Israeli cop starts London Marathon at finish line
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Israeli cop starts London Marathon at finish line

Hagai Penkar loses 38 minutes due to navigation mistake; still finishes ahead of 8,000 runners

Competitors in the Elite Men's race lead the pack at the start of the 2016 London Marathon in central London on April 24, 2016.  (AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK)
Competitors in the Elite Men's race lead the pack at the start of the 2016 London Marathon in central London on April 24, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK)

A police officer from Haifa was the last runner to start this year’s London Marathon, after he accidentally headed to the finish line first due to a navigation error.

Interviewed by the BBC near the starting line, Hagai Penkar explained that he initially showed up at the finish line on Sunday after plugging the wrong information into his internet browser and then lost 38 minutes dealing with London traffic.

Running 26 miles in 5 hours, 12 minutes and 18 seconds, Penkar finished ahead of some 8,000 runners, according to Haaretz. The race had 39,045 registered runners, including eight Israelis.

Penkar was nonetheless upbeat, telling the interviewer: “It took me time to get to the start line, but I met you and I’m speaking and I’m fresh.”

In true Israeli form, upon noticing his interviewer was out of breath from running alongside him, Penkar told her directly: “Start running more so next time you will be in better shape.”

“I love the United Kingdom and wish everybody in the race, feel well at the end line and a good time,” he added.

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