Steve Harvey made national news when he crowned the wrong woman Miss America on national television. Well, it seems the city of Portland has made their own “Steve Harvey mistake” by putting a marathon medal on the wrong man.
Nate Bowen, a 40-year-old man from Los Altos, California, crossed the finish line in third place during the Portland marathon. He was given a medal and a glass trophy. Bowen was celebrated as the marathon winner, even posing for pictures that ended up in city newspapers. Little did they all know that the real winner finished nearly two minutes ahead of Bowen.
Matthew Palilla, a 34-year-old from Bend, Oregon, finished in first place. Apparently, officials hadn’t set up the finish line by the time Matthew Paililla won the race. “I came across and they didn’t have the finisher’s tape set up yet,” said Palilla on Tuesday. “I could see them scrambling to set it out.”
But the confusion didn’t end there. After talking to people at the finish line, Palilla discovered they gave the award to the second place finisher. “They told me, ‘We accidentally gave it to the second place finisher but we can’t find him right now.'” The second place finisher was Shaun Frandsen, 39, of Kirkland, Washington, according to posted times. Officials couldn’t even agree on who finished second.
Bowen, the first-place-awarded third place finisher, was confused when handed the award. He asked officials why they were giving the medal to him and they responded, “Because you won!” A confused Bowen stood for pictures.
While Palilla has not been contacted by race officials, director Les Smith said that another award would be made and sent to the real winner. He told newspapers that the people in charge of awarding the runners called him in tears over the mistake.
The director then went on to say that Bowen has since been contacted about the mistake and that Palilla will eventually receive his rightful award. All runners left the marathon quickly after finishing because of cold, damp conditions, which added to the confusion.
Palilla won with a time of 2:36:24, with an average 5:59 mile pace.