The Curious Case of “Chicago Annie”

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Anne’s results started coming under scrutiny in 2013 when the below thread was posted on letsrun.com.

Help expose a potential marathon race cheater

The admins at letsrun.com received and posted an email from a runner that questioned Anne’s results. The emailer was  the 5th place female in the 2013 OC Marathon. Anne was 4th. Initially the emailer was suspicious because spectators were reporting to her that she was in 4th place until near the end. She finished in fifth place, and was not passed.

Anne had no recorded splits for the race and only appeared in photos near the finish. She was later disqualified.

 

Early Results

From 2005 through 2010, Anne has a wide range of results. Her fastest time was 3:23:58, and her slowest time was 5:54:30. Her fastest times (and age group awards) were all at smaller races with no published splits. At this point there is not much to analyze for those.

2011 Questionable Results

San Francisco Marathon – She only hit the 20 mile split. She also does not appear to have crossed the start mat as It is unlikely she actually started with the elites (Her gun time = chip time). Her pace for the first 20 miles was 7:37 minutes/mile. Her pace for the last 10k was 10;28 minutes per mile. She was disqualified.

Northern California Marathon

Anne was the 2nd overall female with a time of 3:23:58. She missed all of the timing mats.

https://results.rmraces.live/Racemine-LLC/events/2011/NorCal-Marathon–Half-Marathon/results

 

2013 Questionable Results

 

Surf City Marathon –  Anne hit the 15 mile split in 3:18:33. Originally she had a finish time of 3:42:31. She has been disqualified.

OC Marathon – this was the race that started it all as mentioned in the beginning of the article. She missed all the mats. She was disqualified. 

Rock N Roll San Diego – She has a time of 3:42:43. These results are no longer available online so further analysis is not possible.

2014 Questionable Results

Long Beach – She had a time of 3:33:26. She missed the 20 mile mat. She “ran” the stretch from 13.1 to 24 in 23:42 – a 2:10 minute per mile pace. She has been disqualified.

 

Other Races

In a pattern that will repeat itself, Anne posted photos with finisher medals from races where there is no record of her running. There are no photos and no times for the 2014 LA Marathon or Big D Texas Marathon. But she posted photos to Instagram.

 

2015

Carlsbad Marathon – 3:49:28 – Missed all mats
OC MarathonDisqualified – Time unknown

In addition to the above races, she posted of her finishes at  RnR San Diego,Las Vegas, SanFrancisco and Los Angeles She does not appear in the photos or results of any of these races.

 

 

2016 to 2018

From 2016 to 2018 she appears in 2 official Marathon results, with times in the 6 to 7 hour range. It does appear she participated with a friend, and these times are likely not in line with her true ability. It is actually difficult to determine her true ability due to the lack of verifiable results.

In 2016 she also posted photos from Surf City and Carlsbad – she does not appear in the results.

 

There are no claims of marathons from 2017. However there are photos of her with medals from 2 races in 2018. She claimed finishes at The Wisconsin Marathon and RnR San Diego.  She has no official results or photos from either.

 

When I first saw the pattern of posting photos with no information in the results, I thought she was being immediately disqualified for obvious course cutting. However, she does not even appear in finish line photos. It appears to me that she simply proceeds to the finishers area and picks up a medal – likely never crossing the actual finish line or running a single mile. Timing officials from one race confirmed that the only place her bib registered was at the expo.

Summary

Why am I writing about Annie?

I had planned to write about her in 2016 but had not gotten around to it.  When 2017 rolled around, it appeared she stopped making these claims. Now that the posts and claims of finishes (sometimes tied to promotion of her role as a Pilates instructor) I decided it was appropriate to publish the article.

Despite getting the attention of letsrun back in 2013, she continued her apparent course cutting, a evidenced by missing splits and the many disqualifications. She has never admitted to cutting a course or not completing the races referenced above.

As she continues making claims of racking up marathons, I feel it is appropriate to bring attention to the absurdity and the volume of these claims:

  • There are at least 10 races she claimed to have finished where there is no evidence of her participation.
  • There are at least 5 races where she has been officially disqualified.
  • There are other races with missed timing mats and questionable times where she has not been disqualified.
  • Some of these earlier races resulted in Age Group Awards.

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I have a hard time fathoming how these cheats can looks at their medal and posts and feel okay. I mean, I have all my medals hanging on a rack in my bedroom. I earned every single one with sweat and tears and blisters at times. I ran every mile of every race I own a medal for and when I look up and see them, it reminds me of what I can accomplish, what my body is capable of and what I’ve endured to get to each of those finish lines. Some races were fun and easy and some I wanted to give up…but didn’t. That’s a sense of accomplishment that the cheaters never feel. I don’t understand how they can live with themselves being so fake.

    Thank you Derek for your website. I’m glad you are doing what you are doing to out these cheaters! If they cheat at something like this, what else are they cheating on in their lives and jobs?

      • I agree 100%. I ran a race earlier this year and apparently the medals didn’t arrive in time, so they gave out medals from previous races (which I hadn’t run). Once I received my official medal in the mail, I got rid of the old one. There’s something perverse about accepting (and displaying) a medal you didn’t earn.

  2. Honestly i feel badly for her – she has a mental disorder, and i am not being cute or hyperbolic when i say this. I truly believe she does. While i don’t agree with cheating, i “understand” why someone like Mike Rossi cheated. It was to get to the Boston Marathon so he cd say he ran the Boston. I get it, it’s wrong, but i understand. This woman is going around the country to pose with medals she didn’t earn? It’s bizarre.

  3. So is she registering, getting a legit bib, and then just collecting the medal? Sounds like she likes shiny objects. Getting a placement or age group award is just wrong. Like most runners, I wouldn’t accept a medal for a race I didn’t start or finish. But at least she is simply collecting something she did in fact pay for. This is not as bad as bandits who consume aid station food and drink and get a medal without ever registering.

    • “I wouldn’t accept a medal for a race I didn’t start or finish.”

      I admit to having a shelf of bowling trophies earned by my parents. But I keep it as a memento of them, I would never claim any of them as my own accomplishment.

  4. I remember this “classic” letsrun(dot)com cheater case.

    While I love the thread over on that message board, I have no desire to read thru like 20 pages of it…

    Didn’t she, at one point, claim to have done the “legit” marathons with her slower brother or something?

    Of course, this never accounted for the fact that any of her “faster” times had no chip tracking or had missed splits and drastic pace differences.

    There’s something wrong with her. Like is her need for acceptance from others that great? Then again, I suppose out of her 550 (or whatever number it really is), 99.9% will never actually look up her results and analyze splits, verify finish times, etc. They’ll all just take her word that she did it and congratulate her.

  5. Sounds like she’s using these pictures as a way of enhancing her fitness resume to current/potential pilates clients. That’s clearly unethical, and needs to stop.

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