By now, nearly everyone has heard about the letsrun challenge to Mike Rossi.
The Johnson brothers (Brojos) wrote an extremely compelling article summarizing the evidence supporting that Mike Rossi did not actually run the 2014 Lehigh Valley Marathon.
The biggest buzz about the article stems from the offers letsrun.com made to Mike.
From the article:
Now, we know it’s possible he’ll say he is injured and doesn’t have the time/motivation to train for the marathon. So we’ll also give him $10,000 if by the end of 2015 he breaks 70:00 in a standard 10-mile course or 20:00 for 5k. 70:00 for 10 miles is equivalent to 3:16:30 for the marathon according to McMillan and 20:00 for 5k is equivalent to 3:14:53 in marathon according to McMillan.
Update on 7/17/2015: We will pay him $100,000 if he runs 3:11:45 on a legitimate records-eligible course in the next 12 months where we have advanced notice of his participation ($10,000 per year for 10 years). A media outlet interviewed us today and asked about how the 3:25 challenge came about and we said, “We tried to come up with a time that was at least theoretically possible to preemptively rule out his excuse of, ‘I can’t be expected to have the race of my life once again.’”
Mike Rossi like all of us is a human who makes mistakes. Instead of confessing his mistakes and having a real learning moment for his children, he has doubled down in denial. We’ll gladly give $1,000 to the charity of Mike Rossi’s choice if he admits he cut the course at the Lehigh Valley Marathon.
We’ll pay $500 to see the 6 or possibly 7 photos where Mr. Rossi’s lawyer says his client says he is “in the image of people running on the course.”
@mikerossi22 Despite the evidence, I never called you a “cheater”Why don’t you just run another 3:11 marathon, earn 100k & end speculation?
— Cecily Tynan (@CecilyTynan) July 23, 2015
It is curious that when Ms. Tynan spoke out against him, instead of responding with evidence that he ran the marathon, he resorted to personal attacks. The same as he did with Tony Rigdon, as mentioned in the letsrun article. This is also the same tactic that anonymous posters have resorted to on the original letsrun.com thread. Mike also had a habit of changing his Facebook profile pages to the same profile pictures of his critics. He has since removed all of those posts including the tweet captured in the letsrun article.
If you go to twitter, you can read the entire exchange. Instead of answering the questions, he blasts letsrun,com instead of simply providing the photos that he claims he has, or offering additional evidence.
— Mike Rossi (@mikerossi22) July 23, 2015
Mike speaks of personal attacks against him. There is one or maybe two unique users that had made some personal comments. The letsrun community as a whole–myself included, spoke out against those posts. There are far more posts attacking Mike’s critics personally than were commenting on Mike’s family or business. I cannot say definitively that it was Mike was attacking his critics on letsrun.com since the posts were not made by registered users.
Be warned, if you go to twitter, don’t post anything against Mike, or you will be blocked. He doesn’t take well to criticism.
@mikerossi22 So mature Mike, block me. You can’t block or ignore the truth. Time to come back to reality, the lawsuits are about to start.
— letsgoflyers (@letsgoflyers24) July 24, 2015
My first block! Makes you look like a bigger ass, dude. @mikerossi22 @letsrundotcom @Marathoncheat pic.twitter.com/2JO4IOTNjN
— KathyDanielsPearman (@kathyldaniels) July 21, 2015
Mike claims he has unpublished photos of himself on the course. His lawyer claimed he had photos in correspondence with letsrun.com and Mike re-itterated that it in this exchange:
— Mike Rossi (@mikerossi22) July 23, 2015
But, he refuses to provide this evidence. All he does is attack his critics. Think about it, if the had evidence that he qualified for Boston legitimately what would he he have to lose? If he were to prove he ran the race – the story would again go viral – and he would be a sympathetic figure, that was unjustly called a cheater by a biased website. He’d once again get the positive attention that he enjoyed from his letter to the principal. What possible reason could Mike have to withhold evidence that he ran the race?
He wasted no time issuing a cease and desist letter to the one user that made this personal. (And I don’t disagree with doing that. I even warned that poster before he received the letter that he was risking a lawsuit). But multiple people, myself included have flat out called him a ‘cheater’ and not a word from the lawyer. That may be because he couldn’t prove where calling him a cheater actually resulted in any damages, or it may be because he would have to prove he ran the marathon.
It has become very obvious from the comments from registered users tied to all these articles, and on Cecily’s Facebook page that the vast majority of the public knows Mike cheated to qualify for Boston. It is time for Mike to come clean. The constant attacks have backfired and only have made runners more motivated to have Mike disqualified and to make the public aware of the evidence.