Runner Used Questionable Philadelphia Result to Register for The 2017 Boston Marathon


I came across this runner during a review of 2017 Boston registrants.

This runner’s only qualifying time was from the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon. She finished the race in 3:52:46.


2015 Philadelphia Marathon Results

Looking at her Philadelphia result, the questionable time is between the 30k and finish. Looking at the map below, there is opportunity to cut this portion.

She hit the mat at 30k (18.64 miles) and could have easily turned around at this point, cutting about 2-1/2 miles. However, even cutting off 2-1/2 miles would put her pace at about 9 minutes for this split – which given her progression doesn’t seem likely.

edit – I was able to obtain a photo link – she is shown crossing the finish line – the clock time in her results is off vs. the photo..but this is the case for other runners that I checked.  I am beginning to think this is just a timing issue that worked in her favor. 

However, registering for Boston ’17 using this time could not be classified as an accident or unintentional (Yes. I’ve had a different runner claim exactly that).

She did have a 1/2 marathon time of  1:50:58 1 month prior to Philadelphia. Prior to that nothing indicated an ability to run a sub 4 hour marathon.

Her other recent times were over 2 hours for 1/2 marathon distance, and her most recent marathon was just under 5 hours. Her previous PR marathon was over 4:21:33 at the 2002 Marine Corps Marathon.

I have  previously reported this result to Philadelphia and have yet to receive a response. I have followed up with them again this morning.

Since The 2017 Boston marathon is fast approaching, I will be posting more articles on 2017 entrants that have used questionable times to qualify. I am busy reporting these runners to the qualifying marathons and Boston as applicable. Once we get too close to the marathon, Boston will likely be unable to take action as they are busy with other aspects of the 2017 race.


  1. unreal. Why isn't Phily taking action? This is outrageous! what can we do to get this person to be removed from Boston?

  2. In 2015, she ran a 5k in 41:23: a 13:18 minute per mile pace! Come on! Obviously, questionable and should be disqualified. Unless she comes forward to show her garmin, strava results (which I suspect she wont have) What is wrong with people? Derek, keep up the great work.

  3. I love what you're doing. Keep it up. But I have an issue with this specific case. The only hard evidence you present is one timing mat. The rest of the evidence is "tenuous" at best. Her time at the half mat aligns with her final time. You mention that she did a half marathon a month earlier which aligns with her final time. Do you have any race photos that corroborate that the 30k mat time is correct? You make a great case in all your other posts but I think this one could use more vetting before being published since it only has one piece of hard evidence and some unspecified other races.

  4. We can probably agree that she did not run the race in the splits indicated. She had one result – with no splits available to verify that is remotely in line with this marathon.

    I really just laid out the splits – and my opinion as to what may have happened.

    As far as a potential mat malfunction or timing sustem malfunction – she didn't miss any. I could see an issue with reconciling data if she missed a mat – that's what happened with Ryan Lee – who I wrote about multiple times to help get him vindicated.

    But she missed zero mats – other runners don't show this strange pattern. So, it is my opinion that a timing issue would be highly unlikely in this case.

  5. Sometimes the most telling evidence are previous results. I don't believe a 1:50:58 half even comes close to equating Sub 4 hour Marathon, not a that skill level.

  6. Just to follow up, i spent hour pouring over the internet for more of her results and photos and i can't find much. Philadelphia photos from 2015 seem to be gone. She ran half marathon June 2016 (3:38)- Same name, age, location. Nothing would indicate she could even run sub 1 hour 10k, i wouldn't be surprised if she didn't run Phily 2015 at all, maybe had mule or swapping, im speculating now but those splits are sooo weird

  7. I got a photo link..didn't really clear up anything. Clock time in photo doesn't match her official results..but it's off by varying degrees with other runners I checked. Starting to lean to this just being a timing issue–in her favor that she used to enter Boston..

  8. Reading the naysayers here and on Facebook, I have to say Derek, KEEP plugging away. You're doing great work. Seriously, the one's who are criticizing your work and defending those you choose to focus on are as flawed emotionally and intellectually as some of the alleged "cheaters". Keep outing these people. Do not stop. I suspect a great majority agree with me on this.

  9. June 6th, 2016. 1/2 marathon in 3:38:35 16:41 pace. OK, she could have been hurt, tired, running with someone. One thing is clear, past performance indicates that this runner would have had the most miraculous training adaptation in running history to run the time she used to enter Boston 2017. Also, it's clear that the Phily Marathon is a joke! I lay more blame at them for lackluster monitoring.

  10. Granted the splits there look off, but I would take great umbrage at the comments that a 1:50:00 half equals an impossibility of running a sub-4 marathon. I'm your average recreational runner (albeit with a love of distance running) and I hit my marathon PR of 3:43:xx when my half PR was around 1:55:xx. Granted I may have ran a 1:45:xx half split during an earlier marathon that same season (with a 3:49:43 finish), but you would certainly not know that looking at my half PR. My best half time is still just barely under 1:50:00.

    So while I applaud routing out the cheaters please don't print every runner who has a slightly implausible finish time as a cheat, and be careful what you assume about impossible vs "outside the realm of the expected".

    Note that this really should be addressed to the commenters ready to tar and feather anyone who's results don't fit the ideal runner model.

  11. Thanks for keeping the standard of proof here high, Derek. As much as I support your work seeing comments that denigrate us middle of the pack recreational runners like the above doesn't do much good for the sport either.

  12. derek should be busy over the next month: Lots of marathons this past weekend (fort lauderdale marathon, austin, etc. ) and after just a cursory look at the results, there's obvious "cheating" going on. Hopefully, he calls them out.

  13. Rafal – Being one myself, i don't see where i denigrate middle pack runners in my comment. I reiterated the fact that there was little to no proof that she could have run that time giving all information on her available, i could have kept the speculations to myself although i did comment on that is what they were. The concern is her trying to register for Boston with an inaccurate time. The only thing bad for the sport is people that cheat others out of their efforts.
    To rebut your other snarky comment, your ability and PR don't always coincide. You provided proof of that with your own 1:45 split. So you are a much faster runner than 1:50 for half, which only help proves the point i was trying to make. Impossible, probably not, extreme rarity for someone with no racing experience…yea. Color me red if i'm wrong.

    • I agree with you 100% that ability and PR might not always coincide, but I pointed that out to counter the claim that a person with a 1:50 half PR could never hit a sub 4 marathon. In other words, there isn’t enough info here to judge.. it’s suspicious, sure but that doesn’t equal guilty.

      Lack of corroborating evidence makes it more suspicious but lack of proof is not the same as proof of guilt.. only evidence can prove that.

  14. I did some checking on athlinks and found a half marathon in 2016 where looks like she ended up walking to the finish line…3:38:??

    This whole thing reeks of cheating. Maybe she handed off her bid to a fast runner at the end, but that just seems nuts. They would've had to run a 5:30 pace the last 6-7 miles. I cheered at Philly this year and that long stretch out and back, it's soooo easy to cut over the road and cheat.

  15. I love this site and Derek's work, but I don't think looking at one race result is not evidence of anything. She could have ran with a co-worker, her mom, been pushing a stroller, who knows what. One slow result is meaningless.

  16. Been a competitive and active member of a road running club for several years and 1.50 half marathon time will bring you very near to 4 hours on a marathon every time assuming you trained correctly for the extra distance.

  17. Been a competitive and active member of a road running club for several years and 1.50 half marathon time will bring you very near to 4 hours on a marathon every time assuming you trained correctly for the extra distance.

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