Runner Granted Boston Qualifying Time at Walt Disney World Marathon Despite Lack of Evidence That She Completed The Race

Runner Has Four Prior Disqualifications. She Was Disqualified from her 2016 Boston Qualifying Race.

A runner (who I previously have written about) with 4 previous disqualifications, has a Boston Qualifying Time posted from the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon.

This runner denies that she has cheated at any races, but the evidence, and disqualifications leave doubts. I wrote about this runner earlier this year. There have been some developments since that article. The most concerning development was the discovery that she has a very questionable Boston Qualifying time that was earned at the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon.

I mentioned this incident in an earlier post, and have posted about this runner’s other results in the past, but have never gone into detail regarding the Disney result. I am hoping that by bring attention to this, that RunDisney will step up and properly review the circumstances regarding this result.

2017 Walt Disney World Marathon

2017 WDW Marathon

This woman has a Boston Qualifying time that was registered at the 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon. This was not initially discovered in the prior article written about her because the time is not on Marathonguide or Athlinks. It is not listed on those sites because she was added to the results after the race.

She has zero splits. She claimed that there was an issue with her bib.

 

She says that she took the above photo at the expo.

The reason I didn’t show up on your initial radar at Disney was because of my bib, only NOT my fault.  I signed up on the very first day to run the Dopey Challenge with Runner’s World.  When I arrived at the Expo for packet pickup I had to go to one area where they had all my shirts and bibs set aside for me.  There are several bibs to wear over the course of the 4 days.  My half and full marathon bib (its combined and meant to wear twice) was damaged.  Literally bent and not adhering to the bib.  This was an immediate finding at the desk and nobody knew how to handle it because all bibs are personalized to the designated runner.  After an hour of waiting for an answer, the guy at packet pickup finally told me he didn’t know what to do about it and just hope it wouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve asked the question in a Disney Running group, and without exception, the runners say that getting a replacement bib should have been very easy. Disney should have offered replacement – non personalized bib if she was concerned about the damage.

At the 5k and the 10k bibs were “chiming” as each runner crossed the threshold.  Like a single chirp sound, if you will. At the full, the same thing was happening only everyone  else’s did around me but mine didn’t so I ran back to the mat, held the bib straight out and it chirped.  At the last aid station they had white medical tape out so I used that to smooth down the corner because it was poking me .
I ran the 5k and 10k without issue and then the half was cancelled (rightfully) due to weather.  When I was lined up for the full my bib DID NOT activate when I crossed the platform.  Disney marathon actually has me on video running back, trying to hold my bended bib straight to activate it.  I wasn’t planning on a stellar time, truthfully.  But I had a few warm up miles the days before with the fun runs and then with the half cancelled and it being cold I just thought I’d run the best I could.  

There is no way she would have known that her bib didn’t chime at the start. Many runners would have simultaneously crossed the start line. It would have been impossible to discern if her bib ‘chimed’ or not. I surveyed a number of Disney runners. Nearly all report that they never hear beeping or chiming as they cross checkpoints, particularly not at the start.

RunDisney or Trackhack have not confirmed or responded when I asked about her story.

She went on to state that she stopped at two aid stations, and she said her presence at the aid stations was how Disney verified her participation. I was able to easily determine where the aid stations are located. Even if Run Disney did verify her presence at two aid stations, this should not be enough to validate a Boston Qualifying time. The runner mentioned nothing about verifying course photos or GPS data.

 

  “…so my presence on the course was verified by run disney.  I also like to add that I ran all their races and I’m not sure how someone could actually cheat at Disney.  You start in the middle of nowhere, you run in and behind the parks, security is everywhere and the parks are closed to the public.  I kept thinking how private the races were with no cheering or people with signs on any course.  They did have bands and the characters and such but other than a set “cheer zone” there was nobody but staff and security.”

Many runners have reported seeing runners cutting the course by cutting the median between miles 17 and 21. Disney is notorious for cheating.

 

DISQUALIFICATIONS

There are other questionable results for this runner- with missed chips, etc. The races below are the ones where she was actually disqualified.

2015 Miami Marathon – Disqualifed (Boston Qualifying Time)

She used this time to enter and run the 2016 Boston Marathon.

