PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland Marathon winner Kallin Khan was so far ahead, racers behind him lost track of the route.
"We ended up running about two and a half miles further than we should have, and I went from second place to 79th." Duncan Marsden told FOX 12.
Marsden, from Calgary, Canada, traveled to Portland just to take part in the race.
"I mean, we train for months for these events and I flew all the way from Calgary specifically for the marathon," he said.
Marsden, although with an organizer-estimated 15 other runners, were trailing race leader Khan around the nine mile mark, when they lost sight of him.
The route took runners down Naito Parkway, up to the Ross Island Bridge exit, where runners were supposed to be directed down the off-ramp to continue the race except some of the first to do so, outside of Khan, continued down Naito taking them miles off course.
The mistake was quickly fixed, but it still hurt.
"There wasn't a sign posted at all and we had cyclists with us that told us this was the way to go." Marsden said.
Brooksee CEO Jared Rohatinsky offered his apologies to the racers.
"Ultimately it is 100 percent on us, it is on our shoulders to ensure that everything should have been in place so that all of the runners knew what to do, we take full responsibility for that," he said.
Brooksee, in its first year running the Portland Marathon, offered those who went off course a full refund, including free entry to all future events the company hosts in Portland.
Marsden, who despite the lengthy setback that included running two more miles on an already 26 mile journey, appreciated the race's response.
"I spoke with the race director afterwards and to be fair he was exceptionally apologetic, he understood the issue. He didn't try to blame anyone he took full responsibility for it, so he was great." Marsden said.
As for what caused the confusion, marathon organizers said while that portion of the race should have had a marker or sign telling runners which to direction to go, a woman on a bicycle may have contributed to the miscue.
When asked, the lost runners said she pointed them down Naito, and they mistook her for a marathon volunteer, when in fact, she wasn't.
Many major marathons use volunteers on bicycles to guide leading runners through the course, Portland's marathon only used a police motorbike escort for the lead runner.
With Khan being so far ahead and out of sight for the other runners behind him and with no signs at the off-ramp telling them which direction to go, the small group of lead runners just decided to keep going straight.
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