Two Runners With Questionable Qualifying Times from The 2015 Philadelphia Marathon Are Registered to Run Boston


Two runners that were identified as having questionable Boston Qualifying results remain in the list of entrants for the 2017 Boston Marathon. The Philadelphia marathon has not acknowledged repeated requests to review their times.

Runner #1 Boston Qualifying Time of 3:52:46

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.

Looking at her Philadelphia result, the questionable time is between the 30 k and finish. Her official results show her running this portion of the race at a pace of 5:58 per mile.  Nothing in her running history indicates that running this pace is possible for her.  If this was simply a timing malfunction, the Philadelphia Marathon has not been willing to share an explanation to this point.


Runner #2 Boston Qualifying Time of 3:45:26


While not as blatant as the prior runner’s time, this result seems likely to be inaccurate as well. In both cases, the questionable stretch is between the 30 k and the finish.


 For 2016, Philadelphia has confirmed that there was a “cheater mat” at the turnaround point of this stretch. I do not know if there was such a mat for the 2015 race. If there was such a mat, then a decision to disqualify them should be easy if they did not cross this point. If it can be proven that they did hit the out and back section, then it is possible that there was some other timing issue.


I am aware that the Philadelphia race is under new management. They did an admirable job with the 2016 results. They quickly disqualified nearly all the runners that appeared to have cut the course. However, they have done a disservice to the running community by not reviewing these particular results. I originally reported these runners to Philadelphia in September of 2016. If they don’t have access to the raw data, they have not communicated that, either.



  1. Great job again, Derek. Seriously, why would this person want to run when she’s (#8433) has been exposed as a cheater? So blatant! In addition, it’s apparent #9822 cheated too but you’re being much too kind. This just burns me to no end. Again, I busted my ass to qualify and I did so with :19 seconds to spare last year by training in snow, ice, freezing weather, sacrificing my social life and these 2 cheaters are going to run! Frankly, their results are public so people know they cheated to get in so I presume it will lie there. Question is: why isn’t phily doing to the right thing and disqualifying them? Please keep on them.

  2. Nice work! Runner #2 reminds me of runner 1554 from Cleveland 2016, who was slowing down at an even greater rate, missed the 30k timing mat, yet managed to finish “strong” and qualify and register for Boston. If these runners accomplished what they say they did, then God bless them, but the results definitely warrant some investigation.

  3. I have to say at least this year’s Philly team seemed not to be too strong on communications… I had to send multiple emails to fix a timing issue in my own results, and while it did eventually get fixed, I got no response from the 3 emails I sent (to race officials and then to the timing company). While that’s not the same as accepting cheaters, it leaves a poor impression regardless.

    • I looked at the Philadelphia map. I guesstimated where the 30K mat was on the out and back section. If it didn’t pick her up when she crossed the first time, but did pick her up on the way back through (timing error), then she would have come back through the timing mat at about mile 21.3 roughly. I did the pace calculator on this and it would’ve put her average pace at 8:48 per mile for 21.3 miles, which would’ve been pretty reasonable looking at the overall result. I’ve done that marathon and it is flat and fast section through there. So, my guess is that the timing mat missed her the first time through, but picked her up when she came back and threw off the splits. I certainly think that’s plausible, the only evidence left is her slower times she posted at previous races, although I’ve had a major fitness improvement in the last year myself, and I’ve also paced friends trying to get in shape for other races.

      • If I read this correctly, it sounds like it’s possible that the 30k mat missed them at 30k (mile 18.6) and picked them up at 21.3, a difference of 2.7 miles. For the half-to-30k split, the elapsed time would be divided by a number that is 2.7 miles less than it should be – resulting in too large of a number/pace. For the 30k-to-finish split, the elapsed time would be divided by a number that is 2.7 miles larger than it should be – resulting in too small of a number/pace. I haven’t done the math, but it seems like this could explain the data. Hopefully for everyone involved, this is what happened and the runners can be congratulated!

  4. So, if they don’t respond what is the response of the running community? Do they get called out? Again, the inaction by the Phily Marathon just encourages cheaters like these two to do it again and again but also creates the mentality that encourages cyber vigilantism. Hopefully, Derek will keep on the Phily Marathon for a DQ and, or the two alleged cheaters to pull out of Boston unilaterally

Comments are closed.