A politician? Cheating? Surely not…

I just read an article about a presidential candidate at the last election in Mexico. He represented the PRI, a party that dominated, usually through fraud, Mexican politics for 70 years. Señor Roberto Madrazo was dogged throughout the campaign with awkwards questions, such as, “Where did he get all those mansions from?”. Full story here.

Former Mexican presidential candidate Roberto Madrazo disappeared midway through the Berlin Marathon on Sunday before reappearing nine miles later, winning first in his age group and shaving an hour off his personal record.

But rather than applaud Madrazo’s victory in the men’s 55-and-over category with a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes, 57 seconds, the Reforma newspaper is dredging up suspicions that have dogged Madrazo his entire career: Could he have cheated?

Madrazo finished third in the 2006 election, largely because voters questioned how he acquired mansions, Florida real estate and luxury cars during a lifetime of filling elected offices with the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI.

Many Mexicans are questioning how Madrazo, a veteran marathoner, could have cut his best time on the 26.2-mile race by about an hour without cheating.

Runners carried a computer microchip that recorded their times at race 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 hours, 39 minutes 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 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.

He ran each five-kilometer segment on record in an average of about 25 minutes, according to computerized timers, compared with about 14 minutes run by race winner Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia.

But between kilometers 20 and 35, those missing from the race’s computer record, Madrazo appeared to run every five kilometers in 11 minutes, faster than the 34-year-old Ethiopian winner who set a world record for a marathon of 2:04:26.


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