A Canadian woman who entered a half marathon in Ontario ended up winning the full marathon after taking a wrong turn. Merdith Fitzmaurice was taking part in the Run for Heroes marathon/half marathon in Amherstburg as a test run before debuting at her first full marathon in Detroit.
The 34-year-old said: "I just run with my watch, so I was watching my time since I planned to do my half in under 1:28. But I'm looking at the time and wondering where the finish line is."
After realising her error, Meredith spoke to a race official who was riding along the route on a bike, to find out if she could finish the marathon. "The guy was awesome. And once he said I was good to go, my adrenaline just kicked in."
Meredith completed the race in 3:11:48 making her the first woman across the finish line (and 10th overall) and inside the qualifying time for Boston marathon.
She added: "I didn't even realise I was the first female until people started yelling at me and high-fiving me. Once I crossed the finish line and realised the magnitude of what I had done, I started crying.
"I thought I was only running a half marathon so I really gave it out there. If I knew I was going to be running the full marathon I probably wouldn't have ran so fast. So maybe it was a good thing. I didn't do it on purpose. This was my first one and even though my family was disappointed they weren't there to see it, maybe this was meant to be. I was alone and maybe this was how I was meant to do it."