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Can you believe it? Upon arriving in Myrtle Beach Friday night for packet pickup at Bi-Lo Marathon XV presented by Toronto Dominion, I presented myself to the proper table and was called back 15 minutes later notifying that I had been disqualified by officials Thursday.

The disqualification notice was made, according to race officials, because of my actions towards medical officials at the 30km point of last year's race, when I defied doctor's orders to stop after dehydration and cramps set in and I fell down hard on the north end loop. I felt so hard in pain after that I told a doctor I wanted to take my life by jumping off the Ponte Vecchio into the Arno River, which for those not familiar is a reference Lauretta's signature aria "O mio babbino caro" in Puccini's comedy "Gianni Schicchi". Opera is a genre that I admire, and I have the utmost respect of those who sing it, and as those in other boards understand, I have performed in Summer Chorus gigs with serious material.

About 25 minutes after being in the ambulance and run through tests, (with water, et al), another official said I was cleared to finish.

Well, the first medical official came to race officials mid-week after my e-mail had arrived to pick up my number (CHANG 320) to order the disqualification.

It didn't arrive home in time, so the one tank of fuel ($60), two nights hotel ($185), and extra groceries were booked. One night was cancelled, but everything else was wasted. I ended up in my hotel room in frustration, didn't even unpack, and had to leave before dawn to avoid the race start that would prevent me from being home.

How frustrating can it be to be refused for what he felt was defiance? This isn't boxing where a referee or doctor can stop the bout. We signed our legal papers saying we know our risks. I didn't use bad language, I just quoted opera in frustration. We have cultural illiteracy it seems. Maybe the push towards rock music in our society is weaning the high culture out, and Mona Charen is right.

That's three DQ's in nine months -- two administrative and one medical.
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