The runner profiled below has run in 3 Boston Marathons, finishing 2 of them. He has entered Boston in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I identified him based on his 2016 result. He was missed in the review of 2015 because he was a DNF.
No splits are available for Tucson or the Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon.
Splits are online for The Eugene Marathon.
Most interesting is the missed 10k split.
He ran the first 5k at a 8:28 min/mi pace.
Between 5k and 13.1 miles, his pace calculates to a 7:08 per minute mile.
He then missed the 20 mile split before finishing with a time of 3:28:37. He would also miss the 20 mile split in the 2015 Eugene Marathon
The Newport Marathon was used as his qualifier for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Boston ’14 would be his first of three Boston Marathons.
There are no splits online for this race.
There are splits available for Philadelphia.
He did not miss any splits at Philadelphia. But the 30k to Finish split time does seem rather remarkable. This section of the course is a common place to cut. It is on an out and back section where there was no timing mat at the turnaround. To run 6:32 per mile for the last 12km of a marathon after running the previous leg at an 8:29 pace would be an accomplishment. He used this race to register for the 2015 Boston Marathon. He started the race but was unable to finish.
In 2014, he ran 4 races (Including Boston) with times ranging from about 3:40:00 to just over 4 hours. None of these represented Boston qualifying times. These results seem clean.
The 2015 Eugene Marathon was used as a qualifier for Boston ’16.
This was the 2nd time he has missed splits at the Eugene Marathon.
Below is the Eugene Marathon map.
In addition to the missed 20 mile mat, the stretch from 5k to 10k is worth analyzing.
After running the first 5k at a 7:10 min/mi pace, the runner ran the next 5k at a 5:58 min.mi pace.
It should be noted that the Savannah time was a ‘diverted’ time. Due to excessive heat, many runners were diverted off the course. This is not an official marathon time.
RNR New Orleans
He missed 2 splits. His pace from 3.1 to 10 miles calculates to a 7:08 per mile pace. I am left scratching my head a bit at how this split would have been missed. If someone cut straight across the road after hitting the 5k mat, they should still hit the 10k timing mat. In order to miss the mat (not accounting for possibility of a technical error) a runner would likely have turned around after hitting the 5k and not crossed the street until after passing the 10k mat. That said, I do think a technical error was possible with that mat. I did find that the early mats were missed by a significant # of runners.
It is easier to imagine how the 20 mile timing mat may have been missed.
Chicago also was not a qualifying time. But he did miss the 25k timing mat.
Again, missed timing mats are not in themselves evidence of course cutting. But his pace did increase substantially during the portion that was missed. The average pace over this portion was over a minute per mile faster than any of the registered splits.
The runner initially qualified for Boston 2018 with the Lake Lowell time. The runner has been removed from this race’s results and no longer has an official Boston qualifying time. When I informed the runner that he had been removed, he simply stated ” I am sad to hear about lake lowell i hurt my calf bad at that one”.
The Runner’s Response
The runner did respond to my messages and denies any wrongdoing. He does do work as a pacer and says he typically paces between 4:24 and 4:55. He did share an article regarding his weight loss and 2014 bout with cancer. As I promised to not name him in the article, I won’t link the article here. But I wanted to acknowledge that he did share that information with me.
I told him that his results had come to my attention, and that I was hoping he could provide some data to validate one or more of those times. He said that he was not ‘techy’.
When I later replied that the results did look suspicious, and again asked for any information that could be used to clear him, he said that he felt as if he was on trial. That was not my intention. I was looking for anything to cast doubt on my initial conclusions.
As I was finishing up the article this morning, I thought to try to determine who he ran New Orleans with. I could not find anyone matching his pace. He was pictured with a female after the finish, but their times did not match up. When I went to try to ask him who he ran with – if their times matched up, it could support him – I found out that he had blocked me.
The response of this runner is very similar to others that I have written about. None of the runners seem to have GPS data despite running with their watches. Instead of defending their times they respond with their personal story.
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Sad part is he doesn’t seem like a bad runner. Maybe just not good enough to BQ causing some poor decisions. His 2017 results outside of Lowell we are to assume as leading pace groups? That result sticks out and again all these races missing splits. I’m jinxing myself, but with about 100 races I’ve never had one missed mat. And if I did I have my Garmin data. He has a GPS watch and with his block and excuses it sways opinion that he has cut courses several times.
If he is a hired pacer, that pacing team should be able to provide you with the race information to verify he was in fact a pacer for a specific race and his finish time.Further more, none of those are pacer times. I ran 2012 ET Marathon and I can tell you that it is VERY easy to cheat at that course and the RD is notorious for looking the other way with cheaters, especially that year with the 10k’ers. If he is truthful and not without any fault, he would be more transparent and willing to give you data, not block you.
Or maybe he was implying one-on-one pacing. I have paced several friends before which explains why I have marathons that are a good hour+ slower than what I normally race and why they are not even close to a pro-pacer time. But still, he didn’t have any photo proof running with a friend.
Are you interested in course cutters who cheat on half Marathons or only full marathons?
Hi Derek. Interesting read as always (i’m somewhat addicted to your site), but would respectfully submit – if you’re trying to protect this runner’s identity, I would suggest removing his bib number from the photo. You can easily find his name by searching the race website (under areas other than results).
