Examination of World Record Marathoners Part 2 – Larry Macon

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As I wrote in the original article – Parvaneh Moayedi was my initial focus. The tips I received via email and on the message boards were primarily about Parvaneh. As I dug in deeper, I couldn’t in good conscience write an article about Parvaneh, and not include information about Larry Macon. Larry is the better known of the two, but their stories are similar.

 

Larry Macon – 4 Time Record Holder for Most Marathons Run in 1 Year – Male
2008 – 105 marathons
2010 – 113 marathons
2012 – 157 marathons
12-1-2012 through 11-30-2013 – 239 marathons

Larry owns the Guinness World Record for male – Most Marathons Run in 1 Year. (239)

About Larry

From an ESPN.com article on Larry, ‘Obsessive’ lawyer can’t stop running,

 
It all started with a lie.
Larry Macon was sitting in a coffee shop in San Antonio with some of his fellow trial lawyers one Monday afternoon in 1996 when they started swapping tales of their weekend exploits. Some bragged about their golf games. Others about swimming or biking long distances.
When the conversation swung around to Macon, he chose fiction.
“They said, ‘Larry, what did you do?’ ” he recalls. “Well the truth is, Larry didn’t do anything. He worked all weekend. But I glanced at a newspaper and said, ‘Oh, I’m training for a marathon.’ Absolute lie. And they said, ‘That’s three weeks from now. Great, Larry, we’ll have a party for you after.’ Damn. Caught.”
From there Larry became addicted to marathon running, the obsession began to take on a new level with the pursuit of marathon records.

Progression of the Record

Larry’s Annual Marathon Record Progression
2008 – 105
2010 – 106
2011 – 113
2012 – 157
2013 – 255 (Note: Official record is 239 -The 255 record was never certified by Guinness)
The jump in marathons is almost entirely attributable to the I Ran Marathons races. As seen in the image below, he did collect quite a few I Ran Marathons medals.

 

Larry’s Races

The “I Ran Marathons” Series offered 106 races during Larry’s World Record window. Larry appears in the results of  102 of them.

He also ran 72 races in California. Most of them were at Charlie Alwine races.

An Impossible Schedule

Below is an excerpt from the ESPN article – dated January 15, 2014.
 
“Macon crisscrossed the country in 2013 to do as many as three marathons in three different cities on weekends…”

According to his results (available here) Larry was sold short. According to these results, he completed 6 marathons Friday-Sunday August 16th – 18th 2013.

In my opinion, had Larry managed to run 6 marathons in a weekend in 2013, he certainly wouldn’t have shortchanged this accomplishment when relaying his story to the ESPN reporter.

 

I pulled the above claimed results from Marathon Maniacs results. The marathon totals shown on the Maniacs page corresponds precisely with his Guinness record.

Even if Larry was very resourceful with early/late starts, the schedule above would be logistically impossible – not to mention the physical toll.

According to the above, he ran marathons in San Antonio and Huntington Beach on Friday (both races officially start early morning).

He then ran 2 marathons in California on Saturday in a combined time of  over 16 hours, and then traveled to Nevada for a midnight start in the E.T Marathon. Following the E.T. Marathon, he made it back to California for one last marathon. I cannot come up with a scenario – even given the most liberal of early or late starts where this schedule was even remotely possible.

A logistical impossibility

During his current Guinness World Record window, there were a total of 38 instances where Larry logged 2 marathons on the same day. Here are just a few examples.
Many of the other instances involved an I Ran Marathon and a Charlie Alewine Marathon on the same day.
According to Ken Fattman, who ran 3 I Ran races the same days as Larry,
 
(Larry) was allowed to “early start” before she arrived and was on an honor system to report his time and laps.
 
Ken did believe that Larry likely completed the marathon distance each of the 3 days he ran the “I Ran” races.

In Conclusion

I provided just a sampling of Larry’s races and seemingly impossible schedule.
His results came under question initially within a letsrun thread started in 2014 regarding Parvaneh. Many theorized that he was added to the I Ran Marathon results without his knowledge. No one followed up on his races in detail – although there was some analysis of his schedule – the focus was Parvaneh.

