Boston Runner DQ’d, Leads to Further Scrutiny

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Alexandre Faria is in the results of The 2017 Chicago Marathon with a time of 3:17:06. He used this time to enter The 2019 Boston Marathon.

Unofficially, Alexandre ran Monday’s Boston Marathon in a time of 3:01:55. He was not given an official result. In essence, he was disqualified.

There are 12 intermediate timing mats at The Boston Marathon. Alexandre only hit two of these timing mats. Alexandre crossed the 5k timing mat in a time of 34:06, a pace of 11 minutes per mile. 

He registered at the 25.2 mile timing mat in a time of 2:50:29.

His finish time of 3:01:55 calculates to 7 minutes per mile.

It is clear that Alexandre took another form of transportation towards the finish and hopped on the course just before the 25.2 marker – Alexandre missed the 40k mat (24.85 miles).

I then took a look at the Alexandre’s race photos. Alexandre was photographed with his cell phone out near the finish line, and he posed in the finisher area with his medal.

After seeing these photos, and noting that his bib number would indicate a sub 3:30:00 qualifying time, I became interested in his qualifying marathon. Why would a legitimate runner cut the course in Boston after only running 5k?

2017 Chicago Marathon

Alexandre’s Boston qualifier was obtained with a 3:14:06 time at The Chicago Marathon in 2017. I pulled his result:


Alexandre did not hit a single split before 40k. He registered at the start, the 40k mat and the finish. Despite missing 7 splits, he remained in the official Chicago Marathon results and therefore was eligible for entry to The Boston Marathon.

For Chicago, he only had photos before the race, at the finish, and after the race (Is he hitchhiking??).

Unfortunately, at the time of the 2017 Chicago Marathon, I did not have the ability to scrape the results for that particular race. The capability was built in prior to the 2018 Chicago Marathon, but, I did not look back at the prior results.

Had he finished Boston legitimately, his time would have likely exceeded 5 hours. He would have been near the top of my list of runners to review for potential cheating in their qualifiers. His apparent course cutting at Boston just led to him being caught sooner.

I am surprised that this result was not immediately flagged and removed by Chicago. I will reach out to them. I will also take another look at The 2018 Chicago Marathon results and report anything suspicious to The race.

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77 COMMENTS

  1. He looks so proud! He looks so not wrinkled. Lol. That shirt did not exert itself in the least

  2. people are just pissing me off today. I work so hard and still haven’t got my bq and people cheat making it seem worthless to the non-runner. uggh

    • And, if he really had run a 3:01, he’d have bruises and a nosebleed from being whacked by that double-chin.

    • I would agree, except I know some sub 4 runners who resemble that body shape. I’ve learned to not judge the body’s ability by what it looks like. But his clothes… those look like he barely ran!

      • I know people that shape who claim to run fast but mysteriously they don’t seem to do so when I see them run

    • Thats what my same thought, thats how i ended up reading the article, thinking on how is soneone like that earning a spot to the boston marathon.

  3. These Marathon organizer should really wise up. How is it possible that this guy wasn’t disqualified from Chicago ? He missed 8 out of 10 timing mats ffs.

  4. I’m half the size of that guy and I can’t even break 4 hours for the marathon. Maybe the trick is to put on a bit around my waist and just run 3 hours instead 😉

  5. His watch is visible in several photos, but can’t tell the time from the low res thumbnails. If you could get hold of the high res pictures then…

    • Good idea! That was (partially) what busted Jane Seo and James Brady. Maybe MarathonFoto would send them if Derek asked?

  6. Pure fraud at it’s best. This guy should be called out and identified. Not only did he take another runner’s qualifying position at Boston but also stole the finisher’s position behind him on Monday. I would take this guy out to an alley and slap his manhood off!

  7. And he is willfully doing it, with a plan. He KNEW he cheated at Chicago. He KNOWS he is slow, and can’t run sub 7/mile, and he’s celebrating it on his social media. @alexandrevfaria_ on IG by the way.

  8. Agree on timing mats, maybe races should have a minimum of 4 or 5 and results should include checking the crossing all of them.

  9. Besides the obvious fraud and haven taken another runners qualifying spot, there’s also a safety issue. My husband ran and finished as a charity runner as an athlete with disabilities (he’s blind and ran tethered with two guides). For family and friends and I to go from one section of the race to another, our purses and bags had to be re-inspected. There were barriers and armed officers as well as K-9 units all over the place, plus a helicopter circulating above. How on earth did this guy get off after the 5k section then reappear undetected at Mile 25.2??

