Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon winner disqualified for finishing too quickly

photo Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon runners are pictured in this file photo.

Story updated

Story updated at 4:00 p.m. with additional context about world-record marathon times.


Chickamauga Battlefield

Chickamauga Battlefield

Tabatha Hamilton was disqualified as the women's winner of the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon held this past Saturday.

Race officials determined that it was impossible for Hamilton to cover the last half of the marathon in 49 minutes after finishing the first 13.1 miles in 2:06:51, according to the Chattanooga Track Club.

The 31-year-old Trenton, Ga., resident told at least one person, when asked if she did the full marathon, that she ran all 26.2 miles, crossed the final timing mat at 2 hours, 55 minutes, 39 seconds.

She was removed from the official results Sunday night.

Contacted early this afternoon, Hamilton told the Times Free Press that no one had told her she had been disqualified, and she insisted again that she completed the full marathon. She disputed the reported time for her first 13.1 miles, saying that her husband was looking at his watch as she ran by and called out to her then that she was at 1:36:51.

The world's fastest marathon runner, Dennis Kimetto, finished the Berlin Marathon in 2:02:57, a pace of 13 miles per hour, or about 4:42 per mile, according to Men's Fitness.

To finish 13.1 miles in 49 minutes, Hamilton would have had to run the second half of the race at a pace of around 3:45 per mile.

If her second-half running time was 1:18:48 as she has claimed, the 31-year-old would have still finished the second half faster than the first half, but could have finished the race at just under a six-minute mile pace.

Hamilton was the first female finisher and sixth overall in 2:54.21, a personal record by "six or seven minutes," she told reporters after the race. She's a medical coder for Children's Doctors on Battlefield Parkway.

Hamilton was not challenged in what was to be her first marathon win. Lillian Gilmer from Nashville was the second woman and female masters winner in 3:21:28, with Crissy Ivey of Pendergrass, Ga., next in 3:22:14.

"My legs are lead -- and shaky," Hamilton said just after the race.

See Tuesday's Times Free Press for more on this story.

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