The Bengaluru marathon on Sunday turned out to be farce as the pilot car overshot a turn and led the top three runners in the wrong direction, eventually forcing them to abandon the race and take a metro to the finish line.
Former Asian medallists Suresh Kumar Patel, Inderjit Patel and Soji Mathew missed a U-turn at the 16km-mark and went ahead in the wrong direction as the the pilot car missed the turn.
And by the time the officials informed them about the mistake, it was too late for the three to return to the race as they had ran four extra kilometres.
"There were no officials on the road where we supposed to take a U-turn (at 16km). We were following the pilot vehicle and we had covered around 20 kilometres... We were hoping to finish soon when the officials asked us to turn back. At that point there was no point in continuing the race and we decided to stop," The Times of India quoted Inderjit.
The three runners then had to ask for money from the spectators to find a ride back to the finish line.
Losing the race was not the only cause of disappointment for the frontrunners, it was the humiliation they had to face after heading the wrong way and begging for money.
"We came down the flyover (Domlur) and were going further along when a few officials came and told us to turn back. Suresh and I stopped there. We had to beg for twenty rupees as we didn't have any money with us. Luckily, some morning joggers helped us and also guided us to the nearest metro station," Mathew pointed out.