OC Marathon winner Fadil disqualified

 OC Marathon winner Fadil disqualified
Mohamed Fadil was disqualified from winning the OC Marathon. (MarathonFoto)

The 10th annual U.S. Bank OC Marathon winner was disqualified Tuesday for breaking a USA Track and Field Competition rule that prohibits runners from receiving assistance or advice while participating in the race.

Mohamed Fadil, 32, of Albuquerque, N.M., finished the 26.2 miles on Sunday in 2:21:42, coming in under the previous record of 2:22:45, set in 2011 by Peter Omae Ayieni of Kenya.


However, after organizers looked at a video and conferred with race officials, they announced their decision to disqualify Fadil, according to a news release.

Race Director Gary Kutscher reviewed recordings of the race and found that Fadil had violated two rules.


He said Fadil had a friend bicycling next to him while he was running, a move that Kutscher calls "illegal pacing," and that the runner accepted water from someone other than a race official.

Pacing gives runners the advantage of having another set of eyes on the course, providing information about other runners or the race itself, Kutscher said.

"It's an unfortunate situation," he said. "It sounded like they were unaware of the rule, but it's something that all runners need to be aware of."

Fadil declined to comment on the allegations.


Stephan Shay, 27, of Huntington Beach, who finished the race in 2:23:09, less than two minutes after Fadil, is the new marathon winner.

Shay is the youngest in a large family of runners. His older brother, Ryan Shay, was a professional long-distance runner before he collapsed and died on Nov. 3, 2007, during the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in New York City. The OC Marathon was held on what would have been Ryan's 35th birthday, the release stated.

Bonnie Axman, a 29-year-old from Imperial Beach, won the women's title and broke the female course record in 2:45:56. The previous record of 2:47:13 was set in 2013 by Kimberly O'Donnell of Santa Cruz.

Axman said she had started out wanting to finish within the Olympic women's qualifying time, which is 2:43.

She felt she couldn't reach the goal about halfway through the race but had kept the course record in the back of her mind. It is easy to understand why she wasn't able to get the Olympic qualifying time. She had competed just last week in the La Jolla Half Marathon, which she won in 1:22:40.

"I ran a race last week, and I think I hadn't planned that, and I looked at the race schedule and realized it went back to back," Axman said. "I kind of had the feeling my legs weren't going to be 100%."

Axman said she will continue to use the Olympic qualifying time as a goal. She'll next race in the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 1 and will make sure not to schedule a race a week before.

Breaking records appeared to be the theme at the U.S. Bank OC Marathon. The event featured the largest-ever field, 22,000 runners across four divisions (2,000 more than last year).


The marathon was expected to generate nearly $21 million for the Orange County economy, according to an analysis by Forward Analytics, a national marketing research firm.

The U.S. Bank OC Marathon also included the half-marathon and the Wahoo's OC 5K.

Ivan Medina, 28, of Hayward won the men's half-marathon in 1:08:41.

Allison Delancey, 33, of Gilbert, Ariz., won the women's half in 1:20.22.

Justin Doyle of San Bernardino won the men's 5K in 15:51.

Sue Davis of Costa Mesa won the women's 5K in 19:49.

The 5K route went through Orange Coast College and the fairgrounds, ending near a stage at the fair, where the '80s cover band Flashback Heart Attack played pop tunes by Flock of Seagulls, Missing Persons, Naked Eyes, Tommy Tutone and Dramarama.

The runners were treated to a taco and beer during the entertainment.

It appeared to be a much different setting from last year, when the marathon was strapped with a great amount of security because of the Boston bombing.

"We had an amazing race weekend," race director Gary Kutscher said in a release. "From record fields in the full and half-marathons, to the incredible Kids Run the OC, which continues its positive growth, a heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who made it happen, the least of which are our sponsors, charities and volunteers."