Course Cutting Dentist Reinstated by Rock n Roll Marathon


I initially wrote about this runner following the 2017 Rock n Roll Arizona marathon. He was one of a handful of runners that had suspicious results based on missed splits.

In addition to the timing data, I received multiple emails regarding this runner from spectators who, for various reasons, were suspicious of his result.

Looking through historical results, it is my opinion that he likely cut portions of the course every year from 2006 through 2017. Below is a chart of his splits from each year.


He was disqualified for 2017 after the result was reported to race officials.

in 2014, he missed the 16.7 mile timing mat. This mat was placed at the turnaround of an out and back section. Inexplicably, this mat was not in place from 2015 through 2017. He missed no mats those years, but his paces were uncharacteristically fast over this section of the course.

Disqualification Reversed

Recently, Dr Pafford was added back into the results of the 2017 race.  He was GIVEN a time of 5:00:00.  His original result showed he ran a personal best of 3:08:31.

What is most disturbing, is that this could not be a random error. Something triggered the decision to put him back into the results of this race. A race official with Competitor Group (or Ironman – who recently purchased Competitor) added Dr. Pafford into the results knowing full well that the time entered was not accurate.


Dr. Pafford’s new time is not a Boston Qualifying time, nor did it result in an age group award. But, a race that does serve as a Boston qualifier should maintain minimum standards of accuracy.

Adding a runner into the results with a time that race officials know is inaccurate should, in my opinion disqualify that race from serving as a Boston qualifier.  If an organization is willing to make the decision to fabricate a 5 hour result for a runner, how confident can we be that they could not be persuaded to add a 3 hour result for a runner?

I don’t know if the Boston Athletic Association will ever go so far as to stripping credentials from a marathon or from an organization. If they were to do so, it would go a long way towards forcing races to respect the results and focus on the integrity of their results for all participants.



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  1. My question is why they’d bother adding him back in to begin with. If you’re not going to let his original result stand, then why give him a finish and a result to begin with?

  2. How much of this is due to the fact that Competitor Group is seeing dwindling attendance numbers at their races, and as a for-profit company, needs to do everything they can to keep people coming to their races? I’m not saying I agree AT ALL with this decision and Derek, you are exactly right in that any RACE forging fake finishers or race data should automatically be stripped of any type of BQ status, BUT at the end of the day, does Competitor Group (or whatever they are known as now) REALLY care as long as the $ is flowing in?

    • Do you have numbers that back up your claim that “Competitor Group is seeing dwindling attendance numbers at their races” or are you just making stupid statements about a company you hate?

      • The numbers are easily available. Finishers of the Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon, by year:

        2004: 9482
        2005: 7166
        2006: 7428
        2007: 6942
        2008: 6453
        2009: 6440
        2010: 5691
        2011: 5062
        2012: 3863
        2013: 3223
        2014: 2878
        2015: 2557
        2016: 2335
        2017: 2332

        The numbers speak for themselves.

  3. Five hours is the default finisher time. It does not get him a Boston qualifier but it enables him to continue his streak of finishes and possibly return as a future Competitor Group event customer.

    Competitor is a for-profit company and needs all of the participants it can get these days as their numbers start to wane.

    • Orson, it would seem that this fellow did NOT FINISH the AZ marathon. If that is indeed the case, there is no viable streak to continue if it was never completed. It’s all false.

      For profit companies should drop the prices. Lower prices will get you more participants. The price of marathons has gone thru the roof.

  4. I don’t buy them reinstating him for the money. One runner likely isn’t worth the trouble; 5000 certainly would be. I wonder instead if he disputed the DQ and they were unable to say without a doubt that he cut, therefore they reinstated him, but with a time that is of no value. Possibly he provided some level of evidence, like GPS data. Hard to speculate without a statement for the reversal. From what I see in the results, I think he cheated.

  5. I wonder if he threatened legal action and RandR backed down just to avoid the hassle of fighting it? Because, really?? This is so blatant. Even ONE year of stats like this seems to be pretty clear cut evidence of cheating IMO, but for twelve years in a row to miss the same mats and have an unrealistic pace in between? He should be ashamed of himself, and RandR should be ashamed for allowing it. (Just another reason I will never run another RandR race.) I’d love to see a group follow him in the 2018 marathon (like the Disney woman)and catch him in the act if he cuts the course. Any AZ runners want to volunteer?

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