No Shortage of Course Cutting at the 2016 Honolulu Marathon


Honolulu is a very large marathon, with over 22,000 finishers. There were a large # of runners that missed timing mats – some of this would be expected with the large # of runners crossing in a short period of time.

However, some of the missed splits were a result of course cutting. As usual I limited my search primarily to those that cheated to record a Boston Qualifying Time.

13 runners have been identified with Boston Qualifying times. I am only going to highlight those that either achieved exceptional results (placed in their age group) or are claiming that they ran the distance by appearing with finishers medal.

Bib # 13890 M55-59 2:57:08 – 1st in Age Group – 50th Place Overall BQ

5km      34:50
10km 1:07:10
15km  1:42:26
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 2:40:54

No Photos available on marathonfoto

According to the splits above, this runner ran the last 15.5 miles in 58:28 – a 3:46 per mile pace.

Past results are all over 4 hours. Looking at splits from both 2014 Las Vegas and 2013 L.A. Marathon, he missed splits as well.

Bib # 14132 M65-69 3:30:01 – 3rd in Age Group BQ

5km      43:49
10km 1:27:06
15km  2:13:11
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 3:12:19

This runner was running 14 minutes per mile through 15k.  He clocked a 3:49 minute/mile pace from 15k through 40k. 

Bib # 13001 W30-34 3:30:01 – 8th in Age Group BQ

5km      46:24
10km 1:57:33
15km  missed mat
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 2:47:57

These splits show a time of 48:24 from 10km through 40km – a pace of 2:36 per mile.

Bib # 3140 W45-49 3:43:41 – 8th in Age Group BQ

5km      38:58
10km 1:14:19
15km  missed mat
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km missed mat

These splits calculate to a pace of 4:38 per mile from 10km through the finish. She started at over 12 minute/mile pace.

She has multiple other Honolulu Marathon finishes, most around 4:30:00. She does appear in the results of the 2011 Honolulu Marathon with a time of 3:4:37 – and again is missing all splits after 10km.

Bib # 3357 M65-69 3:45:04 – 6th in Age Group BQ

5km    1:10:51
10km  2:21:26
15km  missed mat
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 3:14:42

I won’t continue to do present the math. You can quickly tell that the splits show he ran 30k in under an hour. Not possible.

This runner also shows up in the results of 2015 Homolulu with a time of 3:48:11 while missing multiple splits.

Bib # 7348 M60-64 3:46:18 –  BQ

5km    38:35
10km  1:37:35
15km  missed mat
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 3:30:41

This runner finished 2015 Honolulu in 4:58:53 and 2013 in 8:05:28.

Bib # 5498 W70-74 4:13:52 1st Place Age Group BQ

5km    1:06:02
10km  2:13:34
15km  missed mat
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 3:48:48

Bib # 14326 W65-69 4:21:05 5th Place Age Group BQ

5km    38:34
10km  1:25:26
15km  2:14:35
21km missed mat
25km missed mat
30km missed mat
40km 3:58:15

This runner also missed mats in 2015, finishing with a time of 4:16:32.

All of these runners, as well as the additional runners that were identified have been reported to timing officials.

Lastly, some people have asked for a way to contribute to the blog, so I have added a link to make a contribution if you’d wish to support the efforts. Anything received will go directly to promoting the blog and any costs associated with enhancing the efforts to catch and prevent marathon cheating.



  1. The BAA should pull qualifier status to any race that can't minimize this type of course cutting. I'm sure there are plenty of ways races can be proactive, especially if that status is on the line. This is ridiculous.

  2. None of the runners identified in this Honolulu race as cutting the course have ever previously been in the Boston Marathon. That was verified by looking at the Boston Athletic Association archive of marathon finishers from 2001 to 2016. I would guess that many of these individuals entered the marathon, did not properly trained and decided to call it a day about six miles into the race. Yes they shortcut the course, but I doubt that few if any on this particular course were seeking to get a qualifying time for Boston

  3. Responding to Anonymous Dec. 13 10:29PM

    Any of these runners could (until this post) have entered Boston 2018.
    Several would have taken AG awards from runners that actually ran the course.
    Several appear to be serial cheaters.

    I don't understand the point of your post.

  4. The point of my post was that I don't believe that these people were trying to cheat at Honolulu to get a Boston qualifying time. I have already taken the step of getting their times thrown out in any event. However they seem to me to be the penguins at the back of the pack of a marathon race. Very inexperienced and very undertrained. It looked like some considered running 6 miles to be a medal worthy effort.

  5. This is so incredibly sad. I've only looked at a few pages of 2 age groups so far and…. #9968, #5036, #10117, #5544, #9727 are also likely suspect. I'm sure there are MANY more!!!

  6. Someone has way too much time on their hands to put all this together. I notice a PayPal "per past inquiries about how to help". OK… Are these people Bib bandits? If the answer is no, then these people are not worth my time.

  7. If you've ever passed a slow runner (who appears to be in your age group) early in a race and then miles later spotted the person AHEAD of you, you'd know why it's a big deal. The runners who cannot finish the course should never cut the course and cross the Finish Line. If they have any integrity whatsoever, they will leave the course and accept a DNF. Lesson learned, train harder for next year.

  8. Man these people simply have no respect for the sport, or for other people. Im sure a "red flag alert" could be programmed into the timing system that flags missed mats, coupled with a following dramatic spike in pace. Then it would be simple so investigate and dq is necessary

  9. I'm calling out the gals in Female (45-49) who conveniently missed the timing pads:

    Bib #2556, 24th place, Sharon Morbito of HI
    5km 53:56
    10km 2:12
    15km missed mat
    21km missed mat
    25km missed mat
    30km missed mat
    40km 3:38
    finished: 3:55

    Bib #1654, 256th place, Venus Huralde of HI
    5km 1:05
    10km 2:13
    15km 3:14
    21km missed mat
    25km missed mat
    30km missed mat
    40km 4:50
    finished: 5:20

    Bib #24,134, 291th place, Tsukimi Kimura of Japan
    5km 1:21
    10km 2:43
    15km missed mat
    21km missed mat
    25km missed mat
    30km missed mat
    40km 4:59
    finished: 5:28

    Bib #12,649, 487th place, Michelle Mathiesen of North Carolina
    5km 1:38
    10km 2:37
    15km 3:51
    21km missed mat
    25km missed mat
    30km missed mat
    40km 5:43
    finished: 6:10

  10. Most of these people probably just want their medal and photo at the end. None of them intend to actually run Boston. : )

  11. I personally knew two Charlotte runners who cheated. One set many age group records and I passed her 6 times in a marathon but she never passed me. Then I saw her getting in and out of her boyfriends car.

  12. I know of one runner who cut at a SF marathon course, whether on purpose of by accident. (Apparently some leads did the same) This race was now about 5 years ago. However, she then used the fake time for New York guaranteed entry and Boston. I reported it to BAA and NYRR, but they did not do anything! I provided a link to her splits. So she was still able to participate in both events. If others know that these organizations don't check runners' splits in the qualifying race, what would prevent them from just entering even a fake time?

  13. Agree! As a back of the packed "penguin" who hopes that with much much hard work I may someday make it to Boston-I would be so upset to lose out to a cheater

  14. It's awfully easy to cut the course at Honolulu. Between just over 11 miles and just over 15 miles runners are on both side of the same road, separated only by cones (with maybe 100' spacing) and crossing over is very easy.

    I was in the race this year (for the first time, although I've run many marathons) and, because I was motoring along very slowly, was casually on the lookout for course-cutters (I was a timer for 25 years). I didn't see any — but the thing was, it was very common to see back-of-the-pack people on the sidelines, stretching or taking selfies, or in groups talking. Given those circumstances, no one would have noticed somebody drifting over into the other lane, stopping on the far (back) side as if in trouble, staying there for a moment or two until everybody who might have seen the cross-over had gone by, and thus cutting the course.

    I don't blame the race organizers at all. That section can't be closely monitored under any circumstances (except by mats; I'm sure that's why the 21k mats were there) and marking the out and back lanes with anything other than cones would similarly be impossible.

  15. I think the race is marketed to the Japanese tourists as a "10k optional" and I think the course was designed to allow cutters. The more people who can cut means that more people are willing to enter the race. I saw several people on the marathon page saying "I did the 10k" ….. uhhhh there was no 10k.

  16. How are the promoters not catching these obvious cheats! We need a listing of marathons with history of not DQing obvious cheating! I would not run those events until they made efforts to maintain the integrity of the sport!

  17. I don't know about the marketing — you could be right there. But I do know that the course wasn't designed to allow cutters. I was the race timer for 3 years back in the 80s, and although I didn't have anything to do with the course per se, I certainly spent time discussing the race with the organizers.

    As for the "10k" thing – there was an official 10K walk that started at the common start line, and finished near (but not at) the finish line. The 10k walk wasn't timed. So there's nothing unusual about saying "I did the 10k."

  18. It's obvious to me that 99.9% of these people are just having fun, and didn't set out to screw with anyone who's a serious runner. People need to calm down and enjoy life.

