Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cinco de Burro: October 05, 2007

Our favorite-ever mixing of politics and sports.

Friday, October 05, 2007
The Distance

From Josh in our East Coast legal department we learn of the amazing feats of athletic prowess performed by third-place presidential candiate Roberto Madrazo, standard-bearer of the spectacularly corrupt PRI, which ran this country as a one-party state for about 70 years. (See here for a brief recap of the stolen 1988 election, for instance.) Last weekend Madrazo blasted to victory in the 55-and-older division of the Berlin Marathon, in an astounding 2:40:57. Astounding, we mean, because it's an hour faster than he had ever run before. As often happens with a PRI victory, there were some, uh, irregularities...

Runners carried a microchip that recorded their times at stations located every five kilometers along the course. Madrazo ran his first 20 kilometers, taking him to the marathon's halfway mark, in a respectable 1:42:42. He was on track to beat his best times this year, 3:39 at the London marathon, and 3:44 in San Diego. Not bad for a guy who turned 55 in July.

But he must have slipped into a Berlin Triangle somewhere along the Potsdamer Strasse. There's no record, according to German race officials, of him passing the 25- or 30-kilometer stations, leaving 15 kilometers of the race with no record of his passing.

Ah, yes, well...record-keeping was never the PRI's strong suit. Madrazo insists that he ran the whole way, of course, and if the German computers missed him at a few checkpoints, that's not his fault. As always with the PRI, it's not the lie, but the audacity of it, that astounds. The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the numbers, but merely notes that Madrazo would have been running faster than the eventual winner for part of the race. In fact, our analysis here at the Burro Hall Institute for Human Performance indicates that he would have been running faster than any athlete in the history of sports, with the possible exception of Secretariat.

According to the time records of the checkpoints he did pass, Madrazo disappeared at 20 km, and reappeared at 35 km 25 minutes later, which means he went "off the grid" just as he was just as he was accelerating to a 2:41 mile pace - shattering the world record in the mile by more than a minute - a pace he maintained for the next 9.3 miles. (Put another way, he came within 0.4 seconds of the world record in the 200 meters, 74 consecutive times. It's entirely possible that the checkpoint computers missed him because he was simply moving too fast to be seen. ) With an officially-recorded time of 1:42:42 at the half, Madrazo apparently ran the last 13.1 miles in 58:15, shaving 18 seconds off the current world half-marathon record set by Kenya's Samuel Wanjiru Kamau earlier in the year. Without exaggeration, this 55-year-old Mexican bureaucrat/weekend jogger turned in the greatest athletic performance in human history.

And yet with a totally straight face,

A Madrazo spokeswoman denied any irregularities....

"The media call Madrazo the king of cheating and manipulation," Garcia said. "But if that were true, we would have won the presidential election."


Madrazo's completely ballsy, not-even-trying-to-explain-it explanation earned him the very first Burro Hall Sportsman of the Year Award.


Anonymous said...

You gotta start thinking about culling these anecdotes for a book, bro. This is a classic. And there are many more such gems hidden in the Burro Hall Archive. Are you opposed to monetizing all this funny material?

Tio Loco

Anonymous said...

Mexico's answer to Rosie Ruiz.