2017 Miami Marathon Review Reveals Questionable Results At The Top of The Leaderboard


A review of the Miami Marathon showed some questionable results at the top of the leaderboard.


Male – 1st Overall – Disqualified Immediately

10K 18:16
1/2    1:01:44
19     1:37:11
23     1:58:32
26.2  2:18:12

Looking at the map, I am unsure how anyone would have physically made it from the starting line to 10k in 18:16.

This leads me to believe that this result may have been due to a timing issue of some sort.

His result was removed very quickly – before the times were picked up by athlinks or marathonguide.

Male – 4th Place (Open) 1st in Age Group –  2:40:51 Boston Qualifying Time

Calculating the above splits his pace between the 10k and finish would be 4:17 minutes/mile.

He has yet to be disqualified. The picture above  is the only I could find. I have no reason to believe that he was claiming this result as legitimate. I will report the result to the marathon.

Male – 1st in Age Group 3:28:21 Boston Qualifying Time

This runner did not register at any of the intermediate timing mats.

Looking at prior results, he finished the 2015 Miami Half Marathon in over 2 hours.

He still appears in the official results.

Female –  1st in Age Group 3:28:21 Boston Qualifying Time

No photos or splits

She still appears in the official results.


Female –  4th in Age Group 3:18:23 Boston Qualifying Time

This runner is seen with a medal for the Full Marathon. The only split she hit was the 13.1 in 2:36:59. Additionally, the runner she is pictured with has nearly identical splits – which would seem to rule out a timing issue with one of the chips. His time was not a Boston Qualifier.

The 1/2 and finish lines are all near the starting mat. Based solely on the split times and the missed mats, it would appear that they spent the entire race within a few block area of the finish. They missed both the 10k ,19, and 23 mile splits.

click to enlarge – Miami marathon 2017 map

Female –  2nd in Age Group 3:18:23 Boston Qualifying Time

This runner is also seen with a medal for the Full Marathon. From the split data, it would appear that she legitimately ran past the 1/2 way point, and cut short the remainder in order to cross the line and collect a medal for the full marathon.

In Summary

The course layout and timing mats are setup so that it would be very difficult to cut a significant portion of the course without missing a mat. They have timing mats on both of the out and back portions of the course – at mile 19 and mile 23.
I will forward the information to the race on the runners that have yet to be disqualified. I do not doubt that they eventually would have been identified.


  1. Please keep us posted on the response of the Miami Marathon: I totally applaud your work. Keep up the effort. Seriously, what is wrong with these people who not only cheat but cross the line triumphantly and then pose for pictures? Not criminal but they have to be banned from competing in any road race indefinitely or forever. Also, I hope the Miami Marathon's response is better than Honolulu's to your work.

  2. Derek- as your rather anonymously written article blasts photos of participants that may border on slander, perhaps a more responsible display of their pictures would be to blur out the alleged "cheaters" faces until you have confirmed proof from the race director that their times were illegitimately obtained.
    Kevin Albert Krueger

  3. I'm surely not anonymous. And that is irrelevant to "libel". Also, if you read carefully, I generally just lay out the facts. The results are 'questionable' and they missed xxx splits, calculating to a pace of xxx. The truth cannot be libelous. Also, by definition, an opinion cannot be libel. Occasionally, I will throw my opinion out there as well. If I state my opinion, as fact, and it is incorrect, that could be libel.

  4. Nice to represent the NYPD while cheating. Shameful. I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt because the weather looks pretty crap. I figured maybe they just decided to call it quits early and get their medals. But they have a very suspicious time for the 2015 West Point Half too where they finished together again with a 1 hour PB for him.

  5. it's extraordinary to me the people who question your motives on this or insinuate slander is being done: Obviously, not anyone who cares about the sport. Facts and numbers don't lie: they obviously did not run the entire event they are claiming they did; that's incontrovertible. And instead of just walking away, they take photos celebrating their "achievements." I don't know what is more maddening: their egregious act to claim age place victories, bq qualifying status OR the naysayers who second guess you on all. keep up the great work, Derek! And thank you!

  6. In response to the slander comment, is it possible that there was malfunctions with the timing mats? Trust me that I am outraged when people cheat and get away with it. I am one of those people who legitimately qualified for Boston close to the time needed so it could have been taken away from me by "faster cheaters". But to be fair, what if these (or even just one) people did not cheat and their time was messed up by other factors? I think that is where he was going by this to avoid embarrassment of a legitimate runner.

  7. Well if they had a GPS watch with a map and timer, that would solve the mysterious missed matt. One Matt missed is, okay maybe, but two three, no way.

  8. Agreed: Why is it the mats work for 25,000 people from elites to back of the pack runners but those 4 are the exception? However, to your point, course photos, GPS data, eyewitness reports, etc. can exonerate (if that's the word) assuming they are DQ'd which they should be regardless. Look at this thread on Lets Run from last year's race. Seems like they have issues every year with suspect times; anyway, that is why Derek's work is appreciated greatly. http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=7003160

  9. I'm pretty sure these are just the ones he could be 90% sure about. The NYPD couple ran this marathon in about the same time they ran the half 2 years ago. They probably noticed how easy it would be to cut the course then. No other race they've done would lead you to believe they could run anywhere near a low 3 marathon. Except they did run a 1:38 at the West Point Half Marathon (a 1 hour PB for both of them) on a course that can very easily be cut. Sadly there are no intermediate mats for that race, but I guess they figured nobody would cheat in a race dedicated to fallen soldiers. Also not sure why she's registered as being 27 when all of her other races would put her at 37. Maybe it's just a typo.

  10. Yes, the ones I called out specifically would not appear to be timing system issues. I specifically did not put a photo up of the 'overall winner' because it did appear to be a system issue..and that was verified with the race.

  11. Hi Mishele – You make a good point, timing mats and tags don't have a 100% read rate. Every year they get better, but due to system errors or runner use errors it's inevitable that some splits will get missed or be wrong in nearly every race that uses chips. What Derek's always been good about with this blog is to use secondary reasoning and statistical analysis to call out obvious issues that races for some reason haven't wanted to address.

    In the case of Miami 2017, I'm sure there are a lot more examples, but everything he's posted so far are pretty obvious. I've been reading this blog since the beginning and was communicating with Derek before he even started it up. His track record on who he calls out is pretty darn close to 100%.

    Derek, any cases where you've called somebody out and been proven wrong?

  12. Hey Joe, as far as I know, I've never been wrong on calling someone out. The closest call was someone that slipped through during the analysis of Boston 2015 – but I never posted an article on them or reported him. He was cleared before the findings were released in Runner's World.

  13. All those mentioned in the article have been disqualified from the marathon. The overall winner (2:18:12) was quickly re-instated and, as Derek mentioned, was a timing issue.

  14. Kevin Krueger-

    Derek is not committing libel. He is not saying anything that he knows to be untrue. Rather he is questioning factual data that is presented for public record (the race timing results). The burden would be upon the identified runner to demonstrate in court that it was physically possible for them to run 13 miles in 30 minutes (or similar) .

    Derek keep up the good work in your analysis and assessment of these results. You have nothing to worry about.

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