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Wrong Race

Georgene Johnson got to the starting line 15 minutes early. The mistake cost her 20 miles and a pair of aching knees, but she said Monday she’s happy with the outcome. The 42-year-old secretary was slated to run in a 10-kilometer race Sunday. Instead, she mistakenly joined about 4000 runners taking part in the Revco-Cleveland Marathon. Rather than quit, she hung on to finish the 26 mile race.

“As stupid as I felt out there running, I’m proud of myself,” Johnson said Monday in a telephone interview. “I guess I was in better shape than I thought. I feel fine, although my knees are real sore this morning.”

The 10-K (6.2 mile) race, was to start at 8:45 a.m., the marathon 15 minutes earlier. Both Revco-Cleveland races used the same starting line. Four miles down the road, as the route left downtown and moved into residential areas, she said she “got that sick feeling that possibly I was in the wrong race.” Another runner confirmed her suspicions. Johnson finished the marathon in 4:04, good enough for 83rd place in the women’s division. Her longest run previously was 8 miles.

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