Lean.Strong.Fast. Founder and Coach Disqualified From Boston Qualifying Marathon


Marlon Bascombe, founder of Lean.Strong.Fast was featured over a year ago in an article on MarathonInvestigation.com.


At the time, despite the overwhelming evidence that he cut the course , the New Jersey Marathon did not issue a disqualification. Marlon used the result of the 2015 New Jersey Marathon to enter the 2016 Boston Marathon.

I re-shared the original articles on the Marathon Investigation Facebook page yesterday. It looks like the article got the right person’s attention. Before I could even re-share with the New Jersey Marathon directly, Marlon was disqualified.


Original result – 2015 New Jersey Marathon






The original article went into detail regarding the missed splits and unlikely pace. I also showed that the evidence he provided was inaccurate and likely manipulated. There was additional information presented on a local race where his  Strava data contradicted his official time. I felt it was important to report on this result, as well as the other apparent attempts at deception when Marlon was defending his times. If I were a client or a potential client, I would want to know.


The New Jersey Marathon has been very responsive lately to all inquiries. I sent them information relating to the 2017 race and they were quick to respond. I will report this information to the B.A.A. as well.




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  1. I looked him up just now and it took him more than 4:40 to run the 2016 Boston Marathon.

    I wonder if these long finish times from people who qualified with much faster times set off any alarm bells with the BAA. They should.

    • That is basically what I look at when I prioritize my review of Boston qualifiers. Most of the time the variance is explainable, but in some cases the reason for the large variance is that the runner did not qualify legitimately.

  2. Thank you for your diligence. I was one of the ~4500 people who qualified for 2016 but not by the 2:28 margin that was needed in the end, so this one is especially meaningful. I’ll be trying again for the 2020 race when I age up. Keep up the good work and save my spot from the cheaters.

  3. To his credit I guess, since you called him out in May 2016 he’s back to running (what looks like) his legitimate 2:20+ half-marathons. With little chance of qualifying legitimately for Boston, he’s probably not too concerned with his impending lifetime ban.

    • I ran New Jersey this year, it’s an incredibly easy course to cut with a HUGE out and back. No doubt this guy targeted New Jersey as a place to get an easy BQ by cutting the course.

  4. For those defending this (and all of the other examples) please help me understand where accountability, integrity, ethics should kick in. I’ve seen people defend these cheats because “they’ve had a hard life”, because “they inspire so many people”, “they worked so hard”, etc. I’ve seen them defended because it’s “just a race”, “they’re not elites”, “there are bigger things to focus on”. I’ve also seen the “they’re not really hurting anyone” and “they don’t deserve to be called out” (the equivalent of “they don’t deserve to be held accountable” excuse). So, when does any level of accountability, integrity, or ethics become relevant to you? It’s a rhetorical question, really, and lies at the heart of these discussions and why these cheaters and their supporters lead such complicated (not in a positive way) and ultimately unhappy lives. Everything seems to be about making a judgment/decision about doing the right thing versus not. I can assure you these same cheaters cheat in many facets of their lives, because it often comes down to the thought process of doing what is right or not to justify a desired end. Am I P.O.”d about it? Yea, because it ultimately robs the joy from those who do it right. And don’t tell me for a G.D. second it doesn’t.

  5. And as far as questioning the data, please don’t demonstrate your ignorance about running by calling the numbers into question or by saying this “was the first time so and so” ran hard. Bullsh–! I don’t know a soul – and I mean back of the packers, AG winners, sub elites, walkers, etc. – that isn’t doing some if not all races with the goal of running faster. And that includes the person who likes to pace others. They’re running somewhere at sometime to see how fast they can go and they have a watch or phone app tracking it that they are happy to show anyone and everyone that’s interested. And it’s immediately apparent if the results weren’t manipulated or not. These watches and phone apps are so easy to use and gather so much data, it’s extraordinary. You can glimpse and see the results.

  6. I remember this article well. Glad to see him finally held accountable. His brainwashed followers will probably make excuses for him.

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