I do enjoy reading your articles, but worry its a bit like rubbernecking at a car accident. There is no doubt this guy (along with the other people you post about) made a bunch of mistakes, but the vitriol of the internet can be exceptionally cruel. Its hard to imagine someone who needs to lie about their race performances does not have some other issues surrounding self-worth. Could this type of exposure help them? Perhaps. Could it also send them over the edge, on a self destructive path? I believe that to be far more likely.
I think you could achieve the same goals without the pictures and potential for public shaming. Let the RD’s know of the cheating. Reach out to the offending runner. Publish the data with bib numbers and faces blurred out. I think you would still have the same following on your site, but provide a more likely path towards reform.
I’ve gotten more conservative with who I name. My intent in not naming him is more to keep this issue out of the search engines. People are going to figure out the identity if they really want to. They could figure it out with the times, etc. While I do not want to ‘shame’ anyone, the articles are partially meant to serve as a deterrent.
In less egregious situations, I do blur out bibs and times. I take it on a case by case basis.
I think the articles do a good job of walking the line between being a deterrent and in going overboard on people. Some of these folks go to great lengths to cheat and need to be exposed for it. Its even worse when they go on the offensive when caught red headed and curse people and threaten defamation lawsuits.
DETERRENT is the magic word!
> Could this type of exposure help them?
That’s like asking a cop who’s stopping a crime in progress: “will handcuffing the criminal help reform them?” This runner has seemingly been cheating for years and getting them and possibly others to stop cheating is what comes first.
Thank you Derek! Another serial cheater exposed. The mathematical improbability of one runner,particularly an experienced one missing that many timing mats unintentionally is astounding!
When I ran Philadelphia 2015, there was a timing mat at the turnaround. I couldn’t say whether there was one there for 2014.
I wasn’t looking for ways to cheat, so I don’t remember if that was the 30k mat or whether there was a separate 30k mat.
Regardless, the 30k mat is near the turnaround, so if he cheated, he did so by getting transportation somewhere between the 30k mat and the finish line.
That wouldn’t be hard to arrange; there aren’t many spectators out along that part of the route (although I have happy memories of accepting a few ounces of beer from a spectator around the 21 mile mark!)
Unrelated question, but I’m curious. How often do you investigate and clear runners? Do results sometimes look suspicious and then aren’t?
Imho, this person is an avid runner/4+ hr marathoner who once a year posts a time that qualifies him for Boston – Presumably to be considered a good runner by friends, family, social media etc. (one posted time was a Rossi-eque 3:11). Pretty classic pattern. I think people fitting this m.o. figure that cheating once a year to get into Boston isn’t so bad, won’t be so noticeable, while satisfying their personal “needs.”
Sad. He obviously puts a lot of time and money into running marathons all over the country, I just don’t understand why cheat. I mean I do, but it makes me sad when I see a case of an obviously passionate runner with history in the sport, stoop to that level. And I’m sure it has always been this way, it is just that the internet allows people like Derek to shed light on it better than ever before. I may never get to boston, or at least not for another decade and the time requirements catch up with my speedy 4:10 marathon PR, but that is the way it should be, reserved for those who put in more time than I do, or who can contribute to charity.
I ran RNR Nola this past year, and the roads were so crowded with runners (and potholes) during the first 6-8 miles, that many runners ran up in the median where the tram tracks were…that accounts for why many runners miss the 5k and 10k mats.
(Definitely not defending this athlete, he seems to have had many questionable results, but I know I would have missed a mat had someone not pointed it out to me during the race.)
It wasn’t stated or maybe I missed it as to how he was disqualified from Lake Lowell Marathon – by the race themselves or via this blog. Two observations – he originally got 6th overall in a thin field so may have been noticed by other runners vying for top finishes, by the race officials etc. In fact I believe he would have been first master. Also he had run a marathon (4:20) the week before. Typically that is not conducive to running a faster time.
AGREED! I have ran back-to-back marathons like that and my second one in the week is slower. Unless you are Lance Armstrong and getting a bag of oxygen-rich blood, there’s no way you can run a full hour faster 6-7 days after a previous marathon. Especially one w/ lots of hills like Lowell.
I think the “back to back marathons” argument is pretty weak evidence of cheating. Pretending, for a moment, that he’s capable of a legit 3:10 marathon, then a 4:20 finish would give him an extra 2:40 /mile. Or to put it another way, he’d only have to run 18 miles (at 3:10 marathon pace) and walk 8 miles in order to achieve a 4:20 finish. Not the taper that I would perform, but not implausible either.
I once paced a 3:35 marathon three weeks before running a 3:03:12 (an 11 minute PB at the time).
The splits and missing mats are much stronger evidence.
It’s not impossible or implausible to run quick marathons back to back or close together. I certainly believe Derek, as usual, put forth overwhelming evidence, but let’s just stick to that — the actual evidence. Running multiple marathons close together does not in and of itself mean cheating. Look at Mike Wardian and what he does. Hell, I PRed a marathon and ran within two minutes of that time two weeks later.
Once again an RnR race pops up. They have the most courses w/ out-&-backs; so easy to cheat. I have seen it so many times at RnR Seattle, San Antonio, LV.. And I don’t think RnR checks the missed mat data like they should. How many legit finishers had division wins stolen from them, or a legit spot at Boston stolen from them? They think they are not harming anyone, but they don’t understand the repercussions of the actions against those who have a work-ethic, fortitude, and integrity.
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