BILOXI, MS (WAFB) - Imagine prepping, training, and running a marathon - just to find out it wasn't actually a marathon.
That's how many runners were left feeling after learning the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon course was .295 miles short of the 26.2 miles needed to be a full marathon.
One runner described it as, "crushing."
Race director Johnathan Dzibua sent out an email to runners who thought they ran 26.2 miles in a time to qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon in April 2018. Dzibua says 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 feet and 1 inch short," Dziuba said an email sent to 441 people who completed the race.
The only recourse for those who thought they had qualified for the Boston Marathon will be to run another race.
To make up for the error, Dan Bourgeois, media relations representative for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, said runners can compete in the Louisiana Maraton to qualify for the Boston Marathon free of charge.
Since participants didn't run a full 26.2 miles, they don't qualify for the Boston Marathon, said, Bourgeois.
Dzibua said the error happened after he mistakenly gave the person marking the turn around point on the course the wrong mark.
Runners were also given the option to participate in next year's Gulf Coast Marathon at no cost. The Louisiana Marathon takes place on January 14 in Baton Rouge.
The following is a copy of the letter sent to all Gulf Coast Marathon runners: