Scott Kummer was first accused of cheating in 2017 on the popular running site letsrun.com. The evidence presented was damning. He had no footpod data for any of his runs. This startling revelation was believed to be uncovered by Jane Benfer.
Under the scrutiny, Scott admitted to cheating:
I’ve gone so far as to attach my watch to a slow moving and obese man to steal his data and make it look like I finished races all over the country.Scott Kummer – letsrun.com
It is with tears in my eyes that I write this post. And confess once and for all, that yes, I have been cheating all this time. That 37:48:00 100 miler at Superior Trail 100. the one where i barely made the last cutoff, the over 6 hour marathons, all of it, lies and cheating. If you check my Strava account (https://www.strava.com/athletes/3399449) you will see that I’ve gone so far as to attach my watch to a slow moving and obese man to steal his data and make it look like I have barely finished races all over the county. It doesn’t end there. My last hour finishes at Comrades were BOTH faked….which makes me an INTERNATIONAL CHEATER.
I decided to look back and investigate Scott’s other results. and was suspicious about one result in particular:
Rock N Roll Marathon 2014
Scott has an official time of 4:28:21 for this race. Unfortunately split times are no longer available on The Rock n Roll website for this race. However his GPS track made it clear that he did not run the entire course.
In this video, you can clearly see that Scott cut off a portion of the course. He’s the one that does not run the two out and back sections.
At this point I reached out to Scott and he replied:
Got your email. You’re right. I got diverted (if you asked me incorrectly) and I didn’t finish the entire marathon. I didn’t take a medal and no hard feelings about it, it’s just running and to tell the truth we did waste some time getting tacos and Clamatos mid-race. No offense taken. Thanks for all you do!
I replied to Scott:
Thanks for the response: I am sorry you were diverted prematurely. Still sounds like you had a great experience.
The above was a dramatization based on real events. The accusations which were made by Ultra Troll, Jane Benfer are real. Scott really was diverted at The 2014 Rock n Roll Marathon. To this day, he has an official time.
Scott did not cheat at this race or any other race (as far as I am aware).
You can listen to Scott as co-host of The Marathon Investigation Podcast, and as the host of Ten Junk Miles Podcast.
Rock n Roll
Scott’s situation used to be commonplace at RnR events. In the past I would receive emails from runners informing me that they were picked up by the sweeper busses and that they were in the results. Generally, runners that don’t complete the full race don’t want to be in the results.
These runners were supposed to be in a special ‘diverted’ category. In practice, this rarely happened.
Rock n Roll now does a thorough job of removing the diverted and swept runners from the results. These runners are usually removed within 24 hours. We’ve had runners claim that they were not aware that they were diverted, and others that will say it would be impossible to not know that you are being diverted. I cannot speak to every instance or make an assessment regarding on course communication.
If you are a back of the pack runner (like me) it is your responsibility to know the course and the cutoff policy and cutoff times. Being aware of the policy will allow you to prepared if you are close to the cutoff.
Support Marathon Investigation
Thank you to all that have contributed to Marathon Investigation. Your contributions are what enables me to continue the work of Marathon Investigation. To support the site, please consider making a small contribution.
Don’t want to use PayPal? Click below to contribute without going through PayPal.
You should have saved this one for April 1st, but I understand that it was posted to show how the process should work.
Yeah, I had to read this twice to figure out that Scott’s “confession” was a joke.
Bryan, yeah, my thought exactly. Anyone who’s been here awhile, though, “got” the tongue-in-cheek intent right away, given that it had been discussed before. I bet part of the intent was to show people like Latoya and her minions, the RIGHT way to deal with a question, but more importantly the right and sane way to respond/reply. Big props to Derek and Scott!
