Philadelphia Marathon Results Still Include Many Highly Suspicious Times

The Philadelphia Marathon was 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately most of the runners that obviously did not complete the full course remain in the results. I have notified the race...

The Philadelphia Marathon was 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately most of the runners that obviously did not complete the full course remain in the results. I have notified the race of all of the instances of apparent course cutting that involve Boston Qualifying times.

Runners Not Being Disqualified:

The Philadelphia Marathon has an unpublished timing mat at the turnaround after mile 20. It does not seem that they are utilizing this to issue disqualifications.

Below is just one obvious example where a runner simply gave up.

I’ve redacted most the information here because I don’t have evidence to show that this runner was intentionally cheating. This could be a case where a runner just gave up. Yet, despite being given this information almost 3 weeks ago, this runner is still given an official finish time.

According to the results, this runner finished the 2nd half of the race in about 1/2 hour. There is no excuse for runners like this to be immediately removed from the results. If races don’t want to burden the runners with a “DQ”, just remove them from the results.

This One is More Interesting…

Looking at the result on it’s own does not raise much suspicion. The most suspicious thing from looking at just this page is the improved time from 2016. There could be many explanations for this.

But, looking at recent results for this runners does raise more flags:

 

She ran 4 marathons in 2 months. After a 4:12:14 in NYC, she ran nearly 50 minutes faster at Philadelphia? That seems very unlikely. The 3:22:30 is a PR for her. She never ran faster than 4:10:00 previously.

Note: The Boston Marathon entry was not earned through a qualifying time. There is no qualifying marathon.

 

No photos are seen of her on the first half of the course.

 

Once Again…Social Media Provides Evidence

 

This post was made at 7:13 AM. She started at 7:04:34 AM. An argument *could* be made that there was a lag with Facebook uploading photos. After some started questioning her race, she deleted this post. Also, it appears to me that these photos were not taken from the start corral but among spectators.

The post above shows her intention to run Boston 2019. She also tagged a friend that ran The Philadelphia Marathon as well. In fact, according to the splits, they ran the first half together. All splits were identical or within 1 second of each other.  However, they appear in no photos together. Also, she appears in no photos during the first half of the race.

It is my opinion that her friend muled her bib for the first half (or more) of the race before handing it off to her. I believe the evidence here is conclusive.

To summarize the evidence:

  • Personal Record during 4th marathon within 2 months
  • Facebook post shown within crowd posted AFTER she should have started – post has been removed
  • Running Partner has identical splits through 13.1 miles – they appear in no photos together
  • She appears in no photos during the first half of the race

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that The Philadelphia Marathon feels that this evidence is enough to issue a disqualification. I contacted them a week ago, and she remains in the results. The response I received indicated that there was not enough evidence. They also have yet to remove the first runner profiled – the one whose results show a 30 minute half marathon. Hopefully they will eventually get around to cleaning up the results. In this case in particular, the runner plans to use this result for Boston.

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25 Comments on this post.
  • Jim
    11 December 2017 at 11:55 am

    While I understand that previous results can be an indicator of an athletes ability they are not proof. I ran 3:16 in Chicago and 3:40 a week later but all my other marathons this year have been well over 4 hours. Not saying she didn’t cheat but I don’t see this as evidence on way or another.

    • John M.
      11 December 2017 at 1:16 pm

      There is a lot more evidence than just that. The Facebook post, lack of photos, split times with her friend combined with the time difference from other marathons makes it a pretty strong case that she cheated.

    • Karger
      11 December 2017 at 1:16 pm

      Very true. I’m actually a pretty good runner (usually place top 10% in all my races), but I will sometimes pace my younger child during races (for safety purposes) and my slower time will show up. So am I cheating?! Of course not. It’s just that I obviously don’t go all out when I run with my son. My guess is that people have similar reasons for having races which are not exactly reflective of their true abilities….

      • Larissa
        12 December 2017 at 5:00 pm

        That is true. I am a pro pacer, so when you look at my results you will see races in the 3:20s (me racing for me) and then others usually around 3:44 (3:45 pacer), etc. My 4 hour races are rare, and usually it is when I am personally pacing a friend. But that is not the norm. Your races will consistently be w/in 10-20 minutes of finish times (exception to drastic weather like heat); not 40-60 minutes, like she did in the cooler fall months.

    • Lardog
      13 December 2017 at 1:28 am

      Take a look at her results on Athlinks. I won’t post her name but you can look up her bib# 519 in the Philly results and then go from there. In shorter races, she’s an 8-9 minute miler. She ran the NYRR 5th Ave Mile in 6:56. She has no results that indicate she’s capable of sub-8s for a marathon. If you look at her pace in the 2nd half, that’s more representative of her speed. And then there’s the BS in her FB post about her “watch acting up.”