  19. Japan Airlines (JAL) is the major corporate sponsor for Honolulu Marathon. Between 10 and 15 thousand entrants from Japan annually. Some are trying to qualify for other marathons. Most are there to be able to say they did a marathon – like many of us. I have found it alternately entertaining and annoying through the years to watch these folks because they come as running clubs, know each other, stop and take pictures, stop to cheer their faster friends on, generally have more a party atmosphere going.

    The 10k option that has been mentioned might be the Mayor's Walk – a 10k that starts at the same location just after the masses have crossed for the marathon start. The Mayor's Walk follows the same route as the marathon, finishing at Kapiolani Park near the marathon finish line. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the entrants reported here decided 10k was enough and just went into that finish line, hanging around for whatever amount of time until they decided to 'finish' the marathon. The 15k mark is on the other side of Diamond Head just as the route turns east. Another easy spot to decide to go back to the park and 'finish' the marathon later.

    Whatever the reasons, it is pretty tacky to claim an award (shirt and medallion) for something that wasn't done.

  20. Honest people who enter races and find they can't run the full distance drop out and then refrain from crossing the finish line and they don't take (and pose with) finisher medals. "I am only going to highlight those that either achieved exceptional results (placed in their age group) or are claiming that they ran the distance by appearing with finishers medal."

    Someone who takes an AG award without earning it steals the earned glory who that person who thinks she or he finished 4th, just out of the medals. It's not a victim-less crime (I mean, it's not a crime, either, but the point is it does hurt someone). Same for taking a place at Boston, a very scarce resource.

  21. there are many runners that take training and competing in marathons very seriously, especially those attempting to qualify for Boston. Those that cheat, and take a top/AG finisher place is simply wrong.

  22. So for my age group, I actually did better than 892/918! whooo hoooo!..since I didn't miss ANY of the markers!. I would suggest Honolulu Marathon officials give ANY bib# that missed the timer marks certificate of Disqualified for an official time! As for CHEATERS!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRR may you get bad luck! bahhahahahaha

  23. There is always a mat out at the apex of the hawaii kai drive loop. That's not a Mile or KM marker… I always thought that was a "checker" mat to make sure all runners made it out to the point at least. If not, what is it for?

  24. I don't know anything about marathons. What does "missed mat" mean? Are the runners supposed to check in at each mile marker?

  25. You know what? So what if they cheated. They paid your money, so what.I am going to share a story with you.I have honestly completed 3 marathons in Hawaii. In 2014 I was registered to run but fell ill and one of my friends who happened to be handicapped and in a wheel chair was telling me how much he always wanted to do one of them but obviously couldn't. So keeping it a secret I walked up Diamond head and put on my number at triangle park in a port-a-john. I crossed the finish line and immediately went over to get my shirt that I already paid for through registration and walked home. The next time I saw my friend I gave him that finishers shirt and let me tell you, the look on his face and the water in his eyes gave me a first place in that marathon. He was so happy and so was I with NO regrets for what I have done. So, it's not a race of any sorts for the average person so putting their picture on line and putting them down for not completing the "Event" fairly is wrong and I would check into the legalities of the Honolulu Marathon Committee being able to legally post like they are doing.

  26. Get over yourself. This project is meant to prevent or remedy the type of cheating that could lead to a BQ or age group awards. The site is not about shaming.

  27. On this course, upon realizing you were in way over your head, anywhere from the 10K to 15K would be the obvious place to bag it, turn around, and head in. Whether they are actually trying to qualify for a race they have no business being in is anyone's guess. The Honolulu Marathon welcomes beginners (they close the course until the last runner/walker/crawler comes in), and this probably happens a ton. Maybe the "thrill" of the finishers' chute will spur these folks to train harder and try again.

  28. In the first place, this site isn't part of the Honolulu Marathon operation. Second, race results are matters of public record, and always have been. I know this from my days as a professional timer. There are zero legal issues with linking to race results, and the same is true for posting images made by the for-profit photography operation. Third, I'm quite astonished by what you think is "wrong" — and what you seem to think isn't.

  29. In many races where the runners wear a "chip," sensor mats are placed along the course at common intervals such as every 5k. The runner crosses the mat, his or her chip ID is recorded, and that's that. If the chip isn't recorded at a particular mat, that's usually referred to as a "missed mat." It's all automatic; the runner does nothing beyond running. Read rates are very high, and so the probability that a given runner's chip was missed at 2 or 3 mats is very low.