She was initially disqualified from this race, but convinced the timer that there was a chip malfunction. After I requested a review, the race and timers made the final determination that the disqualification was warranted. Unfortunately this decision was made after she had already run the Boston Marathon.

In the race photos, she has a GPS watch, but did not offer the data as evidence. She only appears in pictures at the finish line and before/after the race.

 

2015 Marine Corps Marathon – Disqualified

She is no longer listed in results, and I do not have splits to analyze.

2015 Chicago Marathon – Disqualified

Her time was well over 5 hours.She was slowing to between a 16 and 20 min/mile pace, but then ran from 25k to 3ok at under 8 min/mile, and then missed the 35k split. She has claimed in our various emails that this slow time was due to pacing friends. In this case she ran with her friend, but her friend went ahead of her just before the questionable and missing splits.

 

2016 Vermont City Marathon – Disqualified

The conditions were brutal for this marathon. They actually had to shut down the course due to extreme heat. She initially had a time of just over 4 hours. She did not hit ANY of the intermediate timing mats.

One oddity about this result is that she is pictured with another runner after the finish.

“It was hot and sticky but I ran with this girl, ******, that I met at the beginning and she was just so fun”

” I ran with a stranger named ****** that I befriend at the start of Vermont because it was an 80 degree date and we had a lot in common but I only knew her that day. I have a picture with her that I can send but that’s about it.”

 

I contacted the other runner, and she says that she “never laid eyes” on her until the finish.

I have attached my emails with the race director for VCM. As you can see, I never laid eyes on her until she started blabbing to me at the finish about how grateful she was to have me “pace” her. 

 

The runner in question does not have any clean results that are under 5 hours. In the multiple emails I have from the runner, she references multiple possible reasons for the missing splits.

However, she has never offered any evidence that any of these times are legitimate. In photos, she often is wearing GPS. But she was unable to provide any GPS data verifying her times.

 

Conclusion

The runner has offered up a variety  of rationalizations and theories as to why she has had so many instances of missed timing mats. But, when I press for any sort of evidence that she actually has legitimately run these races, she has nothing to offer.

She has no verifiable races under 5 hours. She claims that she paced slower friends in most of those races. However, as is the case in Chicago, she didn’t necessarily finish with her friends that she was supposedly pacing. In Chicago, she finished behind the ‘slower’ friend.

Even if her chips actually failed in multiple races due to how she was wearing her bib, etc..there is no evidence of her actual times. There is no evidence of her times in these races despite the fact that she is pictured with a GPS watch. When she was questioned by Miami officials immediately following the race, she did not think to provide GPS data (I am also stunned that the timer did not ask for her data).

There is a lack of photos from Vermont and Miami. She only has photos in one location at the 2017 WDW Marathon.

 

If everything the runner told me were true, I still do not think she should be eligible for Boston ’18. A video of her crossing the start of the course, and proof that she was at a couple of aid stations, is not enough to verify that she ran the full 26.2 miles.

She recently ran Grandma’s Marathon and hit all of the timing mats. She finished just under 6 hours.

Multiple emails to TrackShack (the timing provider for RunDisney) have gone unanswered.

 

 

Please consider a small contribution to help support the site. Contributions help to offset costs associated with running the site.

Thanks to all of you that that support Marathon Investigation!

 


One Time Contribution

 

Categories
Walt Disney World Marathon
32 Comments on this post.
  • Bob
    7 July 2017 at 9:42 am

    Wow, what bad luck to have your timing chip fail in almost every marathon. Those things must be notoriously unreliable. I guess I’m lucky it’s never happened to me.

    • Shtinkykat
      8 July 2017 at 12:30 pm

      And clearly her GPS watch fails to record her data at every race too. I’m grateful that I am not chronically cursed as she is.

    • Barb McKeever
      13 July 2017 at 7:58 am

      I’m going to allow her results to stand. Because I care about the sport of running.

