A total 26,386 out of 26,482 finishers in Monday’s Boston Marathon registered a time at the 20k timing mat. One of the 96 runners that missed the mat, was George Taylor. This was George’s 7th consecutive Boston Marathon finish. George also missed this timing mat in 2015 and 2016 in running Boston Qualifying times. As I did in this article on a runner missing mats in consecutive years, I will show that this is statistically impossible to happen randomly.
99.6% of finishers successfully registered splits at this timing mat. I will assume that the failure rate was similar the past 2 years. I will also assume that all runners that missed this mat were a result of a timing malfunction.
The odds of missing this mat 3 consecutive years calculates as follows: (1-.996)^3 = .0000048% or 1 in over 20 Million.
My math may be slightly simplified, but the conclusion is clear.
Boston Marathon History – Split Times
On his now inactive Facebook page, George posted after The 2013 Boston Marathon. He claimed 2013 as his 11th consecutive Boston finish. He appears in the official results for every year from 2003 through 2017 except for 2010 (More on 2010 later).
Historical splits are available from 2013 through 2017.
In addition to the missed splits there are some interesting patterns. Below is the elevation profile.
George’s slowest pace is consistently at the start and the end of the race. Some of his fastest paces are between 30 and 35k. This is Heartbreak Hill. It would be quite unusual for someone to run their fastest pace in this section.
How would someone cut the course in Boston? They likely would take a page out of Rosie Ruiz’s playbook and take a train. There would be multiple options to use the trains to cut sections of the course.
If someone were to use this method to shorten the course, would it make sense that they would miss the 20k mat?
The map below shows that there would not be an efficient way to cut the course on this section utilizing the Rosie Ruiz method of course cutting. The Wellesley Square station is conveniently located near the 1/2 marathon split.
How difficult would it be to cut Heartbreak Hill without missing a timing mat using the train?
There are stations near each mat just off the course. The schedule may not have been conducive to using the train for this section. In past years he was seen with car keys on course. This is a little curious since he traveled from out of town and presumably wasn’t flying home straight from the race.
Boston Marathon History – Photos
There are a lack of photos in all of George’s Boston Marathons. All the photos are in the last few miles of the course. There are some photos that are interesting. Not necessarily direct evidence of wrongdoing, but curious nonetheless.
2017 Boston Marathon
He is carrying a phone, and something else in his other hand. He is wearing two watches (which is typical for him) and his bib is fastened using only the top pins. Theoretically, this would make it easy to obscure or remove, were one inclined to do so.
2016 Boston Marathon
On a hot day, George decided to take off his 2nd shirt just before the finish line. Again, he is wearing two watches. He also moved his bib onto the tank for his medal photo.
2015 Boston Marathon
Not much of interest in regards to the photos for 2014 or 2015. Again he is limited to photos near the finish. I am not quite sure that I have seen a bib fastened in this manner before.
2013 Boston Marathon
His only official photos are at the finish. However there was an unofficial photographer set up right at the 30k mat. He took these photos.
The photographer that took these pictures was set up right at the 15k mat. In the first two photos, you can see George on the side of the road. He ran this split in his fastest time (6:56 per mile pace). It appears that he is carrying a car key in his right hand. I did try, but I couldn’t quite make out the readings on his watch.
2010 Boston Marathon
George wasn’t registered for the 2010 Boston marathon, but that did not stop him from running.
His bib was a fake. The dimensions and colors don’t even look correct when you compare it to the other bibs. he copied or produced this bib in order to run the race.
recently, he has only run The Boston Marathon. His past results have turned up the following:
As you can see, he missed splits in both of these races. He did not hit a single split at the Marine Corps Marathon.
I also looked at his New York Marathon history, but have found the recorded splits to be missing from another of other runners as well, so I was not comfortable making conclusions based on those results. He ran the NYC Marathon from 2005-2009. He had some times right around 3 hours, but I just don’t feel I have enough data to draw a real conclusion on those specific results. There are no photos available that far back.
In the past I haven’t spent much time reviewing the actual Boston results unless it hit my radar as the qualifier – as in this case. However, this year I have received a number of reports, and noticed some odd split times. I will spend some more time reviewing the splits. For example, I have found a charity runner that managed to run the Heartbreak Hill section faster than everyone including Galen Rupp and Geoffrey Kurui.
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