This 70-Year-Old Completed A Marathon With A Pineapple On His Head…Or Did He?

It seems like he may have only completed a half marathon instead

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In the world of marathon running, where athletes push beyond their limits under normal conditions, one individual has stood out for his unique approach to the sport.

Moshe Lederfien is a 70-year-old Israeli marathoner who has garnered attention not only for his impressive running times but also for his unconventional wardrobe addition—a pineapple.

Lederfien’s journey into the spotlight reached new heights at the 2024 Zurich Seville Marathon, where he crossed the finish line in a remarkable time of 3:21:48

Such a feat would have secured him a new Israeli Masters 70+ age group record. However, controversy soon followed as it emerged that Lederfien had only completed the second half of the race, starting at the 25 km mark.

While race officials did not disqualify Lederfien’s result, they did remove him from the leaderboard for age-group prize purposes, citing his partial completion of the course.

This decision sparked a wave of discussion, particularly among Spanish citizens who questioned the validity of his achievement at their local marathon. Spanish media outlets like MARCA reported on his performance, which drew both admiration and skepticism.

Critics pointed out the implausibility of running a half marathon with a pineapple atop one’s head in just over three hours, let alone completing a full marathon at that pace. Voices on social media platforms echoed these sentiments, with some expressing disbelief at Lederfien’s alleged accomplishment.

Lederfien, however, has remained silent on whether his intention was to run only half the course.

To activate the timing chip, he would have needed to cross the start line before veering off the course. This ambiguity has only fueled further speculation surrounding his motives and actions during the race.

Despite the controversy, Lederfien’s penchant for running with a pineapple on his head is nothing new. 

Having participated in marathons in Berlin, Valencia, and New York, he has consistently sported unusual headgear.

In an interview with Time News, Lederfien emphasized his goal of raising awareness about the health benefits of eating fruit and the importance of environmental conservation.

For Lederfien, running with a pineapple is more than just a quirky gimmick—it’s a statement.

By drawing attention to the nutritional value of fruit and advocating for environmental stewardship, he hopes to inspire others to adopt healthier lifestyles and contribute to a greener planet.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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