Photo Evidence Proves Timing Issue in London Marathon Disqualification of Ryan Lee


I’ve been back and forth on the disqualification of Ryan Lee.

See below for the link to the article I wrote yesterday. Initially it seemed the video evidence was confirmation that Ryan Lee cut the course. Based on the timing and location of video he was identified in, it would put him at that location earlier than possible had he legitimately run the first 10k of the marathon.

Then this photo came to my attention..

Ryan is in the blue sweatshirt. He removed it later in the race.

Someone sent this photo to Ryan’s mom, who shared it on Facebook. She says it was taken on Charlton Park Way. Commentors on my prior article stated that it was at Charlton Park and Hornfair. Through the magic of Google Street View, I believe I have confirmed this.

Key to this photo evidence is  runner # 59621 in the foreground.
This runner started the race at 10:01 am, and the photo was taken at approximately mile 1.2.

If these runners actually started 15 and 1/2 minutes apart, it would be physically impossible that Ryan would have caught him by mile 1.2. 

Runner 59621 would have been past mile 1.2 before Ryan even started.

The only reasonable conclusion is that Ryan crossed the start prior to 10:16 am. 

Added this section for clarity:

Ryan’s official times showed that he crossed the start line 10:16:30. That is over 16 minutes after the race started. This data is inaccurate. Ryan likely crossed the start line about 1 to 2 minutes after the gun sounded.
The ‘fast’ 10k time that the marathon wants Ryan to replicate to prove he ran the marathon is based on the calculation from his alleged 16:30 minute delay. He hit the 10 kilometer point at 10:51 am. Accounting for the delayed start, the race thinks he ran the 10k in 34:10. This would be incredibly fast.
However the photo at approximately 1.2 miles into the race shows that Ryan had to have started the race much earlier. He is seen with a runner that started at 10:01. This runner hit the 5k mat at 10:27 am. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for Ryan to be near this runner if Ryan started 15 1/2 minutes after him. Ryan likely crossed the start line between 10:01 and 10:02 am. Crossing the 10k point at approximately 10:51 am, gives him a reasonable 10k time of 50 to 51 minutes

I think London should provide more detailed evidence as to the reason for Ryan’s disqualification. At the very least it would appear that there was an error with Ryan’s start time. In my opinion, the most likely scenario is that Ryan’s disqualification was based on this bad data, and should be reversed.


  1. But….he DIDNT cross the start line within a couple of minutes of the gun.
    A totally unknown runner having never done a race before does the first 10k in 33 minutes ? That's rather swift. What is this video evidence that made you think he cut the course?

  2. Started about 10:01:30 AM (NOT 10:16:30 AM)
    2.12km at 10:12:10 AM
    10km in 10:50:30 AM.
    It's clear as day the London Marathon timing has malfunctioned. MP

  3. Knowing Ryan in person he would never cheat he has way to much pride. And he respects his mum not to lie to her either so there's no way he cheated

  4. Look at the prior article for explanation of the video..however that photo does not lie. If he started 16 minutes late, it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for him to be in the photo with 59621 at mile 1.2. he would not have even crossed the line at that point.

  5. I had an event mark my start time as ~20 minutes into the race once, even though I'd started ~2 seconds in. When they looked through their computer data they saw that my chip registered at the right time (~2 seconds) and then again at ~20 minutes, even though I was almost three miles into the course and nowhere near *any* timing mat. The working theory is that somebody wandering around the start probably had an old chip from a different race on their shoe, that just happened to be the same as my number. I know the chips are more advanced now, but it's still possible that his "official" start is from somebody else carelessly not removing an old chip; they may well have evidence of his real start time in their system, which is just being overridden by the late start time.

  6. This is an interesting case and I hope all your detractors who claim all you do it hurt people are paying attention to the effort you are putting forth to see if you can clear someone. One weird thing – if his start time was off by 15 minutes, wouldn't he have known that? Why wouldn't that piece of info (that his official time was wrong) have been put out as part of the things to investigate beforehand?

  7. He may not have realized that they showed such a large differential. They removed his results. All he may have known was that they were questioning his times. The initial news report only mentioned the missed split – nothing about the very fast 10k time.

    I have a few of those types of questions, but am trying to focus just on the evidence. I have yet to have anyone that can explain how that photo exists if he really had a 16 1/2 minute differential. To me, unless that somehow gets explained, everything else is just noise.

  8. This has been a great exercise in attempting to exonerate a runner who appears to have legitimately run the course.

    Here's the thing: I think Lee's DQ is going to be upheld. Why? Look back at the photo that supposedly clears him. His bib is not visible. If anything, the race director will hang his/her hat on the fact that Lee violated course rules by not keeping his bib visible while on the course route.

  9. I hope they don't disqualify him because his bib wasn't visible. That would be getting him on a technicality and I think there would be outrage if the marathon organizers decided to pick on an 18-year old guy because of that. In fact, when confronted with this other photo, I would hope the organizers would soften their stance and not continue to challenge him to run a 33-minute 10k. It's definitely him because the shorts are quite distinctive and MarathonFoto shows him with the same Adidas sweatshirt presumably before the race.

  10. Any other year it wouldn't matter a jot to the organisers, but this year if his result is reinstated that means embarrassingly for the organisers that the millionth finisher was awarded to the wrong person.

  11. I didn't see it above but known runners in the photo are Hernandez Ramos (59621) and Hyatt (18384). There's also a man called PETE in an Alzheimer's Society singlet but I couldn't find him in results. There's overwhelming evidence showing that Ryan Lee's start time is incorrect. His chip time is unknown but his gun time is 4:16:24

    London has a few organizational problems that most other international marathons do not: No photographers at the start or 5km; Completely removing results instead of the usual 'DQ'; And probably worst of all the complete reliance on a RFID chip been recorded at the start line. It appears Ryan Lee is one victim of all these. MP

  12. I'm not sure why this is still dragging on. This photo proves there was a start time error, which resulted in the bad split. Irntion 59621 in the article. His being in that picture is the entire reason I believe Ryan is innocent.

  13. He hasn't been officially Disqualified according to organizers. He has been removed from results pending the investigation.

  14. Agree. Unless London provide/have additional evidence, I cannot see how Ryan can be DQ. They should also do it promptly as it's unfair to Ryan to keep it dragging on.

  15. Again he CANNOT be in that photo, and have a start time 16:30 after the gun. I don't get how he has not been reinstated. The only way is if they claim that the photo is not him. But everything matches..the sweatshirt, shorts, etc.

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