At the ‘Mo Bell Marathon August 4th, runners witnessed Larry Macon skipping a loop section of the course. The course consists of 26 loops. It was reported to me that he skipped a 0.2-mile section of the course multiple times.
Officially Larry holds the record for the most marathons run in one year. This record appears to have been broken, but not yet validated, by Nick Nicholson. In addition to that record, Larry claims to have completed over 2,000 marathons.
To some, Larry has been described as a hero or an inspiration. He is definitely a legendary figure among the multiple marathon crowd, especially The Marathon Maniacs. He is often pictured in Maniac gear or 50 States Club gear.
I felt the evidence was clear from the video and from the report I received explaining the events. Still, some were willing to look the other way. Some believe that this was just evidence of a mistake. Some believed that he just missed the turn – despite the short, repetitive course.
He posted a similar apology in The 50 States Club.
Predictably, many were forgiving. In my opinion, this apology was vague enough to allow wiggle room. What was he apologizing for? Was he claiming he accidentally missed a loop or admitting to intentionally cutting the course?
More To The Story
I was on the fence as to whether I should write a follow up to the story. I had spoken to Courtney, the race director, early last week. She confirmed that Larry skipped some laps and was left out of the results for that reason. While I was not particularly satisfied with the apology or the reaction, the apology wasn’t meant for me. I am not an active member of The Marathon Maniacs. I decided I was likely going to report on the apology and my initial conversation with ‘Mo Bell.
What we ended up deciding when we left him out of the results was that we can’t come up with a logical explanation as to why he’d blatantly walk by the turn he’d made multiple times previously, particularly after it was heavily re-marked.
After giving Courtney a heads up regarding my follow up article, she shared a message that she just rescued from their spam folder. It was sent on August 6th, after my initial article was published.
This apology is troubling.
By the time Larry had finished the race, he was being watched carefully.
Courtney reported that when Larry checked in at the finish, the person recording the finish times saw Larry’s Garmin. They recorded that Larry’s Garmin read 25.03 miles. He did not return to the course as he stated.
Additionally, Courtney noted that Larry did not report anything to anyone at the race regarding missing loops or making up any distance.
Larry’s email did not include any Garmin data.
Why Does This Matter?
I do not believe ‘Mo Bell was an isolated incident. I have previously presented evidence that he claims results where it would be logistically impossible for him to be in two places at the same time (despite defenders claiming early or late starts). He is in results of races that include fictitious participants. I’ve received an email showing rental receipts where the total rental time was less than his race time.
There will still be people who don’t care. But there are runners that do things the right way that deserve a piece of the attention that goes towards those that bend and eventually break the rules.
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So weird – cutting just over a mile and risk being shamed like this. What’s the point, just run another 10+ minutes or so. Dumb move.
Except….he does NOT run! He walks. It takes him 30 minutes just to get through 2 miles. He cut out a total of 5 miles.
The “apology” and the email are perhaps more troubling than the alleged course cutting. They raise suspicion in an of themselves that this is the tip of the iceberg. Apologizing, but not saying what for. Referring to “haters” that follow him to cause problems. Makes me think a little about Lance Armstrong when the walls were closing in on him.
The New Yorker once did a fantastic article on Kip Litton. I wish they would do a similar one on Larry Macon. So long as this issue remains on the fringe of society he will keep on twisting and turning and denying. If it goes mainstream he will fold …… and then probably end up on Oprah.
!) He doesn’t RUN these marathons. He walks.
2) That makes his “most marathons run” null and void
3) His tank top is a lie too “First American to RUN 2,000 marathons” LOL
I’ve taken wrong turns on courses many times. It has always resulted in extra miles, not fewer miles. This happens when runners get spread out and you can’t see anyone ahead of you, and you’re too tired to pay attention to course markings.
I have had recent award-winning results in local 5Ks and 10Ks, and have reached my goals for excellent fitness. Various runners and non-runners, noticing my achievements, have inquired as to whether I will attempt a half or full marathon.
But I have decided not to do that. I don’t see why arbitrarily running longer and slower, with a much higher time commitment, is worth it. It seems like many marathoners, especially in the social media age, feel a pull of narcissism about completing “26.2” that I just do not identify with. I’ll stick with quick and fast, thanks.
Thank you Scott William for letting us (your adoring fans) of your thoughts on what a marathon means to you. Thanks for providing your 5k & 10k accomplishments, although unnecessarily, as we all know of them already. As a fellow turkey trot legend, I also have people noticing my superb fitness and results. I get asked the same questions as you. My reply is always the same…”Why would I want to challenge myself further when I already outrun so many women and children at my local running races? If I try longer events, there’s a chance I might fail. Worse yet, I risk not winning my age group award of a 20% off coupon on any clearance item $29.99 and above at my local running store. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
So good on ya Scotty, keep killing those local fun runs. We all are eagerly awaiting your triumphant debut in Tokyo 2020!
Timmy Dumples your reply is gold!!
To say “It seems like many marathoners, especially in the social media age, feel a pull of narcissism about completing “26.2” that I just do not identify with.” in a post that started off boasting about award-winning performances. Oh the irony!
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