  • derek murphy
    11 December 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Of course there are many reasons why someone may run a slow race. His situation is different. He runner, with a long history of results had a significant PR in her fourth marathon over a very short timeframe.

  • Justin
    11 December 2017 at 3:42 pm

    You forgot to mention in your summary that she went out of her way to post about her watch “acting up,” which seems suspicious.

    To you folks talking about slower times not being conclusive of cheating, you are certainly correct. I run with my kids on occasions as well and have some slower 5k times because of it. Slower times are only one piece of the puzzle though, and they should not be dismissed out of hand since they are inconclusive in and of themselves.

    • Larissa
      12 December 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Oh yeah LOL! Wind? HAHAHAHAHA no lady.

  • greg
    11 December 2017 at 3:57 pm

    derek, have you looked into how she got into the 2017 Boston Marathon? I think you’re onto another serial cheater here

  • Former Marathoner
    11 December 2017 at 7:04 pm
    • CSe
      13 December 2017 at 12:28 pm

      I agree. The strongest leverage is with the BAA. They would just need to threaten races, that have a history of not removing cheaters, with being no longer accepted as BQ races.
      That would solve the problem very fast as no race wants to be on that list. And the effort for the BAA would be minimal. Blacklist a race until they implement a proper review. In my opinion the BAA owes that to the sport and athletes. Especially with all the strong statements they make about the sport.

      • Former Marathoner
        13 December 2017 at 1:14 pm

        The BAA will have to change its policy. Here is a link to its page on qualifying: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/qualifying.aspx.

        And here is the pertinent quote:

        We accept qualifying times from USATF, AIMS, or foreign equivalent certified courses. The Boston Marathon does not designate which races meet qualifying standards. You must contact the race directly to see if they are certified.

  • Billy
    11 December 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Regarding the “3:21:47” alleged marathoner, sure, she may have “chosen” to run some prior marathons more slowly. Just for argument’s sake, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt on that… But she does have a history of 24 NYRR races over the last about 2.5 years. No one capable of a 3:21 marathon would have such a consistent, steady history of such relatively slow shorter races. 2.5 years of races, nothing even remotely suggestive of sub 3:30 marathon ability. Totally consistent with about a 4:00-4:15 marathoner. Fraud city. Should get kicked off her running team, if nothing else.

  • Steve
    12 December 2017 at 7:01 am

    I believe that anyone that has read Derek’s article and the evidence presented and still doubts that this runner cheated is either extremely naive or in some way wants to condone such egregious behavior. I too reviewed her NYRR records and found that on September 10th 2017 she ran the 5th Ave Mile in 6:56. Most runners participate in this race to test themselves in an all out effort for one mile.

    Now, how is it that during the Philly Marathon she is able to complete her first 10k with an average pace of 6:40. Not only is that impossible for her to do, but she allegedly continues to run to complete the entire marathon in 3:21:47.

    I find that the Philly Marathon and all other marathons that condone cheating should be boycotted. There are plenty of reputable race directors that would never permit such cheating. It is obvious that they are just turning a blind eye to cheating for the sake of profit.

    Boston really needs to take a hard look at what marathons should serve as qualifiers.

  • Rolando Bonilla
    12 December 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Two runners, running exactly the same splits, and just one of them in the photos? This is cheating of course! Why do they even promote themselves on social media when they know they are cheating and stealing someone else’s place in Boston? What a shame.

  • Larissa
    12 December 2017 at 4:56 pm

    First… if that photo of her walking (w/ her hand to her mouth) is on the course, she did NOT run a 3:22 suddenly (after doing 4:30 marathons recently). There is no walking in a 3:22 (except through an aid station).

    Second, claiming to not post times… that comes off fishy… because she’s subconsciously thinking about the times, so to even mention it in writing is off (I have lots of Marathon Maniac friends who don’t post times, but they never mention anything about not posting times…they just don’t need to, cause they aren’t cheating and they don’t care).

    Is it possible to run a faster marathon 1-2 months later. YES! I and some of my friends are proof of that (you’ve built the mitochondria and your body retains the memory of the effort; I tell people a plan B race is usually a winner), but a 40 minute PR?

    • Runnergal
      13 December 2017 at 9:35 am

      Larissa, I think that photo of her with her hand to her mouth is at the finish line. I think those are the two timing mats, and it looks like the finish line chute with the fencing on the sides. Agree with the rest of your comments, though!

