Runner Disqualified From Sioux Falls Marathon – Won’t Be Running in Boston This Year


Karen Hutzell has run Boston twice – in 2015 and 2016. She will not be running it a third time.

I don’t believe she should have ran Boston at all.

The below story ran on her local television station prior to The 2015 Boston Marathon (Click on the caption to access).

She qualified for Boston ’15 at the 2013 On The Road for Education Marathon. 2013 was the last year this marathon was ran, so the results cannot be verified. She has an official time of 3:41:19 at the qualifier. She finished Boston ’15 in 6:06:14.

From the story…

“It’s taken Karen Hutzell of Mason City years to get to this point, but she says she’s finally running in the Boston Marathon. Her latest setback has been a knee injury, which she says did not keep her from completing the Chicago Marathon. “


Karen at the finish of Chicago 2014 – she is listed as disqualified in the official results
I only noticed the Chicago disqualification because The Chicago Marathon was referenced in both of her interviews when it dawned on me that I didn’t recall seeing a result for Chicago on athlinks or marathonguide.
She also ran the Sioux Falls Marathon in 2013 with a time of 4:24:30. She missed the 20k mat in that race.  The missed mat is suspicious based on her history.


The same station ran a story on Karen prior to the 2016 Boston Marathon.
I also feel compelled to comment on the lack of research done by KIMT.There are lots of red flags. “More marathons than she can count” – yet she only appears in a handful on athlinks. No one checked and saw that she was disqualified from Chicago. No one thought to ask how she qualified or questioned her ability to run that time after witnessing her training – during her lunch breaks.

To qualify for Boston 2016, Karen used the 2015 Sioux Falls marathon as her qualifier with a time of 3:54:33. Her splits are interesting. She did manage to run the last split in a faster time than the overall winner. She missed the first split. She won her age group. She ran Boston in 5:19:14.She also started a gofundme and a crowdrise campaign to help pay her way to Boston. She did, however, only raise a total of $170 of the $1500 she was hoping for.

She registered for Boston 2017 using this Sioux Falls 2016 result.

Her first 10k was run at a 12 minute per mile pace. The rest of the race she claims splits under 8 minutes per mile. I reported this result to race officials.Looking at the course map it appears that the most likely method to cheat would be to utilize a bib mule for part of the race.

After a very thorough review by the timer of the race, officials agreed with my assessment.  Karen has been disqualified. 

She was first in her age group (she was the only one in her age group)


I attempted to connect with Karen prior to writing this story. She initially accepted my messenger request on Facebook, but before I could send her a message she blocked me.I had planned to offer her the opportunity to come clean and offer an explanation as I did with “Linda” who I featured in this story.


Karen would have been caught regardless of the news stories. Although I likely never would have known about the Chicago Marathon disqualification if it weren’t for her press coverage.Hers is just one example of someone that cheated, and at least partially outed themselves on social media.

– the once popular blogger posted that she was banned from the Boston Marathon for life for giving her bib away to a friend. In reality, she was banned for using the time her friend ran in that race as her own Boston Qualifier.

-Wrote a letter berating his kids’ principal after they got a form letter stating that their absence was unexcused. He posted the letter on social media and it went viral. The attention led some to investigate the qualifier and it was determined by everyone (except the race director) that he cheated to gain entry.
– His public Strava data was just part of the evidence against him. Strava FlyBy data showed him cutting the course in one race. GPS data he provided showing his ability to run a fast pace was manipulated. If believed, it showed he ran a mile in less than 3 minutes 30 seconds.


  1. *Cringe* at the fake running for the news videos. Derek, i get excited everyday to come to your site to read another bizarre story. This one is up there! She seems like she puts more effort into her social media then she does in her training. Really enjoyed your Disney article as well, very in depth. Didn't mind at all it was off the beaten path, still great reporting!

  2. Thank you for outing these cheaters. It's so disheartening to learn of the large number of runners cutting courses short to qualify for Boston, but also just the cheating in general.

  3. Hi Derek,
    You have been a trooper in keeping runners accountable, but I think this post is definitely crossing a line. From what I gather from this post your information is very circumstantial – As someone who also suffers from knee problems and constantly finishes at widely different times I would say your odds of being correct are 50/50. On top of this and more importantly, you are publicly harassing someone who (besides a couple of local t.v. interviews and $170 dollars she probably raised from her family) is not winning races, is not in the running industry, and not profiting from this in anyway. It is okay to keep people accountable and report them to officials, but in no way is it appropriate to publicly shame some random person.

  4. Thanks for the comment. She was actually disqualified. Nothing is 50/50 about that. In the earlier race, she ran a split faster than the OVERALL winner. That simply didn't happen. She entered Boston 3 times on these results. Also, I reached out to her before I wrote a word of the article. She blocked me before I could ever send her a message. That doesn't scream of someone that is innocent. Lastly, part of the story is the fact that she received publicity and has been disqualified from multiple races, and ran Boston.

  5. ah man, I love your stuff but I would agree with the above user. This is more internet pitchfork witch hunt. She is obviously guilty, but why parade her out on your blog? This could get flagged for harassment.

