Update : Additional Information on Disqualified London Runner

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Be sure to read this update as well.Photo Evidence Proves Timing Issue in London Marathon Disqualification of Ryan Lee

Summary

Ryan Floyd Lee Ran London as his first ever marathon. His official time was 3:58:32. He has since been disqualified, and his results have been removed from the official London marathon results. According to an article on This Local London, he was disqualified for missing the 5k split. His mother is leading an effort to find evidence that would vindicate him. I saw this article, and put up a post asking for additional evidence. If he indeed was disqualified for mising a single split, without knowing any other information, it would seem that the disqualification was excessive.
Thanks to comments and emails from my readers, we are able to clarify some of the information, as well as raise a few more questions. we still do not have Ryan’s actual splits, which would really help bring everything together.

Ryan’s Start Time

Ryan was in the blue start, you can tell by his bib. Looking at the finish line photos, there are two other runners from the blue wave crossing at the same time. Runner 534 had a 6:44 chip/start differential. Runner 19885 had a 2:39 differential. 
Using this photo, and the other runner’s finish times – we can tell that Ryan finished at 2:15 PM. Or a 4:15:00 gun time.  His net time was 3:58:32 – a 16 1/2 minute differential between his chip time and the gun time.

I did search through other bib #s, and found other runners with large chip differentials. Runner # 4730 for example, had a 15 1/2 minute differential. It would appear that Ryan started at the very back of the Blue Start.

The Video

UPDATE: CONFIRMED WITH MOM THAT IT IS RYAN IN VIDEO. SAYS JACKET REMOVED AT BEND BEFORE CUTTY SARK. THIS VIDEO WAS TAKEN BEFORE THAT POINT. I BELIEVE HE REMOVED IT AT AROUND 10 KM AT THE LATEST.
In the comments on the initial article on ThisLocalLondon.com, a commentor pointed to a link in the broadcast fee where they believed they spotted Ryan.

 The runner with bib # 30004 is spotted in the video, (Blue shirt bottom right corner- cant see bib in the above shot, but you can catch it in the video, and I verified it by looking up his bib on marathonfoto). 
There is a 3:17 difference between the time on the youtube video and the elite start time. This point in the video was filmed at 10:52 am. Bib 30004 hit the 10k mat at 10:50:23 AM. This puts this video just past the 10k mat. Therefore, even if the runner in the video is Ryan, it does not prove that he was on the course before the 10k split.

If Runner in the Video is Ryan

He would have hit the 10k mat at approximately the same time as runner 30004 – at approximately 10:50 am.  Accounting for Ryan’s 16:30 gun/chip differential, he would have crossed the 10k at an approximate 33:30 split.  This would be a 5:24 min/mi pace.

This is where having the actual splits would be conclusive. It could either rule out that the runner in the video is Ryan, or it would confirm that Ryan crossed the 10k mat in the time the video indicates, and would confirm the decision to disqualify.

Unpublished Mats

Articles regarding Natasha Argent’s disqualification state that she missed timing checkpoints 13-23. This would indicate that there are many unpublished checkpoints. Much of the doubt regarding the initial disqualification was the statement that he was disqualified for missing a single mat at 5k. It would appear likely that there were other mats prior to the 10k mat that he registered. If he did cut off a significant portion of the first 10k, he would have missed these additional checkpoints.

Summary

If he did cut the course, it is my belief that he would have crossed the start line (at the back of the pack), and cut through the park to the point just before the 10k mats. If it is Ryan pictured in the video, I think the evidence against him would be irrefutable. His timing splits would back up this conclusion.
I would expect that the disqualification was a result of additional missed unpublished mats or an implausible 10k split along with the missed timing point(s), and not just simply a single missed mat with nothing additional.

Update

I’ve messaged the mom, and she confirms that it is Ryan in that video. There is one possible way that this isn’t the damning evidence that I think it is – if the footage of the group of runners was an edit, and taken earlier. However she says he removed his jacket after the 10km point – near Cutty Sark. I don’t believe this to be the case, but it is a possibility if he removed the jacket earlier than he recalls.
Also, another photo surfaced.

This is said to have been taken at Charlton Park Lane. That would put him somewhere between miles 1 and 3,  If this is verified, it would disprove the theory that he crossed at the start and immediately cut to the North end just before the 10km point.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I've looked through the information you've received so far and agree with your conclusions. If that is Ryan in the video, he likely cut the course at the start and was rightfully disqualified.

  2. if checkpoints 13-23 refers to miles, then it corresponds to the published checkpoints at the half through to 35km. In england they do use miles for distance but often mix in metric measures. I didn't read anything about unpublished checkpoints.

