BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "Crushing" is how one runner described learning the Gulf Coast Marathon course was .295 miles short of the 26.2 miles needed to be a full marathon.
Saturday's race was billed as a qualifying event for the prestigious Boston Marathon, but the shortage leaves those runners still chasing that dream.
Race director Jonathan Dziuba told WLOX News Now he takes full responsibility for the course being mismarked.
"It was my absent mindedness that led to communicating... I know that the marathon course was 1,555' 1" short," Dziuba said an email sent to 441 people who completed the race.
"It was a slip of the tongue," Dziuba told WLOX News Now explaining he mistakenly told the person marking the turn around point on the course.
The final leg for those running the marathon took them up the I-110 overpass where they turned around and ended at MGM Park. Course markings instructed runners to turn around at the second truss on the bridge instead of the third, Dziuba said.
The only recourse for those who thought they had qualified for the Boston Marathon will be to run another race.
The following is a copy of the letter sent to all Gulf Coast Marathon runners: