Letter: A sincere apology for an honest mistake


To the editor:

I don’t know Caitlin Gosciminski of Coventry, Rhode Island. I do know that she was robbed of perhaps her first chance at public acclaim. You see, last week this newspaper published the names of the top 100 finishers in the St. Luke’s 5k road race.

Young Miss Gosciminski finished 101st, a heartbreaking two seconds from the exclusive 100. However, the sad truth is that Miss Gosciminski actually did finish 100th, and, but for my regrettable mistake, would have gotten the recognition that she rightfully earned.

Being unfamiliar with the format of the race, and having participated in only one previous road race, I committed the unpardonable sin of crossing the wrong finish line. I marveled 00020000059A000002C7

After catching my breath and enjoying a long period of self-satisfaction at my excellent time, I started surveying the area around me and things just didn’t add up.

First I noticed that there were two different timers, displaying times that differed by approximately three and a half minutes. Then I saw the glaringly obvious signs instructing the 1.5-milers to finish to the left of the orange cones and the 5k runners to finish to the right.

So, like Jan Brady when she realized she hadn’t really won the essay contest, I quickly decided to set the record straight.

By his reaction, the clipboard-toting race official in whom I confided made me feel as though I was telling my father I’d just lost my brand new eyeglasses. Head hanging low, I shuffled off to the results official, who met my admission with a surprisingly harsh “REALLY?”

Taken aback by her overt disdain, I hurried away without seeking clarification of just how my mistake would be remedied.

What is now obvious is that they properly included me in the 5k results. However, they did not correct my time. I actually completed the race in about 24:40, which puts me in a respectable, but decidedly un-newsworthy, 163rd place.

To all of you who were erroneously reported as having finished behind me, and especially Miss Gosciminski, please accept my sincere apology.

Lawrence O’Connell



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