Additional Article Posted – Additional Information Obtained

https://www.marathoninvestigation.com/2016/06/time-for-guinness-to-act-additional.html

If you have any additional information please email me. Any information can be kept confidential. derek@marathoninvestigation.com

BACK TO PART 1 PARVANEH MOAYEDI AND I RAN MARATHONS

15 COMMENTS

  1. These two are a joke and I'm actually embarrassed for them, even more so for distance running.

  2. It is really walking… it's about a 16+ minute mile. When I started long distance running, I saw Larry at the smaller, local marathons back in 2008-10. I haven't really seen him around since, since I stopped registering for these little races that were horribly executed (no clear course map or guidance, poor timing records, RD doing it for profit and scrimping on caring for the registrants, etc.).

  3. Thank you for focusing some attention on these two. Amazing what they seem to have gotten away with. You are doing a service for the marathon community!

  4. great stuff as usual. the letsrun sleuths "caught" these two a long time ago, maybe your blog will give them the attention they "deserve"

  5. As a frequent (though not at this level) marathoner and Southern California native, I have NEVER heard of any of these races and worked and lived by Riverside. Also, there is no way anyone would run a marathon in August in Riverside in the evening, which would have to be the case because of the Huntington Beach one listed the same exact day. Given his "finishing times" and race locations it is physically and logistically impossible. How did he even get a certified world record with this? Crazy!

  6. I have to defend Larry here. I have been running marathons for 23 years and have spent a lot of time on the course with Larry. I say on the course, because he never stays after a race, he is always on his way to another race. He does get every advantage he can – early start, longer time limit whatever, hate the game not the player. I have seen Larry for 6 or 7 hours out and it is a long time on your feet. Is he in the gray area? Probably. Does he cheat – NO. Lisa SC

  7. I appreciate your taking the time to reply. Your post is consistent with a lot of what I hear. The races that I am struggling with are the smaller ones. How did he fit in 6 marathons in one weekend? I'm open to considering an explanation..but I cannot come up with one on my own.

  8. What originally got the LetsRun thread's attention on Larry was that he ran a marathon in rural Idaho on 6/13/14, a marathon in San Antonio on the same day, and a marathon on the Utah side of the Idaho place on 6/14 (see page 4-5 of that thread). He apparently has a supersonic private jet that can land at the smallest airports.

  9. Just because Larry honesty ran one marathon doesn't imply that Larry honesty ran all marathons. An infamous cheat from the 80s exploited this and she was defended by many because "I ran with her all the way" was true for one or two marathons.
    As for Larry's impossible logistics perhaps he has a TARDIS. In any case he can quite easily defend himself by putting it down to a clerical error in the Maniacs database.
    MP

  10. Larry is aware of Parvanehs results and checks in advance that there will ALWAYS be at least 10 starters, and claims the races in his totals. Funny thing is that the questionable names all start with 'M' which makes me wonder if that stands for 'money'. For 2 of the Chatlie races, there was some type of proof that Larry's car rental time was shorter than the combined time of 2 marathons. Guess he also didn't have to drive back and forth????

  11. I heard from the woman who recorded the times for Chatlies races that Larry was never there to actually have his time checked at the end of the races. Charlie provided the date and time and no one ever saw Larry on the courses.maybe check with some of Charlies finishers and see if there are fake names there.

  12. In 2009, the Trestle Valley Marathon in Minot, ND was canceled during the race due to unceasing snow. Last finisher was around 4 hours. Larry was there and was picked up by the bus along with many other runners. Yet, I see it's listed in his marathonmaniacs statistics

  13. The problem is bigger than these two people, although there are two very different sides to the problem. The 'runner' side is those who claim races although, if they run them at all, they start on their own, keep their own time, and report their own time and distance to appear in the results. The 'race director' side is a growing number (I know of at least 4) of for-profit entrepreneurs who will gladly post your result on the date of your choosing with the time and the distance you claim, and embed it as part of a "race" even if you were never in an organized start or finish. And increasingly these two types are merging — the for-profit entrepreneurs have discovered they gain more fame and money by also being listed among the most accomplished, so they now do both sets of behaviors!

Comments are closed.