Elite 10K Runner Loses $7,000 By Blindly Following Police Escort Down Wrong Turn After Leading Entire Race, Finishing Third

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Senbere Teferi was in position to defend her Peachtree Road Race title on the 4th of July, but a wrong turn cost her $7,000. It was gut-wrenching to watch.

The Peachtree Road Race, is a 10-kilometer race that takes place each year in Atlanta. It is the world’s largest 10K race and has held that title since 1970.

Peachtree Road Race Course Map

Teferi, a middle and long distance runner from Ethiopia, has run events from the 1,500-meter up to a full 26.2-mile marathon. She has represented Africa and her home country in multiple championship events, including the Olympics.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 10: Senbere Teferi celebrates after winning the 2023 NYRR New York Mini 10K on June 10, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the 28-year-old led the Peachtree Road Race from start to finish— almost.

Teferi was out in front with just a few hundred meters to go, if that. The race was hers to lose, and she lost in heartbreaking fashion.

A motorcycle was escorting Teferi to the finish line as she came down the final stretch and turned off at the last moment. It was confusing, because the elite runners had been following the lights throughout the entire race, so she followed the motorcycle off to the right, away from the finish.

Race organizers tried to keep Teferi on the course. They failed.

As a direct result of the mishap, Teferi was passed by two runners and finished third instead of first.

Senbere Teferi finished four seconds behind the winner.

The winner receives $10,000. The third place finisher receives $3,000.

Teferi’s wrong turn ultimately cost her $7,000.

AJC Peachtree Road Race offered the following statement after the unfortunate finish:

As our defending champion, Senbere Teferi, was approaching the finish line, it looks like she momentarily became confused and followed a police motorcycle when it turned off the course.

She was within sight of the finish banner, but we understand that in the heat of competition instructions can be misinterpreted.

As an organization, we are disappointed whenever we fall short of perfection, and in this case, it appears we did.

— AJC Peachtree Road Race

It was difficult for race organizers to catch such a mistake in real-time, but they should have done a better job of keeping her on the course. At the same time, Teferi ultimately knew the route and simply got confused after running more than nine kilometers. Brutal.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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