Female winner disqualified from Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Female winner disqualified from Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - This group of runners meet every Monday evening to do something they love.

But instead of discussing personal records or the latest running gear, a different topic dominated this route.

The decision to disqualify the female winner of the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon for finishing too quickly.

Race officials tell Channel 3 Tabatha Hamilton finished running the 26.2 mile race in two hours, 55 minutes and 39 seconds. It took Hamilton 02:06:51 to run the first 13.1 miles of the race, but only 49 minutes to finish the second half; something race officials say is impossible.

“Until we know what the full story is, I hate to accuse her of anything,” Lynda Webber said.

Webber is a local runner with 12 marathons under her belt. She doesn't believe Hamilton intentionally cheated.

“I can't say that's what this girl did, because it's very possible that she got turned around, she got dehydrated, anything could have happened because that's a long way to go,” Webber said.

Channel 3 spoke with Hamilton outside her home in Trenton, Georgia. She declined to go on camera but believes something happened to the timing chip in her bib, causing her time to be faulty. She says her husband clocked her halfway point time at 01:36:51, not 02:06:51.

Hamilton insists she trained for and ran all 26.2 miles on Saturday and pointed out another female marathon runner didn't have a halfway point time posted on the results page online.

Race officials are still trying to figure out what happened but say they are standing by their timing equipment.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Webber added.

This runner is standing by the old adage that there are two sides to every story.

Race officials have named Lillian Gilmer the overall female winner from Saturday's race with a marathon time of 03:21:33.
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