We’re running a correction in Saturday’s newspaper (July 7) because James Foster finished 10th overall and won the 25-29-year-old division in the 27th annual Firecracker 5000 Family 5K Run on Wednesday, July 4 at Shelter Cove Community Park on Hilton Head Island.
Only, he didn’t.
Foster paid to participate but, for whatever reason, didn’t run.
Until the very end.
At the finish line.
He didn’t realize the chip in his number would be counted as if he’d run the entire race.
“That’s no big deal,” race organizer Mark Weisner of Bear Foot Sports said. “He’s just someone who was trying to be funny. That’s really not a big deal. Nobody complained and we actually got it corrected on site.”
When Foster saw that he had been counted as the winner, he found Weisner and fessed up.
“He told me when I was making the announcements,” Weisner said. “He disqualified himself on site. He told me he didn’t run the race.”
Weisner said the correct winner off the 25-29 division, Drew Vogt, was announced on site and there were no problems. He said nobody was angry and nobody had complained.
Weisner also said they normally hand audit the chip-timed results anyway.
“There are always issues,” Weisner said. “For example, a family signs up to run, but the daughter doesn’t run. The dad takes her number and runs and comes through as a 9-year-old girl. Once you assign a number to a runner, there are a lot of things that can happen.”
While the correct results were announced on site, Weisner said it takes some work to revise the chip-timed results and they hadn’t done that. So the Island Packet used the results posted online and incorrectly listed Foster as the winner.
Foster sent an email to the Island Packet on Thursday explaining the situation and apologizing for his actions.