    • joeconn4
      14 December 2017 at 9:46 am

      Hi Larissa – I must disagree with you that “There is no walking in a 3:22”, based on my personal experience. My first marathon my finish time was 3:12 (1:28/1:44 splits). I walked at each mile mark of 20-24 to prevent the total crash that I felt coming on. I walked for about 100-150 yards each time then got back to running. I also did some walking at Boston a couple times and finished in 3:09:xx. A couple other times I ran in the 3:15-3:25 range including some walking late in the race when I was bonking. Not saying that’s the case with #519.

  • Steve
    13 December 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Derek has this runner made any admissions or statements since the damning evidence that you have presented? I am curious to hear her explanation for this miracle run. What about her running team? It appears that according to her NYRR records that she is affiliated with the New York City Police Department. Have they commented or dumped her yet? Even Jane Seo came clean (well somewhat) after you exposed her cheating. The Dashing Whippets disassociated themselves from Jane Seo in NY minute. Hopefully, the Philly Marathon Race Director will also reconsider their decision not to DQ.

    • Heriberto Medina
      15 December 2017 at 6:27 pm

      This was a despicable act of cheating! It is clear

    • Karger
      20 December 2017 at 12:52 pm

      She has absolutely ZERO obligation to make any kind of statement to Derek. Derek and his site is not any kind of regulatory body at all. This is just merely a hobby of his. So if she’s smart, she’ll keep her mouth shut and let this die. And you can’t compare Noemi Garcia with Jane Seo (if Jane Seo was called out, why not Garcia????). Jane Seo stole a podium spot from a worthy runner, overall 2nd place in fact. That’s a huge deal compared to presumably cheating you’re way into Boston. Boston is one of the most overrated marathons in the world. It has clout only because it’s a qualifying race and has been around the longest. But other than that, I can think of easily 5 marathons that are more spectacular to run.

      Curious to see if she registers for Boston 2019, as this publicity will surely result in too much anxiety for her. But we shall see……

      • Steve
        21 December 2017 at 9:34 am

        Karger – I never indicated that Garcia had an “obligation” to make a statement to Derek. It would seem from previous cases that those caught cheating find the need to post some sought of explanation and/or admission within their own social media and/or on other forums. I am still curious to hear her explanation.

        I also fully understand, (as well as everyone else that I know) that the Marathon Investigation website is not an Official Regulatory body for any track and field sporting events. I do not believe that Derek has ever purported it to be such. Whether it is a hobby for Derek or not, I personally believe that he is doing a great service for all honest runners and the overall integrity of our sport. As far as comparing Garcia to Seo, I believe that the facts as presented call out both of them equally for cheating. It would appear that you believe that one form of cheating is less worthy of criticism.  I differ. For me, as someone who struggled for years to achieve a BQ time, I find that Garcia’s actions are just as reprehensible as Seo. According to her own social media post she intended to use her stolen BQ time to run Boston.  I also respect your opinion of the Boston Marathon, but again I disagree. For me, finally, having the opportunity to run Boston made all my years of hard work that much more rewarding.

        Whether it is course cutting, stealing a BQ placement from other qualified runners or having the nerve to prevent others from receiving their well-deserved recognition for placement and/or age group awards; it is all defined as cheating. It also speaks volumes to one’s personal integrity. If Garcia is an actual Police Officer then she should know better.

         

        • Karger
          21 December 2017 at 3:53 pm

          This is what I would imagine her explanation is: “I cheated because I’m not good enough to qualify for Boston”. I can’t imagine it would be anything but.

          Anywho, yes, I absolutely believe that cheating someone out of a podium spot is FAR more egregious than cheating someone out of spot for Boston. But clearly that is my opinion. Boston is an average race, only elevated because of the rise in social media. Trust me, 10 years ago, no one really gave a shit about Boston. Now everyone wants to post about how they qualified for Boston. It’s bullshit. Once again, clearly just my opinion.

  • King
    31 December 2017 at 6:46 am

    This statement should be the most telling of all: “She ran 4 marathons in 2 months.”
    I’m no runner myself but rather a cyclist and this kind of output in 2 months should be seen as highly suspicious in itself. Where does this person’s body get the time to recover from all the stress – and then to top it all off, goes on to smash her personal best with 50 minutes in the last effort???? That doesn’t compute given the history associated with the person in question.

    • Dougin Walker
      2 January 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Actually that seems like the least relevant piece of information to me. The fact that her history of times at all distances is so different from this time, and consistently with her second half, means a lot. I know plenty of people who run many marathons close together (including me) and still manage to pull off some of those races at times that are competitive with their own PR.

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