Back in 2009, this happened in the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in Florida when Jonathan Mederos won the race. Fast forward to 2011 and it seems that it has happened again with Ken Brooks from Michigan winning the race.
The start was staggered--the best women had an 8-minute advantage by the time Brooks jumped off the line. According to Brooks, a number of women talked trash as he sped past. "Some of them were profane, but other ones would make remarks like, 'That's no princess …'" he says.
Jacksonville, Fla., resident Jennifer Hanley-Pinto, 33, was leading the race when Brooks passed her at mile 12. "I am pretty sure I called him a tool," she says. She thought to herself, "Really? You're going to take the lead in the last mile of the Princess Half Marathon?" Hanley-Pinto wound up second in 1:22.01, 25 seconds ahead of the women's runner-up, Caitlin Latimer. Two more women crossed the line before the next male finisher.
Ken 'Tool' Brooks finishing to an eerie silence
Hanley-Pinto had traveled to Orlando with her triathlon training partners for a girls' weekend. They went for an 80-mile bike ride on Saturday, raced the half Sunday morning, and then spent the afternoon shopping. She had no problem with Brooks being out there, but "a guy winning an all-girls race, that is poor judgment in my opinion" she says.
It's not the first time this has happened to her. "I ran the first Princess Half [in 2009] and I was leading in that race until a guy [Jonathon Mederos] passed me in mile 3," says Hanley-Pinto, who wound up sixth overall, fifth among women. "He won that race too."
Brooks' 1:14:09 individual victory and PR received little fanfare. "My friends who were at the finish line said it was like hearing crickets," Hanley-Pinto said. "When he crossed the line he got nothing."