More Disqualifications and Allegations Regarding Ultra Runner Kelly Agnew


In the aftermath of Kelly Agnew’s disqualifications from Across The Years and the resulting publicity, there have been statements made by the races and sponsors.  Runners have come forward with their experiences through social media. Some were surprised by the developments, but others shared their own experiences where Kelly acted in a way that would raise suspicions.


Across The Years made a statement on their Facebook page:

I encourage you to read the entire post. They confirm his disqualifications from the previous 4 ATY events, and confirm that Kelly has been banned from all events that they organize. THey also take the very appropriate step of recognizing the new winners and podium finishers.

Mike Melton, the timer of Across The Years offered a more detailed account of the incident via the ultralist:

This is the part of my job that I like the least – keeping honest runners honest and holding those who are not honest accountable for their actions. It was with no joy, and with great sadness, that I informed ATY RDs Jamil Coury and Jubilee Paige what I had seen, and they took prompt and decisive action. The process Kelly used at ATY to circle around and come back through the timing mat without having done a complete loop was so blatant and obvious it could not possibly have been anything but deliberate. No one would have claimed he or she had done a valid lap had this happened to him or her. I very carefully watched the entire process as it happened, without looking away or being distracted, and there’s no doubt as to Kelly’s actions. The missing timing data at the far timing mat merely confirmed with additional evidence what I had witnessed personally.

We (me and my fellow timing monkeys Bill Schultz and Mike Dobies, who both were of tremendous help throughout the entire race) did have several runners come to us in a state of confusion, not knowing which direction they had been going when they stopped for their break, and in each case we were able to look at the timing data and determine without question which direction the runner needed to proceed. This is VERY different than trying to add valid laps without actually running them.

-Mike Melton – MCM Timing – Official timer of Across The Years

Beyond Limits Running

Beyond Limits Running puts on the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival and The Beyond Limits 48 Hour. Kelly has now been disqualified from 4 of their races including three victories. They also posted a statement on Facebook.

Fastest Known Time (FKT) is the authority in compiling FKTs. A FKT claim is deemed official when recognized here. The White Rim Trail thread is linked. You can see where Kelly initially made the submissions.

Note that despite his post, no real GPS data was contained in either blog post that he linked. Only the GPS photo and splits which were entered into a table and posted directly on his blog.

Lemming Loop

The race is aware of this situation. They are investigating. I thought it was appropriate to share some comments. The experiences of the runners here directly mirror what another runner told me he witnessed at a Jackpot race.

Update 1-13-18.

Kelly has been removed from the Lemming Loop results. I have confirmation from the race director that he has been disqualified from his Lemming Loop victories from 2015 through 2017. He was also disqualified from the 2013 Pony Express Trail Run. His results now shows 12 disqualifications.


As is typical with ultras, there is not the preponderance of data that you see at most marathons. Not as much data is published. The reaction to this news by those that hadn’t already suspected wrongdoing was surprise and shock. Most could not believe that someone would cheat at a fixed time event. The reaction was very similar to what I received when I first reported about the relatively large numbers of runners that cheat to get into The Boston Marathon.  With less data available, I have to offer more opinion and less analysis than I do with my typical posts about marathons.

I have seen the posts regarding an alleged disqualification and eyewitness accounts regarding that race. I have yet to confirm this disqualification or the details surrounding it.

I will likely provide any further updates through the Marathon Investigation Facebook page unless there is something new and significant – in which case I will write an additional article.

Kelly doesn’t have to answer to me. But, I hope he makes some sort of statement. As always, if he wishes to make any statement, I will publish what he had to say unedited, or link to his statement without commentary. I do believe he has the right to respond to all of this.

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One Time Contribution


  1. I’ve never been so proud of my DFL’s, DNF’s, even my DNS’s — hey, at least they’re mine!

    Banned for life,


    PS — You are providing an important service here, Mr. Murphy, please email me (I assume you can see my address from your side of the screen?)your mailing address, I’d like to send you a check, I’m very old-school and still use those things…

  2. In 2011, he claimed to have run a 3:34 marathon at Palm Beaches (Florida), which was a 10 minute PR on the heels of weeks and weeks of running. A simple google search shows that he missed the one mat they had out. I remember that course was easy to cut.

    • I 100% believe he’s been cheating, but I don’t understand why a seasoned runner would have to cheat to get a 3:34 marathon. To date, I’ve run 26.2mi once, on my own, with very little practice, and I did a 3:58. I now hit the mid 1:30s for a HM, and even factoring in slower times for the last 6mi of a marathon, I feel like a total amateur like myself could hit 3:30 or better… legitimately. If he cheated for such a high number, then it shows he definitely spends more time figuring out how to game the system than actual running. If he’s ever allowed to participate in any future events, he should be forced to Strava the event for public scrutiny.

  3. Great note by the ATY RD — thanks for posting it.

    I’m not quite as forgiving as the BLU RD, but I do appreciate his additive about second chances. Too many of us judge ourselves by our best intentions but judge others by their worst behaviors.

  4. Steve,

    The sad thing about that is, he actually had some interesting reports. I can’t fathom a decent, if not exceptional, runner deciding to jeopardize all his relationships by this occasional, then escalating, cheating. The removing of ALL posts is disturbing; I hope that this doesn’t emotionally send him over the edge. As another poster noted on the previous article, we can be a community of second chances, and perhaps his remorse can lead to apology.

  5. Anybody check out his Leadville 100 results from 2015 and 2016? He’s missing lots of data, which I assume are missed check-ins at aid stations. The photos from the event photographer also seem a bit sparse.

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