There was a runner that was flagged as having a suspicious result during the review of Boston 2015 qualifiers. The questionable result occurred at the 2014 Green Bay marathon. He missed multiple splits and looking at the course map, it is difficult to figure exactly how this was accomplished.
This runner hit splits at 5 miles, 15 miles and has a finish time. He missed the 10, 13.1 and 20 mile splits. He is the only runner in the results that missed this combination of splits.
Split times calculated:
The missed splits, and negative calculated splits made it very likely that this runner cut the course. But, I still left him off the list of confirmed cheaters. I was having trouble figuring out how he would have hit the 15 mile split and miss the 1/2 marathon split. and how he hit the 15 mile split and not the 20. If you believe he did indeed cut this course, you would have to assume that he had transportation between the checkpoints – otherwise he would have hit more mats – even if he cut the course in the most obvious spots.
There were additional questions regarding two Columbus marathon results.
In 2012, he finished Columbus in 3:51:38. The split between 13.1 and 20m jumped out at 7:08 min/mi.
In 2013, he showed nearly identical splits. But, this year there was a 28k mat added, and he missed it.
The pace between 13.1 and 20 mile, calculates to 7:03 min/mi. This is very close to the split registered in 2012.
See the below map for Columbus 2013.
2 things here, the added split is at Ohio Stadium. this section is easily cut – it is an out and back loop. Secondly, looking at the elevation profile (and from personal experience), the section where this runner has the abnormally fast split, is net uphill. From about mile 17 and 20, it is steadily uphill. There is no way that anyone runs this section as their fastest split.
This brings us to the 2016 RNR Nashville Marathon. I received a tip regarding this runner and immediately recognized the name.
He missed the 1/2 mat. These results show that he completed the 10 miles from mile 10 to mile 20 in 46:38. That calculates to 4:40 min/mile.
This runner has been reported to Nashville Marathon Officials. I also plan to make Green Bay officials aware of this new information. If Green Bay does issue a disqualification, that will open the door for Boston to take action since he used Green Bay as his qualifier.
Green Bay on its own is somewhat suspicious, but no smoking gun. For Columbus, it seems clear he cut the stadium section. Nashville is an obvious cheat and DQ. Not sure I'd DQ if I were the Green Bay RD. Could I use the fact that he cheated in other races?
I pretty much agree with everything you posted. The Green Bay RD was contacted initially, but not by me. I will forward the information to him, but don't really have expectations. I do think that the information from Columbus and now Nashville makes it pretty clear. But if the Green Bay RD only looks at his race (as may be appropriate) I don't expect them to DQ.
I ran Green Bay that year and dropped out at mile 14 because I'd gotten sick the night before. I have to say that I can't really imagine how somebody would actually intentionally cut this course – the road blockages and traffic stoppage were such that it would be easier to run the course than to cut it, and it took the non-emergency medical van an HOUR to come and get me from the mile 14 medical tent – and that was a vehicle that was allowed to cut through the course.
That said, there are other possibilities, as the race isn't very organized. Despite dropping out at mile 14, the race apparently *DIDN'T* flag me as DNF, because when the med van dropped me off on the *WRONG SIDE* of the finish line and I had to cross it to get to my family, they credited me with the finish. Not only did the race *not* catch this error, but it took me almost two years to get them to remove the false time, even though I was missing all mats from HM to the finish. Removing known-bad records isn't a priority for them.
I take back the "can't imagine" bit – I was thinking of using a vehicle to cut, which wouldn't work, but by slipping off the course one could cut out two separate loops. Neither of those involve the course crossing over itself so while running the course I hadn't noticed either, but somebody who planned ahead for it would have an easy time of it.
It'd be simple to cut the 6-12 loop and the 16.5-20.5 loop, but why would you hit the 15 and not the 13.1?
Were there pictures of him around the timing mats? Race officials on the course is looking for runners with bibs for cutting. If he can quickly remove his bib and tuck it in his short, then he is just a regular runner especially when the course uses a public bike path.
In regards to Ohio stadium that 18-21 miles is well known to season runners like myself that it's longer than 3 miles and slightly uphill so it's impossible for anyone to get a record pace.
Maybe he only skipped the 7.5-11 segment, thus missing the 10, and there was a legit chip malfunction at the half? Definitely easy to skip 16.5 to 20.5.
What kind of half did he need to get a guaranteed NYC entry? He "won" his age group at the Summerfest Rock 'n Sole Half in 2014, with literally zero time between his 5k and 15k splits.
Looks to me like he cheated at Columbus twice, but couldn't figure out how to do it well enough to BQ, so he upped the ante at Green Bay (close to home) and then laid down a doozy at Summerfest.
Looking at the course map for the Summerfest Rock 'n Sole Half it's hard to figure out how he could teleport from 5k to 15k without a single second gained, that being said it could be some function of the timing software trying to rectify the irregularities in the data. There certainly are a number of other areas along the course that one could cut without too much trouble… Seems like he could be a serial cheater, let's hope this guys is one of those who chooses to admit guilt and accept the DQ's.
This runner has apparently been scrubbed from the official 2016 Nashville results.
The course-cutter has been banned from future Columbus Marathons.
Thanks for the information. Did you get this directly from Columbus Marathon?
Comments are closed.