A world-class woman runner was invited to compete in a road race in Connecticut. On the morning of the race, she drove from New York City, following the directionsor so she thoughtgiven her over the telephone. She got lost, stopped at a gas station, and asked for help. She knew that the race started in the parking lot of a shopping mall. The station attendant also knew of such a race scheduled just up the road and directed her there.
When she arrived she was relieved to see in the parking lot a modest number of runners preparing to compete. Not as many as shed anticipated; an easier race than shed been led to expect. She hurried to the registration desk, announced herself, and was surprised by the race officials excitement at having so renowned an athlete show up for their race. No, they had no record of her entry, but if shed hurry and put on this number, she could just make it before the gun goes off. She ran and, naturally, she won easily, some four minutes ahead of the first male runner in second place.
Only after the racewhen there was no envelope containing her sizable prize and performance money did she confirm that the event shed run was not the race to which shed been invited. That race was being held several miles farther up the road in another town. Shed gone to the wrong starting line, run the wrong course, and missed her chance to win a valuable prize.