A runner that I identified as having used a bib mule to qualify for and run the 2015 Boston Marathon also ran the 2017 Boston Marathon. I was finally able to obtain evidence that she used a bib mule in order to qualify for Boston ’17 as well.
I have been working on organizing and maintaining my database of runners with questionable results. I should have caught this runner prior to her being able to run the 2017 race. She had a slight name variation in her 2015 qualifying race, and I had that variation in my database – so I initially missed her 2017 entry. It was only when going through the list manually that I noticed this runner ran the 2017 Boston Marathon.
2015 Boston Marathon
She was among the 50+ runners that I identified as part of the initial Boston Marathon Project. She was initially reviewed due to her large variance between her qualifying time and Boston Marathon time.
Her qualifying time was run at the 2013 NYC Marathon. She had posted photos at the NYC Marathon expo, and some of the leaders of the race. It appears she was there as a spectator. She posts race photos and medal photos from most other races. Had she truly run a Boston Qualifying time, I would have expected her to have posted about it on social media. The photos which I reviewed on Marathonfoto.com show a younger woman with this runner’s bib.
2017 Boston Marathon
She qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon at the 2016 Hyannis Marathon. This was immediately suspicious. With the exception of her Qualifier for the 2015 Boston Marathon, all other marathons are over 5 hours. The photos were archived, but the unidentified photos were still searchable. She had posted this photo on Facebook.
I was able to match some photos of her on the race course, but nothing where she was actually on the course with other marathon runners in frame where I could confirm her actual placement on the course. This morning, however I was able to obtain photos clearly showing another runner wearing her bib during her qualifier. The runner pictured wearing her bib, is the male on the left of the below photo.
The last piece of evidence I found was from her Facebook page as well. She captions the photos of her after The Hyannis Marathon with “I ran half Hyannis marathon”
Upon publishing this article, I am going to notify all affected races. Initially when I found that she used a bib mule to qualify for Boston 2015 it was nearly 3 years after the initial qualifying race. I did not push as hard as I should have for a disqualification from New York. I am hopeful that given this clear evidence, that Hyannis will issue a disqualification and that Boston will remove her result and ban her from future participation.
I am adding to and cleaning up the database of runners that have prior suspicious results. I will review their results and re-engage races to push for retroactive disqualification. I also will continue to look for those runners in future race results to try to catch cheating in qualifiers as the races happen.
This is the only runner that I had previously identified as having cheated to qualify for 2015 or 2016 Boston Marathons that successfully ran the 2017 race. There were however some that had sold bibs in prior years, that ran the race this year. I will report these prior identified instances of bib selling to the B.A.A.
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