  • Ricky
    7 July 2017 at 11:03 am

    She’s full of shit when it comes to her “bib fiasco” at the expo. I ran the Princess Half in 2012 and they had a bib check area (they’re at all runDisney expos if I’m not mistaken). I walk mine through and it didn’t register. The volunteer tried to do it and it still didn’t work. He escorted me to runner’s relations and they promptly handed me a new, unpersonalized bib and changed my number in their registration system so that it matched this new bib. I got to keep the old bib as a momento. I tried this new bib at the checkpoint and it worked like a charm.

    What a liar and a cheater. I guess you’ll do anything for bragging rights…

  • Joe Wilson
    7 July 2017 at 11:04 am

    If you have run 1 marathon you’ve heard of strava. If you’ve run 2 marathons you’re on strava. If someone questions my times I can easily show them my mountains of data from Strava or Garmin or whatever. This person is obviously cheating.

    • Robert F
      12 July 2017 at 1:01 am

      I’ve run 13 marathons (and NYC this fall!) and I’ve never heard of Strava.

  • CMc
    7 July 2017 at 11:16 am

    This runner had a first ever BQ after running a 5k, 10k and half marathon the three days before? She’s a powerhouse!

  • Terry
    7 July 2017 at 12:01 pm

    As a timer I can tell you that it is highly unlikely that a little bend on the end of the tag would cause it to malfunction. Yes once in a GREAT while you will have a bad RFID tag, but I have never seen one work intermittently. They are either bad or good. I have done experiments with tags trying to ruin them by folding them and can say it is very hard.

  • Ray Finkle
    7 July 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Pretty obvious cheater. Will Boston let her in?

  • TG
    7 July 2017 at 1:23 pm

    If she worked as hard at her training as she does with her rationalizations, she may actually qualify with a legitimate result!

  • Jes
    7 July 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Just on the fact that she says that there are no spectators at Disney races and the parks are closed to the public seems like proof she didn’t run the race.

  • John
    7 July 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Have run Disney over ten times and there has always been a mat in the center of expo to check your chip.

  • Wendy
    7 July 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Wow. I’ve run probably around 75 races and never missed a mat or had a bib problem. Clearly, the universe hates her. Poor woman.

  • Wendy
    7 July 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I’ve run probably around 75 races and never missed a mat or had a bib problem. Clearly, the universe hates her. Poor woman.

  • Robert F
    8 July 2017 at 1:29 am

    It just seems like so much effort to cheat, to defend your fraud, and then live with that lie. What would you tell your co-workers who ask about how you qualified for Boston? Would you use the same story every time? What would you tell your best friend?

    The more I read about these folks, the more sorry I feel for them. I’d guess they harbor a lot of private pain or maybe they’re just innately inconsiderate.

  • Iwan Gerbes
    8 July 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Funny that she says you can not cheat at Disney due to security. The races start early and it is dark at some area’s. I have run the Star Wars dark challenge this year, all 3 distances, and you can cheat and cut off parts of the track. Especially with the marathon distance. As well that my experience at Disney races are great, if you have a problem, they solve it!

  • MWoodworth
    8 July 2017 at 2:08 pm

    (1) The chips don’t “chime” or “chirp” as you cross the threshold at runDisney races. Lie #1

    (2) runDisney 5ks are NOT timed races, so there is no chip on the back of the bib. Lie #2

    (3) The only way to know if your chip is activated when you cross the start time is if you sign up for race notifications beforehand – and you have to enter your bib number and cell phone number to get the texts for start time and each time you pass a 5k marker for the 10k, half and full. This isn’t automatic. Lie #3

    (4) runDisney will absolutely replace a damaged bib at the expo. It just won’t have your name on it. Lie #4.

    I have friends who worked hard to qualify for Boston. That this “runner” would be allowed to qualify after repeated disqualification for cheating is outrageous.

    I’ve been participating in runDisney races (other than Marathon weekend) since 2015 and run all the races for the race weekend.

    • CheaterHater
      10 July 2017 at 11:32 am

      While I agree with a lot of your comments, I’m in a FB runDisney group and members swear that the mat chirps when you cross it (not the chip). Regardless, it’s also pretty universally agreed that at a runDisney event you would never know your chirp at the start line.

      Also, point 2 – anyone completing Dopey DOES have a chip on their 5k bib. It’s to ensure that people complete all 4 races. This is the only runDisney 5k with a chip.

