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Runners Get Lost, Dodge Cars at Bangalore Marathon

Three runners at the front of the half marathon ran 4 kilometers off course after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

Three runners at the front of the half marathon ran 4 kilometers off course after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

If Sunday’s air pollution-plagued Beijing Marathon wasn’t bad enough, another footrace that same day saw runners dodging cars and getting lost on the course.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the leading runners in the half marathon event at India’s Bangalore Marathon went the wrong way after following a race vehicle that missed a turn.

The trio ran 4 kilometers in the wrong direction and eventually had to ask strangers for money so they could hitch a ride to the finish line.

“We borrowed 30 rupees from a few morning joggers to take a metro train to reach the station closest to the finishing line,” Soji Mathew said.

Inderjit Patel, who was also in the threesome, told the Times of India they were running at a good clip before being told they missed a turn.

“There were no officials on the road where we supposed to take a U-turn (at 16km),” Patel said. “We were following the pilot vehicle and we had covered around 20 kilometers in one hour as we were going at a pace of 2 minutes, 59 seconds per kilometer. We were hoping to finish soon when the officials asked us to turn back. At that point there was no point in continuing the race and we decided to stop.”

During the marathon, a female runner also missed a turn and traveled 5 kilometers off course. Luckily, race organizers found her and guided her back to the proper route.

The Journal reports that other runners complained of a lack of race marshals to keep them on course.

Both races were plagued by drivers who bypassed security barriers and drove on the course with runners all around them. Witnesses claimed some of the drivers were heckling runners, according to the Journal.