|Marlon following his Boston Qualifying Run
2 things stand out here. The most obvious is the missing splits. Missing splits does not necessarily indicate cheating. There could be technical issues with the timing system or an issue with the chip.
Below are the intermediate splits.
|Pace per mile
|Pace per mile
Additionally, he had a nearly 4 minute chip/gun differential. I searched through a number of other runners, and didn’t find any other differentials this large.
Marlon did respond to an email I sent him prior to posting this article. He states that he did not warm up prior to the race and started conservatively before picking up his pace from the 7 mile marker until the end.
Nothing is indicative of the ability to run 3:05:37 marathon, or to run at 6:23 pace for any length of time. His fastest 5k on athlinks was 21:44 at the Divas 5k in 2014 (07:01 pace).
Marlon did state that he has run a 5k in just under 17 minutes. I will add this detail if he is able to provide the data supporting that.
Update – Marlon sent me the below screen shot from the Nike + App. I am not that familiar with the layout of this, but it shows that he ran 3.1 miles in 16:43. The splits are confusing. If I am reading this correctly, it shows the first 2 miles were ran in a total of 13:14, which would mean the last 1.1 mile were run in 3:29, according to the data Marlon sent me. I may be reading this wrong, so if someone can email me or add a comment on how to interpret this, I can add additional information to this.
|PR by 2+ Minutes? Officially a PR by 36 minutes
In this post, he says that his time of 3:05:37 is a PR by 2+ minutes. My thought was that perhaps he didn’t want to draw too much attention to that time since this marathon time was 36 minutes faster than his 2012 Philadelphia marathon time. Marlon explains this post through email.
Marlon did run Boston 2014 with a charity bib and finished in 4:19:00. He does not appear in the 2013 results, but this photo is on his Instagram – it appears that he did not get to finish due to the bombings.
I will update this story if any additional information becomes available. In addition to reaching out to Marlon, I have reached out to the New Jersey Marathon. The 2016 marathon was just this past weekend, so I don’t anticipate an immediate response from them.
After doing a more thorough review – looking to find a race that may have been a good indicator of his marathon PR, we came across the 2015 NYCRUNS Brrr-ooklyn 1/2 Marathon. Marlon finished this in 1:45:03. This was his best recent 1/2 marathon time, in slushy conditions.
Thanks to Strava, we can analyze this run in a little more detail. The first 6.5 miles were run in 57:05. It’s at that point, that he takes a restroom break according to the note below. This run started at 8:36 AM
According to his note he forgot to turn it back on until the last 3 miles. According to the Strava flyby, he was idle from 9:33 to 9:45. There is no data from 9:45 until he turns it back on at 9:54.The run resumes from the exact same point that he stopped at 9:33. It would have been impossible for him to have run a loop in the 12 minutes that the tracker was off.
To summarize, we have Strava data for all but 9 minutes of his run. The last run continues past the finish line.
From 8:36 to 9:45 = 1:09:00 = 6.5 Miles
From 9:45 to 9:54 = 9 minutes = ?
From 9:54 to 10:21= 27 minutes = approx 3 miles
Let’s take Marlon at his word, and assume that he just made just a brief stop in the restroom, and continued at 9:33 AM without his tracker turned on (Despite the flyby data showing him idle from 9:33 to 9:45).
He would have needed to have run 3.6 miles in less than 21 minutes. That would calculate be a 5:50 min/mi pace for the missing time (not allowing for the time spent in the restroom).
For a more detailed explanation of some of the evidence, see the follow up article.
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