      • AndrewFS
        12 July 2017 at 6:42 am

        On point 2 you’re absolutely right. The 5k race has no chip times, but you use the same number for the 5k and the 10k so there is a chip attached for the second race.

  • MWoodworth
    8 July 2017 at 2:20 pm

    And runners cheat at runDisney races by getting another runner to run for them, which is why they now take your picture with bib for the Challenges at the Expo. If you want your Challenge medal, you go through a separate line after finishing and they check your bib number against your photo via laptops.

    This is very common once the 10k sells out. Lots of discussion on Disney boards about couples signing up for the Challenges because one only wants to run a 10k and the other was planning on running the half or full. At the corral entry, they are checking your corral letter assignment, not if your name matches your gender….

  • Chris
    8 July 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Have participated in well over a hundred chip timed events, I have also owned a Garmin GPS device for well over a decade. In that time and throughout years of training I have never,not even once,has a timing chip or bib fail. Not in rain, ice or in conditions of extreme heat and cold. I also, like most runners,habitually track every training run – even to the point where I can tell you every time I may have forgotten to start my watch.
    Qualifying for Boston is hard, really hard! It is the stretch goal for a lot of runners and I have read (not confirmed) that only 1% of all runners have completed a Marathon and only 5% of that 1% qualify. It is a huge achievement and supper hard to attain- the fact that this woman has already run it once based upon a fictitious qualifying time makes me sick. The fact that she wants to use another fabricated result to run it again makes me sorry for her. It’s obviously pathological at this point.

  • Warren
    8 July 2017 at 10:36 pm

    There are only two ways to cut Grandma’s course.
    1. you can catch a ride from someone
    2. You somehow turn on Lake avenue and weasel you way through the crowd to th e finishing chute cutting off about 1.5 miles. There is a timing mat at mile 25 that you’d miss.

    No surprise it took her six hours to finish and hit all the mats

  • Rob
    11 July 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Since Disney clearly doesn’t seem to be able to control their courses, why does BAA continue to allow them as qualifiers? Instead of playing whack-a-mole with all of these low integrity “runners”, how about making it harder for all of them? Not as if there’s a shortage of other qualifying races out there.

  • Big Wick
    12 July 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Extending Rob’s comment, not as if there’s a shortage of other runners out there, who have put forth the hard training required and run the entire course of their qualifying race: paid their dues. And probably haven’t grand-standed (“grandstood?”) on social media. It really is time for BAA to cut loose from Disney.

  • Julie
    12 July 2017 at 9:50 pm

    If you stop at an aid station at a Disney race they will sag you back to start and give you a medal. They do not run your bib number to DNF you. Epcot is open by this time. You probably have a wristband to get into the park and you can run around the World Showcase and “finish” the race. I had emergency spine surgery in November before my Disney Marathon. I wasn’t going to do it, but I was cleared to run 6 miles and decided to enjoy the day and atmosphere. I ran to Magic Kingdom and SAGed back. I assumed my bib was marked DNF at that point. I went into Epcot to cheer on a friend running. When she came through she asked me to run the last 2 miles with her. I found out my bib was still active when I got the text message with my “finish” time.

  • Kaye
    13 July 2017 at 7:01 am

    I missed qualifying for Boston 2017 by seven freaking seconds. People infuriate me.

  • Ravi
    20 July 2017 at 12:54 am

    I really want to know why you don’t identify the cheaters by name on this site. They deserve to be publicly shamed.

    • derek murphy
      22 July 2017 at 10:52 am

      I don’t write the articles to shame the runners. I make a decision whether or not to name the runners based on a variety of factors.

  • A.A.
    22 July 2017 at 10:32 am

    Did her bib register at the 5k, 10k, and half though?

    • derek murphy
      22 July 2017 at 10:45 am

      For Dopey runners there was a different bib for the full. The half was cancelled.

  • Urban B
    22 July 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Hey Derek,
    Anybody who has an annual pass can get her race photos through Disney’s photo pass system. No charge. Just FYI.

    • derek murphy
      23 July 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks. I have obtained the photos. Only 2 photos seemingly late in the race.

    RELATED BY