Marathon Winner Gets Money She's Been Waiting On for 8 Years

Though, not from the Boston Marathon itself
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2024 1:00 AM CDT
Stranger Gives Marathon Winner Money She's Been Waiting On
FILE - In this Monday, April 21, 2014, file photo Buzunesh Deba, left, of Ethiopia, runs in a group of elite female participants past Wellesley College during the 118th Boston Marathon in Wellesley, Mass.   (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

The women's winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon has been fighting for her prize money for nearly a decade, ever since the runner who finished first was found to have engaged in doping and her gold medal was stripped. First place was instead awarded to Buzunesh Deba, which meant she was owed the $75,000 difference between the first- and second-place prizes, plus another $25,000 bonus for breaking the women's course record. Almost eight years after the original first-place finisher was disqualified, Deba has finally received $75,000—but not from race organizers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, it was from a Philadelphia-area businessman (and Boston Marathon fan) who read the Journal's piece on Deba's predicament last month.

Doug Guyer felt it wasn't right for Deba to be denied her rightful prize money so long, so he decided to give it to her himself. And he says if the Boston Athletic Association (which has told Deba it is still trying to recoup the money from the woman originally named as the winner) doesn't give Deba her bonus money, he may give her that as well. "For us, it's a miracle," a tearful Deba told the Journal of the money. "It's life-changing, big money. We were waiting so long." Her husband has been working as an Uber driver to make ends meet for the couple and their two young kids. They plan to pay Guyer back if BAA eventually pays Deba her prize money. See the Journal for more on the ins-and-outs of the whole situation and why it's so complicated getting Deba paid. (More Boston Marathon stories.)

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