I first found out about Cristina Noble's disqualification from the Sarasota Marathon in a very sensationalized news story on a Detroit affiliate of NBC (WDIV) the Thursday after the race. It was presented in the promos to the news, was presented by the local news anchor, and not a lot of details were presented in the actual story that I can recall. I about fell off my chair when I heard Cristina was the subject. My first thoughts were that this was an excessively cruel thing to do to a non-professional athlete on a television newscast and, undoubtedly, Cristina must have been DQ'd for something inadvertent that was being blown out of proportion.
The first thing I did was write a note to Cristina saying I heard the news, I'm sure there's some reasonable explanation for it, and I'm really ticked at WDIV as they must not be telling the whole story. I could just feel the pain of this woman as she was being slandered on a major metropolitan news station in front of family, friends, and co-workers. Before I wrote a note to WDIV letting them know of my displeasure for their sensational reporting, I wanted Cristina's approval. If she just wanted things to just go away, I could accept that. I really wasn't asking her for explanations. I KNEW she couldn't have cut the course. Who does that sort of thing? It is just preposterous.
She e-mailed back telling me what she called the real story; which you all read. I bought it hook, line, and sinker. This note confirmed my suspicions! WDIV got the story wrong! I sent my note to WDIV, and then asked Cristina if she'd like me to share her story with the team. I would not have sent it out if she said no, but she said sure,,, so I did. Only, as I've now found out, Cristina's story was not true.
A reporter (that asked to remain anonymous) got a hold of what I wrote to the team. He expressed doubts with Cristina's story. I played devil's advocate to a number of things the reporter passed on as evidence. However, his ultimate conversation with the race director confirmed the evidence that had been gathered from various sources. Cristina, did, indeed, cut the course; knowingly and willingly.
I truly take no pleasure in writing this note and I carry no grudge towards Cristina. I wish her well and hope she is able to recover and move on with her life. It all must be very difficult for her right now and I do wish there was a way to have helped her out.
President: Front Line Racing Team
*I'm sure that Fred wasn't too happy about being lied to.