Marathon was 0.8 miles short of 26.2, he is wondering if he can check Wisconsin off his list.
Drayton and other runners got an email Wednesday from PNC Milwaukee Marathon race officials apologizing for their massive error.
“My time was fast and I thought oh wow that was a good run,” the Maple Grove, Minnesota resident told Fox 9.
In a statement, race officials confirmed the marathon was short of USATF certification due to the course being “set incorrectly.” This is the second year in a row the marathon has had distance problems. Last year, they made the course too long –-26.3 miles—when someone tampered with the cones. This year, it was too short –-24.5 miles.
“I paid a hotel, I drove there—like I say—is it the end of the world? No, but I feel like it is a big enough error that sorry doesn’t just cut it,” Drayton said. “You’re going to have to do a little better than that.”
Drayton says he noticed mile marker 22 was missing.
“I hit the split and it was like 10:33 or something and I thought I didn’t do just back-to-back 5 minute miles, so something is wrong there,” he said. “But it had been a windy day and the signs were blowing around so I thought something was in the wrong spot.”
New ownership was reportedly brought in to ensure there would be no more problems this year. Now, elite runners and others trying to qualify for Boston or New York are out of luck. Drayton was hoping to check off Wisconsin from his list of running 50 marathons in 50 states.
“26.2 miles is a long way—so 25.4, I don’t know is that close enough?”
For now, Drayton says he is going to count the Milwaukee Marathon. He has already run eight marathons so far over the last few years.