    Mats along the course are generally there for runner information (after the fact), or for tracking by others (who want to know how a friend is doing). Some races have unadvertised mat placements, designed to catch cheaters. This is because if you're intending to cheat, and you know where all the mats are, you may be able to figure out how to get yourself recorded by at least some of them even though you didn't run the entire course. But if you don't know where the special mats are, you can't.

  30. Perhaps a non-timed race option is in order when the person signs up for some of the more 'tourist-friendly' races. If you choose this you won't be eligible for awards but can run and enjoy the race. This is in line wit Triathlon in certain situations such as wearing a wetsuit at warmer temps.

    Another option is to institute a firm rule where if you miss a mat you are ineligible for awards until an analysis of photos and such?

  31. A public shaming page is too far. Privately call them out to the race organizers and to Boston…outside of that grow up.

  32. I surely hope you get a nice lawyer letter about posting these peoples picture without consent.

    Not one of them have actually tried to get into at Boston at this point.

    You have finally gone overboard in this nonsense…

  33. The thing that caught me instantly is there is a 40k mat and the finish is 42 kilometers. All these people are taking 20-30 minutes to run the last 2 kilometers. That would be an epic crash and burn (I had my back go out at mile 19 this year and after running the first 19 miles in 2:51, it took me 1:48 to run the last 7 including 37 minutes for the last 2 miles when I was crying uncontrollably in pain and even in that much pain I was still doing a better 2km split then these people who bqed).

  34. all the honolulu marathon wants is $$$$$$$$$ so they can take there fat asses out and eat there needs to be a cut off time5 hours back in the day it was4 hours you run the course on the side walk after 5 hours Team in training started the problem

  35. You obviously don't understand how Boston qualification works. Anyone running this race who got a BQ can register using that time in September for Boston 2018. From the BAA- "For the 2018 Boston Marathon, qualifying times must be run on or after Saturday, September 17, 2016."

  36. I am so glad someone is calling these people out!! I have been to Boston 3 times, legitimately, and I have friends who have qualified but missed getting to go due to cut off. These cheaters take the place of real qualifiers. Keep doing this!! If you are not cheating then you have no fear. By the way, if you run the whole race the chances that all those timing would malfunction is nill!!!

  37. When people enter these kind of events they sign a waiver stating that their image can be used for the public to see. Also all the times are on a public website for all to see. There is nothing illegal about what this guy is doing. And how do you know that not any of these people tried to get into any races, including Boston, with useing these cheat times? What these people did is despicable and need to be called out.

  38. I'm not a runner so I have no clue how races actually work. I'm assuming the organizers of these bigger races like Honolulu and Boston make some serious cash. Why don't they then set up cameras along the route, especially in the more isolated places, and monitor the race live? If anyone is seen cheating on video their bib number can be recorded then properly investigated at the end. I know there is a LOT of people running but if the organization shows that they really mean business in taking out cheaters it should detour people. One commentator stated that she passed the same person 6 times (that person never passed her back) she then saw that same person get out of a car and rejoin the race. She reported it to race officials, with proof, but they did nothing with it.

    I really hate cheaters and I'm very happy that Derek is doing this and publishing his results. I would also love to do something like this. Keep up the great work!!

  39. I'm not a runner so I have no idea how races actually work. That was one thing I was wondering about, the distance between 40k and finish. I hope your back is better, I know all too well about back pain!

    2 questions
    1, what does "bq" mean?
    2. How big are these mats at mile markers? If you run a true race how hard would it be to miss a mat?


  40. But even still, what about the other people in that age group that trained and worked hard for their achievement and were "beaten" by these people who didn't own up to cutting the course?

  41. Having enough cameras set up to cover a 26+ mile course, and enough people to watch them closely for 3-4 hours…do you not realize how much money that would cost?

  42. These are hilarious. I love the W70-74 who ran the last 30k in just over an hour. You go, girl! I love that they are cheating blantantly and not even trying to hide it. I know a 57-year-old woman who "ran" the ATL half-marathon by giving her bib to her son, who was a state champion long distance runner. He kicked butt! Personally, I could care less if people cheat. I run for personal satisfaction. I'm am emotionally secure enough to not be phased by the cheating of others. If they were taking money out of my pocket, it might be different. But it's not like we're in the Olympics and the difference between 1st and 2nd can be millions in endorsements. If impressing your Facebook friends means so much to you that you have to cheat to do it, that's your problem, not mine. I just laugh at you and move on.

  43. 1. BQ = Boston Qualifier. Depending on your age group, you have to finish within a certain time frame to qualify for the Boston Marathon (which is highly coveted in the running world).
    2. The mats at the Honolulu Marathon are large; they span the width of the entire running lane. It would be impossible to miss them if you are running on the marked course.

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