  3. Natasha Argent was pretty obvious from the published tracking in the article… she went through 20K in 2:17, then didn't resurface until she hit 40K in 3:05. So that's 48 min to cover 20K, so I guess we can understand her taking 39 min to walk the last 2.2k after all those sub-4:00 miles. 😉

  4. Chuck, I believe the mile checkpoints are unpublished in the sense that you cannot see these split times in the race results — only the 5K splits and the Half split.

  5. Hopefully the marathon releases the splits. Added a photo supposedly at Charlton Park Way. The video is definitely him..if that was a live shot it's damning. But it could be an edit of earlier group footage.

  6. I'm transferring my own values and memories of what it was to be 18 on Ryan, but there doesn't seem to be any point in skipping the first 10k of a marathon if you're going to still have to run 20 miles (plus the mile-ish across the park) and then finish in 4 hours. Yes, he's got a better chance to actually finish 20 miles instead of 26, but he still has to run for 4 hours to get there. Seems like a waste of energy to me. It's not a BQ, doesn't win him any money or any other prizes. All he gets is the medal and a claim that he finished the race. And why would an 18 year old kid come up with this plan? What's he get out of it?
    Has anyone checked to see if any of his friends or anyone else he started with around the same time also got DQ'd for missing the 10k mat? Putting myself in an 18 year old's mind, I could see coming up with this as a "fun" plan with friends to horse around rather than a devious plot to cheat.

  7. That photo was taken on the corner of Charlton Park Lane and Hornfair Road. It's on the blue course about 1.3 miles from the start. The runner near Lee is Ignacio Hernandez Ramos (59621) so the photo was taken at about 10:12:04 AM. Lee hit the 10km mark at about 10:50:23 AM so his pace from 2.12km to 10km was 4:52/km which is about the pace expected of firsttimer finishing in 4 hours. I'll wager than Lee started at about 10:02 AM (not 10:16:26 AM), he did not cut the course, and there's been a major failure in London's timing equipment. MP

  8. It doesn't make sense that this 18 yr old would cheat like this but it also doesn't make sense that the London marathon would DQ him without some strong evidence. I would think that if London did that then we would have heard a lot of complaints from a lot of runners. I once had my timing chip fail to register at the finish line of a half marathon but the RD looked at the video, figured out who i was and gave me a finishing time. It's not inconceivable that there was a legitimate failure to register one mat. It's a headscratcher for sure.

  9. Not a London resident, but Google street view does suggest the still photo was at Charlton Park Lane and Hornfair and that definitely looks like the shorts he wore.

  10. The fact that he has a picture at that point is promising for him. For him to be next to Ignacio at 1.3 miles he could not have started 16 minutes late.

  11. To say he cheated, he would have needed to cut up North after that photo..that would be a stretch, and I don't see the motivation..I've gone back and forth on this quite a bit. London really should provide more information.

  12. Agreed, I think the onus is now on London to provide more information. Looks like this lad has been aggrieved and it's a shame as it will taint his first marathon experience.

    How is the chip/gun differential explained? Timing error on London's part? He must have ran it slower than his official chip time?

  13. I don't know. And I did find another runner with a similar differential that started in that wave..I may try to contact her to see if she really started that late. I've sent a message to Ryan's mom to see if she believes Ryan started that far back. I don't see how that would be possible – he could not have caught up to Ramos if that were the case. I was focusing on Ramos, but not knowing for sure where that photo was taken, I wasn't getting anywhere. Was about to go through street view as the other reader did.

  14. There are (hundreds) blue starters as late as 10:15 AM but not 10:16 AM. There are red starters as late as 10:30 AM but not 10:31 AM.

    Assuming he was carrying his chip before the 10km mat and assuming it was on his foot, all I can think of is Ryan Lee has triggered the blue start mat at 10:01-10:03 AM. Somehow the start mat has recorded another #4728 at 10:16:30 AM. Timing defaults to the last record so according to timing he would have run the first 5km in 10.5 minutes and hence the DQ. MP

  15. Can anyone read the 'Wave' number on his start bib (small blue number, bottom right of bigger race number as we look)? This should give a better idea of his start time. I ran Blue start in Wave 2 in 2014 at had a 29 seconds differential, my sister in Wave 9 had a 15 minute differential.

  16. The only thing I thought was that for the 10k mark, that video is very very crowded, I do photography on marathon day and usuallu start by home in Woolwich and move around the route, also ran it twice, to me the video looks much earlier ?

  17. But even if it default to the last one it will log the first one as an anomaly usually so they would surely be able to see their was some kind of problem.

    Also are you sure it will log the second one, lots of people at runs run back after they finish to finish with their partner etc and ones I have known to do it seem to get the correct time so I assumed it would take the first time ?

