The “Wish Runner” Responds

Jason Easter Is Attempting To Set a Guinness Record For Most Ironman 70.3 Races Completed in A Year

 

Jason Easter, known an “The Wish Runner” is attempting to Break the Guinness Record for most Ironman 70.3 races completed in a year.

As I wrote last week , after one race, the validity of the attempt is in question.  The bigest red flag is that Jason’s run time (13.1 miles) is faster than any standalone race that he has run. I concede that there were some timing issues at this Triathlon, but Jason’s times added up correctly – and he seemed to be unaffected by any timing issues. It also seems the run portion may have been measured short. Even accounting for that, his run time was still run at a pace faster than any other race.

I messaged and emailed Jason prior to posting the article. He did respond via email and on the Marathon Investigation Facebook page. He since deleted his responses on Facebook. I did however retain records of his comments.

 

Explanation of Running Pace

In his email response to me, Jason does not claim a timing issue resulted in the crazy 1/2 marathon time. I added bold for emphasis.

 

As far as the splits compared to my last 70.3…..at the NC race, the swim was with the current and the water was more than 20 degrees warmer!  Also, I had major cramping issues at NC that I did not experience in Palm Springs….not to mention, the run course at Palm Springs was completely flat and NC was not.  All of those factors affect an athlete of my abilities.  I never claimed that I would try to place or win any of these races, I only claimed that I would attempt to complete the races.  All I can say is that YOU must be either uneducated to races or you must be one heck of an athlete to not be able to understand this. 

 

His response focused on the difference between Palm Springs and North Carolina. However, the only explanation he gave for the fast run was that the course was flat. That does not explain a personal record 1/2 marathon time at a pace faster than his 5k P.R.

 

GPS Issues

He did not address the techinical issues in his email to me. However, he did address these on Facebook. Previously, on The Wish Runner Facebook Page – which I can no longer see, he said that he experienced satellite issues. On his now deleted post from Friday on my page, he claimed his GPS died.

 

Charities

Jason was most upset that on my initial post, I did not mention that he had direct links to the charities on TheWishRunner.com.

 

Thee Children’s Tumor Foundation link initially went to a bad link. As of this morning,  he has corrected this and it now goes to his fundraising link. It does show donations of $650 to the Children’s Tumor Foundation through The Wish Runner project. $800 in total has been donated though the page.

The Make A Wish page shows that $225 has been donated through The Wish Runner donation page. Prior to today, that link went to a general donation page, so it is likely that there have been other donations made. The goal is for $600,000 to be raised for Make A Wish to make 100 Wishes come true at $6,000 average per wish.

Jason explained The Wish Runner donations. His explanation was similar to that in the video, but he expanded. This was the one thing that is not clear on the website.

According to Jason, the Wish Runner Project donations primarily go to support his races and all the expenses incurred. Here is the breakdown.

10% – Will be donated to Make A Wish through The Wish Runner Project

5 % Will be donated to The Children’s Tumor Foundation

85 % Goes towards Jason’s Races

I think this needs to be explained on the site. It does not state anywhere on the site the breakdown of where those contributions go. I think many assumed that his sponsors were covering those expenses. According to Jason, the sponsors primarily offer support in the way of gear.

Final Thoughts

I am not necessarily rooting for Jason to fail.  However, the initial race is just too questionable to overlook. Someone wisely suggested on the Facebook thread that Jason not include this as an official result in his application to Guinness. There is proof that the half marathon was short, there were no timing mats on the course, and there were some timing issues. Even if his times were more believable, I think he would have a difficult time having those results validated.  The issues (and potential issues) relating to the donations sent directly to The Wind Runner Project need to be cleared up. Unfortunately, that’s not my area of expertise.

His results from here on out will be scrutinized in his attempt for the record. Ironically this could work in his benefit in the eyes of Guinness should he be able to break the record legitimately.

 

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14 Comments on this post.
  • Tim L.
    6 March 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Eh, not much of a response. Just a bunch of strawmen.

    • grey
      6 March 2017 at 4:22 pm

      wow. This guy is deranged. Are you reading his facebook replies to Derek? He doesn’t get it: He cheated in a triathlon and can’t prove otherwise: That’s where the story should end. However, when exposed about his “incomprehensible” and frankly (for him) impossible results, the details of his charade become more apparent (85% cash in his pocket “for project expenses”, and 15% to charity based on the emails to Derek) He’s actually doubling down on all. The crux, Jason, (assuming you read this) IS THAT YOU CHEATED IN A RACE AND YOU CAN’T PROVE OTHERWISE!!!!. How about ask for forgiveness and if truly capable of accomplishing this “feat,” do so selflessly and give every dime to those 2 worthy charities.

