The New York City Marathon ended with an unusual mystery this weekend. After crossing the finish line Sunday, an Italian runner went missing into the concrete jungle that is the Big Apple.
Luckily, 39 hours later on Tuesday morning, the missing marathon runner was found just as mysteriously as he disappeared, wandering around lower Manhattan.
Gianclaudio Marengo, 30, competed in the marathon this weekend with thousands of other runners. He ran the marathon with residents of San Patrignano, a European addiction rehabilitation center, CBS New York reported.
Marengo is apparently a recovering heroin addict. The runner also suffers from an unspecified mental disability.
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Before the marathon, he was reported in the Italian press as saying that he took up competing in marathons to lose weight and change his lifestyle. According to the New York Daily News, the runner only speaks Italian.
On Sunday, Gianclaudio geared up for the marathon with his fellow Italian runners, who were staying in a Long Island City hotel together during their time in New York. The runner completed the 26.2-mile marathon in four hours and 44 minutes (as comparison, the top man and woman completed it in about half the time), and then went missing after crossing the finish line in Central Park.
He reportedly collected his things and simply disappeared around 3 p.m. Sunday. The missing runner never arrived at the Long Island City hotel to meet with his group, either.
They reported Marengo missing to the Italian consulate, which then contacted the NYPD. Afterward, the group returned home as local police continued to search for their missing friend.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning, when Officer Man Yem was on his way to work about 6:30 a.m. He took the southbound No. 2 subway train near Penn Station, and there, he spied the missing marathon runner.
The News reported Marengo was “wandering around” when he was spotted.
Thirty-nine hours after he vanished, Gianclaudio looked like he’d just stepped over the finish line, still wearing his racing clothes — a turquoise shirt, black shorts, and his marathon bib.
According to the New York Post, Officer Yem had to coax the missing marathon runner — who, again, doesn’t speak English — off the train. It wasn’t clear why he had to be convinced to leave with the officer, who then took him to the 1st Precinct station house.
Though he appeared to be in good health and news reports didn’t indicate any emotional or mental distress, Marengo was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. It wasn’t yet reported what the evaluation determined about the missing runner’s state.
Clad as he was in his marathon attire, including his bib, cops apparently tried to utilize the GPS tracker sewn into the bib — it’s used to track each runner’s progress. Cops were told that these trackers only work on the marathon route, and therefore couldn’t be used to find the missing runner, who had left Central Park and was found wandering far away from the place he went missing.
Besides the mysteriously missing runner, the New York City Marathon was a success, crowning four champions on Sunday: the men’s winner was Stanley Biwott; women’s winner, Mary Keitany; women’s wheelchair champ Tatyana McFadden; and men’s wheelchair champ Ernst Van Dyk.
Sunday’s win was a first for Biwott, 29, of Kenya. Keitany, 33, is also from Kenya, and returned to the marathon this year to defend her title. She is the first woman to achieve this distinction, according to a press release. The women’s wheelchair champion is an American. McFadden won her third-consecutive Grand Slam (London, Boston, Chicago and now, New York). Van Dyl, of South Africa, won his second New York marathon and first since 2005.
[Photo By Mike Stobe / Getty Images]