  6. How so? Besides entering Boston 3 times with questionable results, she promoted herself on TV–claiming to finish a race where she was disqualified. That was part of the story. I did little more than lay out the facts – yes I tried to inject a bit of humor with the meme..but as I do with the other articles, I just laid out the facts. Yes, I used her name because I felt the news coverage was relevant and my holding her name back while referencing the news stories would be somewhat pointless. I've called out other serial cheaters by name..I've posted multiple times on The Donnelly's, I named Dr. Pafford, Richard Perza, Ramon De La Rosa and others with similar histories. I've been consistent. If you have an issue with this article, I'd like to know if you have the same issue with the others – because the circumstances are similar–with the exception of this woman putting herself out there in the media.

  7. @ Anonymous, the information Derek gathered is "very circumstantial?" No way, no how. This chick cheated, of that there is no doubt, and robbed someone of their place at the Boston Marathon more than once. Publicly shaming them is the best thing that may help them ultimately come clean, and also to dissuade others from pulling the same stunt.

  8. Why the sympathy for Karen, dear fellow posters? How is Karen Hutzell different from any of the others who have cut courses or cheated to get into Boston? Mike Rossi? Gina Alvarez? She started two fundraising pages too, GoFundMe AND CrowdRise, getting handouts to help her finance her ill-gotten Boston spot. She also cheated and went to Boston *twice* and had the gall to agree to a local TV interview! I too was sickened watching her run slowly for the interview, pretending she was a Boston qualifier. Utterly shameless. If you fail to "out" her, you are not serving the purpose of the blog, which is to discourage others from cheating. Thank you, Derek, for making these cheaters accountable. This will have a chilling effect on prospective cheaters in the future, making it easier for legitimate runners to achieve Boston and to win their age groups.

  9. Wait, his odds of being correct are 100%. She was already disqualified. If you've seen Derek's work on other runners, you know there's a threshold of evidence he crosses before posting anything, plus he gave her the opportunity to comment beforehand.

    She is also not "some random person" after outing herself on camera.

  10. Nonsense! She cheated which is clear to any observer of the facts, she sought out publicity based on a lie –2x–, she took a space from a legitimate qualifier, she cheated to "win" her age category and then bragged about it on social media, then tries to come of as being "heroic" to draw some association with the awful events in 2013. Come on! At best, she has serious emotional issues and needs help (which I hope she gets ) but I am sick and tired of the arbitrary lines people draw in criticizing Derek's work. Either she cheated or not and if she didn't she can prove it many different ways. If she did, she has an opportunity to explain her side of the story with anonymity.

  11. I've commented above: does anyone think the "anonymous" responses are coming from her friends? Frankly, dig everything he's doing. I've said it once, I will say it again: if the race directors aren't going to police this sport appropriately and the national governing bodies aren't going to mandate post race inspection of race times, then Derek's work is vital and refreshing. Sorry. Don't cheat AND THEN DONT brag about it on social media and local TV. My goodness! Derek, don't take the peddle off of the accelerator…

  12. Can anyone point me towards the FB group where this guy Brian berated another runner? Or provide some imgur screenshots of the debacle?

  13. Hi Derek, I am the one who posted the original comment at 7:58. The only reason I am urging caution is because I just had something similar happen to me – missed a matt somehow, got a good time, and some couch knight from Ohio (lol, I don't think it was you)flagged my time. It was a huge pain to track down the right people to prove that I ran the race and the whole time I was thinking why the hell do I care and who is this random person asking race officials to DQ races from 2 years ago? I could easily see how someone would choose to just not respond and get DQ'd by default.

  14. (I am the same person from 7:58)Okay, now that I am thinking about it. Where does it show her times were impossibly good? Maybe I am not reading it correctly, but the times on this post seem average, at best. Sorry to be a pain, but without giving out anymore of this person's information, can you show me the numbers for my peace of mind and then I can feel good about supporting this? Thank you.

  15. I'd be curious – if you wish to email me – to see what time of your's was flagged by someone? I would never flag someone or report them for just missing a mat.

    To me it is 100% that something is not right with her times..maybe I could have spelled it out in more detail.

    Her times in the shot above calculate as follow:

    10k split 12:15 per mile
    13.1 split 7:40 per mile
    20 split 7:39 per mile
    26.2 split 7:09 per mile

    you just don't see that type of split run legitimately.

    Even more convincing is 2015 Sioux Falls Marathon

    She missed the first timing mat.

    The splits on the site aren't marked – they just give a time of day.
    However, I estimate that the last intermediate timing mat was at approximately mile 19 based on other runners' paces.

    Karen ran the last leg (approx mile 19 to 26.2) in 19 minutes. An estimated 3:39 minute/mile pace.

    the next fastest legit runner ran that split ran it in 31:12.

    Maybe I should have detailed this out–but I felt that stating that she ran this leg faster than the overall winner was sufficient to get the point across.


  16. If you're doing a GoFundMe and you're soliciting money for an activity based on an illegitimacy — In some states, that could constitute attempted fraud. I have no problem with this kind of outing.

  17. 7:58 here. Wow, thanks for taking the time to write out the information Derek. These numbers are quite stark and not as closely related to my story as I thought. Also, I appreciate your re-post on "Bad-Shaming" you clearly take a lot of thought and care in not allowing as the below poster said "internet witch hunts" to take place. Be careful, be kind, and keep up the good work!

  18. I live in this town and KIMT (news station) is often referred to as Kids In Media Training. So nobody really takes their constant puff piece news seriously. I think Karen and all the other narcissistic cheaters deserve a little shame and embarrassment.

    Good job to you on the article.

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