      He’s 2017’s Mike Rossi.

  • Jimbo
    6 March 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Almost funny that his shorts almost seem to say DQ on the side.

  • grey
    6 March 2017 at 1:44 pm

    hmmm? a bit of Mike Rossi-itis get caught then try to defend and insult/attack the accuser.

    OK, Jason: You want sainthood or infamy? The choice is yours but here’s what you can do (and nothing short of this) to put all in their place.

    1. Run all future races on electronically timed courses backed up with a Reliable GPS device accompanied by uploaded (not manually entered) data if there’s any issue. I would even give you a “mulligan” on the disputed race documented herein so there you have it. You can have a do over (assuming you do #2 below).

    2. Flip the ratio: 90% (or preferably all) to charity and the rest to running your races. (frankly, if someone is running for charity (not fame) every penny usually goes to charity (see Boston, NYC, Chicago, etc marathon (s) charity runners: they all pay their freight and every penny goes to charity

    You see: I know and hope you’re reading this so either you can be challenged to prove all naysayers wrong and do a lot of good in the world (which I hope you do) or go down as just another self promoter who’s trying to make money off of the charity of others. Which will it be? I hoping for a little good in the world but something tells me you’re in it for the 15 minutes of fame and money. Prove me wrong…..

  • T S
    6 March 2017 at 2:48 pm

    To paraphrase an old saying: Sometimes it’s better to remain silent and be thought a cheater than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    When first accused of cheating, he claimed his split as legitimate. In doing so, he ruled out the short course or timing mistake excuse. He could have just said nothing and then later on claimed it was a timing mistake.

  • joe
    6 March 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I can’t decide what makes this guy more despicable – most likely cheating or keeping 85% of the donations? I’m surprised either charity would be okay with someone fundraising in this manner. Curious if you have reached out to them for their thoughts on this type of “fundraising”.

  • Kat
    7 March 2017 at 10:51 am

    Your evidentiary standards for cheating accusations are becoming woefully low. Running a PR run in triathlon is insufficient evidence of cheating. He officially completed the race, and therefore the burden is on you to prove that he cheated. Simply having a very good race is not enough to drag someone through the mud and humiliate him, photo and all. Even if he confessed tomorrow, I would still say that, given the lack of evidence, your decision to include him here was poor.

    • derek murphy
      7 March 2017 at 11:01 am

      He ran the last leg of a triathlon at a pace faster than he has run any other distance. Sorry, that does not happen. Please point me to an instance of where someone else legitimately came close to achieving this.

    • Faith
      7 March 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Do you approve of his “fundraising” scheme? Even if one didn’t feel the race “cheating evidence” was worthy of a reveal, I cannot imagine anyone arguing with 85% of donations going to his personal hobby (rather than the charity as “advertised”) being exposed is not a good thing as he does not make it clear on his website.

    • Grey
      7 March 2017 at 2:03 pm

      “Kat”. Hmmm. Me thinks it’s Jason replying as another or a “friend”. Seems like the standard for all who are caught by Derek: “Alleged” cheat exposed, cheater either meekly apologizes or denies the offense. then the “advocates” storm out to defend the cheat or malign the exposer.

      • katie
        7 March 2017 at 4:38 pm

        If I do my math correctly, and he raises the desired $600K, he’s keeping $510K for himself! What a saint!

  • Scott Coakly
    10 March 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Again for those defending or opposing Derek’s findings. There is not sufficient evidence anywhere and Jason will not supply it that he can even cover 80% of that distance at that pace unless trying to use a bike to match it to fake that too. I am glad this result has led to at least people thinking twice before giving money directly to him, and going directly to the charities instead. Nice work as always Derek!

  • Shannon Dearborn
    10 March 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Are you freaking kidding me about he fundraising percentages? He gets 85% of the donations AND his sponsors cover his gear? I understand he will need to pay for race fees and travel, but why should the public pay for him to do that? Sounds like a money making scheme to me. I’d rather donate directly to Make a Wish.

  • David
    13 March 2017 at 11:33 am

    Looks like his website and FB page have been deleted.

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