Olympian shown telling team members how to cut at The Chicago Marathon


Benjamin Paredes represented Mexico as a former Olympian participant, Pan Am Marathon champion, and 1994 NYC Marathon runner up was caught on video telling a team of runners how to go about cheating the Chicago Marathon.


In the video, he gives instructions aimed at those that do not wish to complete to run the entire marathon.

He instructs runners “Take the chip away. Take off the team shirt. Go walking at 21 and suddenly you get in, ”

The video has been making the rounds on social media and was featured in an article on sinembargo.mx.

I have received a number of reports of runners jumping in the course late, seemingly more interested in getting the medal than actually completing 26.2 miles.



I received the above picture in a message stating that this runner put the bib on at the 800m to go marker. The results for this runner confirms that she jumped in just before the finish. She hit no splits. The only mat she crossed was the finish.

I am sure I will be writing more about Chicago in the upcoming days. I have already identified a likely serial cheater that likely cut at Chicago this year – I’ve written about her before, and she is registered for the 2018 Boston Marathon off a suspicious result.


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  1. I ran yesterday and remember thinking that with all of the “out & back sections, it wouldn’t surprise me if people cut the course. There were timing mats strategically placed to combat this, so you’d likely have to know where each mat was to cut the course and get away with it.

  2. I do not lose any sleep over these “medal seeker” types. There are simply too many of them to ever stop this sad practice. You can complain till the cows come home about integrity, accomplishment etc, but in the end it doesnt matter to these people or really to the races. I am more interested in the serial cheaters, the self-promoters, those seeking age group or better awards and of course the bogus BQ seekers – all rooted in narcissism, which to me makes the whole topic scientifically interesting.. I suppose Chicago could sanction the group that planned to possibly cut the course (did they?) much like Marine Corp punished “Jean’s Marines” many years ago for a big group course cutting. However, in the end there will be many other medal seekers to take their places.

    Looking forward to the forthcoming serial cheater article.

  3. For the all those “medals seeker” types, I wish I could find them.
    I have a bunch of medals just stashed in my closet. I’d be willing to let them go for well under $180…

  4. I have a solution, get rid of giving every single person a metal… only top three in each age group and top three overall. That’s it. This everyone gets a metal thing is causing more problems than it’s worth.

  5. I don’t even understand how these people live with themselves. Aside from the fact they are devaluing the sport, I feel sorry for them they don’t know the feeling that comes with success born of dedication and hard work.

    • Good article, Brian. I think Jean’s Marines was the canary in the coal mine.

      I agree that these people devalue the sport of running, particularly marathoning. In their minds I believe they feel that they have accomplished something just by entering and almost finishing (e.g Galloway marathoning program) and many probably believe they deserve a medal for that achievement. Deep down they know they didn’t *really* deserve it but since it is an otherwise minor issue in life they can live with that.

      • Including Galloway in this thread is inappropriate and a disservice to the program. While most of the Galloway runners (yes, they are runners) will never qualify for Boston they train hard and would never consider cheating. The Galloway program is primarily a feeder for runners to train for a marathon or half marathon. I started that way and though I no longer use the run-walk method, I still occasionally volunteer as a pacer for one of their groups. Most recently this was the 3:45 pace group; a pace much faster than the average marathoner. Even exceptional runners will use this method. The winner of the 2017 Donna 110 Ultra ran the Disney World marathon the previous month using the Galloway run-walk. He did this to “save his legs” and finished under 2:53. The winner of the Donna Half Marathon started running with a high school Galloway program and his winning time was 1:18:22.

        • “The winner of the 2017 Donna 110 Ultra …”

          A friend of mine, who has completed 2 Badwaters, a dozen or so Umsteads, and various other Ultras likes to say: “Hundred-milers are all Gallow-walking contests”


          • Unless you are capable of running with Walmsley, the odds are you will be walking in a 100.

            But I disagree with the “Hundred-milers are all Gallow-walking contests”, it should be “Hundred-milers are eating contests, with bouts of exercise thrown in”.

  6. I understand it in a way – those who run the last 800m for the medal and the finisher photo, are not ‘runners’. A real runner couldn’t do this as they know the effort required. Those who cut at 21km are not marathon runners – they can shuffle a half-marathon or two, but can’t possible understand the effort involved to ‘properly’ run a marathon. Social media is the cause of it – imagine doing this in the 80s/90s? What would be the point – show your medal to a few friends in the pub? These days, they can reach 000s of people in an hour after the race. Others we know of course, can make money out of it through their online personalities.

  7. This sounds very familiar to the accustomed ways of the Mexico Marathon. Again, makes me question if this is culturally acceptable… they think “eh just need to do a short practice run, why not catered?” Those that were cheating like this in Mexico, stated they paid for entry, therefore they were “entitled” to the aid stations (if they partook in any long enough to be on the course) and the finisher medal. This thought process seems like it’s fostered by way of culture (we all do it, so it’s fine).

  8. I ran Chicago and a friend was waiting to see me just before Mile 26 and she said that Security was working to pull people off the course who it were banditing (or maybe trying to jump in at that point) just before the turn to the finish.

  9. I don’t know why you associate the Galloway program with this. All the Galloway runners I’ve ever known (i ran marathons with them for 10 years) finish the entire 26.2 miles. THat is NOT “almost finishing”. If you are referring to their Run-walk method then you should disqualify every runner that even walked through a water stop as well. 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles and it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you complete the entire distance. There is absolutely no cheating involved as was referenced in this article.

  10. I honestly don’t get people wanting a medal for something they didn’t earn. I recently ran a 100km race but due to an ongoing injury, which I hadn’t fully dealt with, I ended up having to pull out of the race at 50km.

    This was a race which had different distance and you could sign up for running 50km. When I said I was going to drop, the lady at the check point said I should still go and pick up a medal because I had earned it.

    I couldn’t do it. I had signed up for 100km, not 50km, I hadn’t dealt with my injury correctly and that had lead to improper training. There is no respect or pride in looking at a medal with the knowledge that you didn’t earn it.

    You run your race, if you can’t finish it, you go back to the drawing board, work out what went wrong and come back stronger next year.

  11. Marathon races are at a high enough distance that the body begins breaking down midway through, and it hurts the true runners more than it helps them. The distance is based on an ancient fable, not medical advice. So, why do it, instead of running faster in a shorter (but still challenging) distance?

    These cheaters are making it seem like the narcissism involved is a primary reason for being seen to “achieve” a marathon finish, especially in the age of social media, when the “news” of their (supposed) finish can be transmitted to anyone and everyone. If no one was watching, would they still do something which is harmful to their bodies? I doubt it.

    • “Marathon races are at a high enough distance that the body begins breaking down midway through, and it hurts the true runners more than it helps them. The distance is based on an ancient fable, not medical advice. So, why do it, instead of running faster in a shorter (but still challenging) distance?”

      Scott, did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

      • This is Derek’s only post in October. Perhaps outing waifish obsessives gets to be a drag after a while. Sort of like this conversation.

    • And yet here you are, on a website called Marathon Investigation. Sounds like the person you’re trying to convince is yourself.

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