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Able-bodied chair racer disqualified

Verification sought for another one

By Globe Staff 4/18/00

For the first time in memory, a wheelchair athlete was disqualified from the Boston Marathon after admitting that she is able-bodied, and a second was removed from the finishers' list pending verification that he is indeed disabled.

Per Boston Athletic Association policy, neither name was released because they would not have been among the award winners.

Suspicions were raised when the woman was noticed walking around before the start, according to BAA administrator Marja Bakker. Although some wheelchair competitors use artificial limbs and can indeed walk when not racing, something didn't seem right, and the woman was queried after the race.

``She straightforwardly said, `I am not disabled,''' said Bakker.

As for the second possible offender, he reportedly told the referee that he is disabled but wouldn't provide any details. He was told that his name would be removed from the finishers' list but reinstated if proper information is provided by a doctor.

Late for a reason

Dave McGillivray, who begins his race around 4 p.m. after finishing his duties as technical director, crossed the finish line in 3 hours 56 minutes. Including the years he began running at the more conventional noon hour, yesterday marked his 29th straight finish in Boston. But he did record a first. ``It's never hailed before,'' he said ... Women's winner Catherine Ndereba has already made clear her plans for the future. ``I wanted to see whether I could be one like her,'' said Ndereba, referring to Kenyan Tegla Loroupe, the world record-holder. ``Even if I am not exactly, I am in the process to be like her.'' ... This was the 32d straight year the Marathon was held on a Monday. Running on Patriots Day has always been the tradition, but the holiday and the race were formally moved to the third Monday in April in 1969 ... Guido Mueller of Switzerland was the 1,000th wheelchair entrant to finish the Marathon. He was sixth, in 1:47:42 ... Alan Oman, 50, of Babylon, N.Y., won the men's veterans (50-59) division in 2:43:25; Anne Roden, 53, of Great Britain, was the top women's veteran at 2:54:21 ... Tony Carminaro, 63, of Jermyn, Pa., won the men's senior division (60-69) in 2:58:06, while Barbara Miller, 60, of Modesto, Calif., was the top senior woman in 3:11:57.

Nixon trots home

While her husband was going 1 for 3 at Fenway Park, Kathryn Nixon was running in her first Marathon and finished in 4:01:51. Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon, who had a strikeout and a walk to go with a single, left immediately after Boston's 1-0 loss to Oakland to meet his wife at Copley Square. Kathryn competed under the aegis of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team, which raises money to fight cancer ... NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip was racing again yesterday after dropping out of Sunday's DieHard 500 in Talladega, Ala. He completed Boston in 4:42:20. On Sunday, he was knocked out of the DieHard 500 in a multicar accident on Lap 138. That gave him a head start on his trip here for his first marathon. ``I'm going to take a break from this craziness and try to run that marathon,'' he said late Sunday. ``I'm not very smart, as you can tell.''

Captain America Budd Coates was four years out of Springfield College when he ran a personal-best 2:13:02 at Boston in 1983 for 14th place overall. Coates, 43, is the coach of yesterday's top American finisher _ Jamie Hibell _ and ran himself, finishing in 2:25:10 for 27th overall and fourth in the masters division. ``The nice little group I was in was at about a 5:20 pace,'' Coates said. ``A couple of times it would sag a little, and I'd take the pace. But it was so much harder taking the lead in the wind, and you'd tuck back in.'' A sign of the times: When Coates placed 14th in 1983, he was the 13th American. Yesterday, he was third among US citizens behind Hibell and Maximo Oliveras.

Absent figure is honored

Joe Concannon, for years the Globe's lead Marathon writer, was duly recognized yesterday. Seats in the press room and on the press vehicle that leads the race were reserved in the name of Concannon, who retired last fall and died at age 60 in February ... Marathon organizers instituted a limited media-access policy to the finish area medical tent. In an effort to protect patient privacy, journalists were allowed only to stand at the entrance. Prior to the new policy, reporters were allowed to wander throughout the tent. ``[Our legal team] told us because we were doing invasive procedure, they believed that we crossed the threshold into being more like a hospital,'' said Marathon spokesman Jack Fleming. ``So we had to follow hospital-like protocol.'' ... The medical staff was

so besieged with cold runners looking for heated spaces that they asked the MBTA to warm up some buses. Two buses parked in front of the Copley Plaza Hotel welcomed any runners looking for warmth who did not need medical attention.

Barbara Huebner, Susan Bickelhaupt, Shira Springer, and Allen Lessels of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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