Why Did These Marathon Runners Eat Grape-Scented Soap After the Race?

We don't blame them for thinking these soap bars were the coolest-looking energy snacks ever.

Putting on marathons is a a multi-million-dollar business, and while the U.S. has been at it for more than a century—after the first modern-style Olympic Marathon was held in Greece in 1896—other countries are just now starting to throw these epic races on a regular basis. So sometimes, little details get overlooked. Take the gift bag, for instance. It's a fun little bonus that runners can enjoy digging into after a grueling marathon—except when things go horribly wrong.

In Qingyuan, China this month, a marathon ended with nearly 12,000 injuries, as the Wall Street Journal reported. They included mostly sprains and muscle spasms, but this race wasn't the first time China has experienced injuries and even deaths as the country has been ramping up its marathon schedule over the past few years. Among the mishaps at the Qingyuan marathon was this strange incident: Some runners ate the grape-scented soap bars in their gift bags, thinking they were energy bars. That's understandable, since the labels were in English, untranslated. And those grape wrappers sure looked delicious....

On the bright side: At least it wasn't deodorant.


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