  18. I assume VLM have to give the evidence, after all they are accusing him of being a cheat which is pretty libellous.

    So they must have given I assume the mats missed, if its just the 5k then obviously they have disproved their own case, you cant run the start 1,2,3,4 and just miss the 5k mat and miss any major part of the route.

    If they have not supplied the information then I would advise him to apply to their data protection registrar for a copy of ALL the information under the data protection act.

    Are their any official photographers after the start before the 5k ?
    If so I assume nobody got his picture ?

    The jacket is a hindrance, it was cold that day, I was in Canary Wharf and was freezing but it could also have been to hide his number if he did go through the park and also if he never to0k it off until 10k it would also mean the reason for no official photos or even spectator photos you could easily identify.

    Coming down through the park and joining in Greenwich though, that would not be easy, nearly all the Greenwich part is barrierd off and very full spectator wise and just getting down through the park with all the start going on.

    Its a strange one, as a runner I can see why Natasha Argent did it, she cut off a massive part of it, he would only be cutting off about 5/6 miles and still running 20, she probably never trained properly but anyone managing 20 miles is doing well.

  19. The quickest way to get from 1.3 miles in on the Blue start round to the 10km point is to keep on following the course. Assuming that he didn't have the photographer positioned at the 1.3 mile point deliberately and then jumped back off the course right after the photo was taken.

    To get to the 10km point you'd first have to negotiate the Red course and if he started at Blue with only a minute or so time delay after the gun, the Red course is going to be at least as packed with runners and you will not easily be getting straight across the road. You might be able to make it to the 10km point a minute or so quicker, but it's not like you are going to be able to save yourself much time.

    The obvious places to attempt to cut the course are around miles 9/ 13/ 16 where there is more to be potentially gained without much effort. If he'd crossed the start line and immediately cut back through Greenwich Park then maybe, but not from 2miles in before making a break for it.

  20. The quickest way to get from 1.3 miles in on the Blue start round to the 10km point is to keep on following the course. Assuming that he didn't have the photographer positioned at the 1.3 mile point deliberately and then jumped back off the course right after the photo was taken.

    To get to the 10km point you'd first have to negotiate the Red course and if he started at Blue with only a minute or so time delay after the gun, the Red course is going to be at least as packed with runners and you will not easily be getting straight across the road. You might be able to make it to the 10km point a minute or so quicker, but it's not like you are going to be able to save yourself much time.

    The obvious places to attempt to cut the course are around miles 9/ 13/ 16 where there is more to be potentially gained without much effort. If he'd crossed the start line and immediately cut back through Greenwich Park then maybe, but not from 2miles in before making a break for it.

  21. Disagree that the quickest route from 1.3 miles to 10k is the route. There's a left hand turn shortly after this photo which could be followed all the way to the bottom of the hill to rejoin the course somewhere around the 9k mark. BUT as stated that route would involve crossing the red route – tricky but not impossible.

    The splits have gone from the VMLM website – but they were there last week and the drop in speed from the first 10k in 34m to the subsequent splits (average 32 min/5k) was compelling support for his disqualification.

    Just a correction on the Natasha Argent story – she missed out the mile markers from 13-23 miles. there are no mats there – the mats are only at the 5k points. What she dis was cut straight from about mile 13 to about mile 23.

  22. Read the newest article. If he had started 16 minutes late as the results show, he COULD NOT have been in the photo at the time it was taken.

  23. Thanks for the information on the mats. When the marathon replied and mentioned nothing of the additional mats, I thought the way you explained may be the case.

    The key from that photo is that if he had a 16:30 chip/gun differential he COULD NOT have been in a photo with runner # 59621 at mile 1.2. That runner crossed the 5k point 27 minutes after the gun..he would have been just about to the 5k point by the time Ryan would have made it to that spot.

  24. I remember looking at this runners chip times online a couple of days after the marathon. I have run the course before.

    The timing mats are every 5 km.

    What struck me about his times, the 10k timing mat WAS tripped at 34 minutes. Failing to trip A mat wouldn't arouse suspicion necessarily. What HAS aroused suspicion with the organisers is the fact that he tripped 10k at 34 minutes and then all of his other split times were between 23-27 minutes for each 5k.

    It's highly unlikely that the first 10k was clocked in 34 minutes.

    He's 18 years old. Perhaps he was messing around with friends, perhaps he cut a bit, perhaps he genuinely ran like hell. However, I don't think it likely that the first 10k was completed in 34 minutes.

    We all do daft things at 18.

  25. Please look at the article linked on the bottom of the page. No, he did not run 10k in 34 minutes. But the photo PROVES he started sooner than the results showed, meaning he crossed the 10k closer to 52 minutes.

  26. Ah, that's interesting. And 52 minutes would tally in well with the rest of the race, perhaps fractionally slower than a couple of the later splits but that would make sense considering the congestion and the fact the first bit of the route is quite up and down.

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