'Marathon' Image Laughable, Even by Stock Photo Standards

 istockphoto.com

istockphoto.com

A stock photograph of an alleged marathon finish line is comically bad, Dumb Runner has learned.

The image, titled "Male Athlete Winning Marathon Race," was discovered late Sunday on a stock-image website. It depicts a small group of "runners" in what appears to be a wooded park. A white-haired man at the front of the pack smiles, arms outstretched, as he reaches a red tape, presumably representing the finish line. 

Even by stock photography's already low standards, sources said, the photo is laughable for numerous reasons.

  • The subjects are wearing generic "Marathon" bib numbers, which are the road racing equivalent of seeing a sitcom character ordering "a beer" and being handed something labeled "BEER."
  • The bib numbers are obviously Photoshopped onto the subjects' shirts—and, in the case of the bib at far left, over the red tape.
  • The photo is eerily devoid of spectators, race officials, volunteers, barriers, or any other indication of an actual race.
  • The photo is also eerily devoid of perspiration. 
  • Everyone's hair looks fantastic.
  • The woman at right is glancing at the "winner" and grinning, as if to say, Well, you did it, you ol' son of a gun, whereas in a real race she would be staring ahead with dead eyes and open mouth.
  • The man breaking the tape has clearly never won a marathon, and likely has never even watched someone win a marathon, which is the only way to explain his body language and expression in the photo, which are less "I am winning a marathon" and more "euphoric zombie having a stroke."
  • The man breaking the tape, viewers are expected to believe, has beaten not just the young, fit-looking runners visible behind him but—based on his high bib number—at least 7,620 others in the race.
  • Just the man breaking the tape, basically.

The subjects were not available for comment, as they were all attending a "business meeting" in a bright conference room, smiling at each other as the white-haired man pointed to a plain white chart showing "sales."