Finally. I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is the article we have all been waiting for. Finally taking down the great Scott Kummer. I mean he did a pretty poor job of covering it up, no footpod data = automatic DQ in my book. We all know the drill leaving the house; make sure you have carkeys, wallet, footpod, phone; pretty common stuff. I’d take a look into his whole gang too. Adam, Siva, Rachel; I’m sure they’re all in on it. Start toppling this thing from the top down and pretty soon we’ll find out that no one has ever run more than a marathon, ever. Shit, that means I’m a cheater too…
could you have possibly found a more flattering photo???
Sorry but that’s my best race photo.
At the end of the Comrades, any photo of a competitor standing up unaided is a win
OK, I admit I only listened to the one super crazy podcast about the profane, dumb guy defending the gal triathlete cheat.
But now I find it interesting that your podcast counterpart was previously accused of cheating races. Is this why he takes the opposition stance to your work Derek? (If it’s in one of the other podcasts apologies, tell me which I and I will make it next on my listening list).
CB: listen to the infamous “two hour argument” between the two. I believe that was one of the first podcasts. From what I heard, and I don’t want to speak for Scott, the issue he has with MI is the “public shaming” aspect of the site.
I’m pretty opposed to public shaming (except of me) and I think I also seem to always think the “cheater” isn’t as much evil as sick or broken. I’m sympathetic.
The thing is Scott while I respect your position, what other sanction is there against cheating that would actually work as a deterrent? Sure people should not cheat because their character tells them not to and so no deterrent should be needed but unfortunately we don’t live in a world where everyone has the same amount of character.
It’s a fair point. I wish I had a solution.
I’ve done ethics studies before. One of the things I discovered was the power of shaming to correct or deter bad behavior. A few days ago I posted one of the links I found where their study proved that shame over crimes prevented people from doing them more than the risk of jail time.
Now is shame necessary in something which is an otherwise mild offense for a recreational hobby? Maybe not. But the group dynamic that makes us proud of our running accomplishments in the company of fellow runners certainly has the diametric pole of shame that comes with falsifying results and laying claim to unearned accomplishments. The central point is that people who get their validation from the group – and it seems that many of these social media influencers etc fall into that category – can also feel the condemnation of the group.
This goes to a different point about extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation (another subject I have studied in depth). If people rely on extrinsic motivation (i.e. group validation) rather than the intrinsic value of completing the race or doing so in a faster time or doing so in a BQ time then they are a) destined to be less satisfied b) more likely to seek bigger ‘doses’ of extrinsic motivators. And I might suggest c) more likely to break rules to get them.
People who can take pride in the accomplishment, intrinsically, without outside validation are going to be happier in the long run.
There is the old maxim of “only cheating yourself” and although I can just about accept this for people who cut a course, don’t come anywhere near any prize and don’t brag about their “accomplishment” . . . actually as I type this I have realised that no I don’t even accept this, once it becomes unremarked on to cheat at all, then the sport has no meaning.
Back when I lived in Chicago I heard a lot of rumors about the tomfoolery that was afoot by Mr. Kummer. I couldn’t run a 1/2 mile on the trails in Palos without hearing a story from some ultrarunner about Scotty’s nefarious escapades.
I am so happy that the jig is finally up!
Clearly, the use of sarcasm font would help some readers understand the article (and some of the comments.)
Yes! This is perfect!
Do people only read the headline or do they just have no ability to detect irony?
“I’ve gone so far as to attach my watch to a slow moving and obese man to steal his data and make it look like I have barely finished races all over the county”
Do people read this as a real confession ? If so can I interest you in buying the Eiffel Tower?
Just the tower itself, or does it come with the plot of land?
I can’t fathom how anyone could run after eating tacos and drinking Clamato. This accomplishment alone should have earned him the medal.
Not sure what you are trying to achieve with this. A dangerous and unnecessary game. I suggest you edit to avoid confusion. You are an investigator, not a comedian.
Dangerous, please explain? Scott was totally involved in the process. It was a lighthearted look at a typical investigation where a runner is cleared.
I’m with those who don’t think the sarcasm was obvious. Sorry guys, love your work but this was not a great attempt at humor.
Comments are closed.