  10. I now share a physique with Alexander and I couldn’t run a 3:01 marathon if it was down a cliff. 5 hours is about right, though I think I was slightly skinnier when I ran (in a loose sense of the term) a 4:58. And he looks way too unruffled. At that weight, chaffing and bleeding man boobs are pretty much inevitable.

  11. Interesting where he pins his bib number. Easy to store under the t-shirt before entering back into the race?

  12. Thanks – I just donated $10 to your cause. This is awesome and not sure why Chicago did not catch this – taking the spot of someone more deserving! And maybe someone I coached!! Thanks! Coach Steve (Brandon, Florida)

  13. I’m glad it’s unanimous so far that this guy definitely DOES NOT LOOK LIKE a low 3-hour marathoner. (I say the same thing on a few FB running groups, but there’s always “that” guy who misses the point, posts their picture/results, and trolls “Judge me by my looks?”) Anyhoo…donation coming again, Derek!

    • Allow me to be “that” guy in the comments. 😉 I’m heavier than the cheater up there and I ran a 3:48:46 in October. I know people are mocking him because he obviously doesn’t look like a 3:01 marathoner, but no one in here would say I look like a sub-4 runner, either. Now that my obligation is out of the way, the dude above is obviously a giant turd and should be banned for life from both races.

      • Thanks for saying this! I think we are all better than judging a runner based on looks alone. Obviously if he were morbidly obese there’s no way he would run that time, but there are definitely heavier runners who are also wicked fast.

      • Running 3:45hrs & 3hrs is a WORLD of difference. I was 60lbs heavier when I was running 3:40s. 8:30 minute miles compared to sub 7 minute miles are two different classes. 3:45 to 4:30 you can’t even tell by looking at someone’s body. But 3:30 to 3:00 is a difference. This guy is NOT a 3hr marathoner. Not by looks or by talent.

  14. In the first picture look at the people behind him. They have their hands on hips, they look tired and the guy behind him has wet grey hair from the heat of the day. I was there and it was very hot in the sun. This runner looks like he just left the spa and the shirt looks like it just left the dry cleaner. What a useless excuse for an athlete and no doubt a cheater.

  15. Its because POS like him that they keep tighting up the times for Boston (too many registrants). Even earning a qualifying time doesnt gaurantee a spot in Boston anymore.

    • Eh, I’ll bet cheaters like this scumbag probably number in the dozens. They’re not driving down the qualifying times and cutoffs. It’s the Revel races and their ilk that are doing that. I’ll bet those races are producing hundreds, if not thousands of qualifiers who would not otherwise be able to do so on a flat course. The BAA does not have the manpower to police elevation change of every single course, and USATF certification only guarantees course distance. It is what it is.

      This guy is a piece of garbage and should be called out as such. He and his kind *are* taking spots from legitimate runners if there are enough of them to move the cutoff even one second. The running community, and especially race directors should strive to disqualify every one of them before they can cheat someone out of a spot. But it’s the downhill races that necessitated the recent drop in qualifying times.

      • Thank you Jimmy!! That is what I keep repeating to my running friends, that Boston Qualification has become a huge joke. People now just go to these downhills marathon and get a BQ. But those marathon should be considered illegal. I will to go to one of those marathons just to have the fun and prove the point, but I will never go to Boston.

  16. By the way… To start in the 1st wave, curral B in Chicago, is needed to prove a qualify too. So, he cheated in at least one race in Brazil too. What a dumb!!!

  17. “Alexandre crossed the 5k timing mat in a time of 34:06, a pace of 11 minutes per mile.

    He registered at the 25.2 mile timing mat in a time of 2:50:29.

    His finish time of 3:01:55 calculates to 7 minutes per mile”

    So he did the first 5K at a leisurely 11:00 pace, then shifted way WAY up to run the NEXT 22 miles at about 6:12, then … half-walked the last mile back down at 11:00?

    Um

    Yeah

  18. I ran a 3:10:09 at LA marathon in 2018 – I needed to run under 3:15:00 for my AG. As people probably already know they had to make the cut at 4:52 under your qualifying time as they had so many entrants. I missed the cut by 1 second……this dude probably took my spot.

    • I read just the top line of your reply and my heart just sank. I already knew what the rest of your post would say.
      “I ran a 3:10:09 at LA marathon in 2018 -”
      From that specific of a time, I just knew. Sorry Michael. Hope you have run a better BQ since then. With the new cutoff times I predict a BQ-0:40 will get us in next time.

    • And I thought my 4-second miss sucked! That 4:52 cutoff was tough for sure. I can only imagine how much you looked back to see how many times you probably wasted a second here or there. You’ll get it. You’re too close not to. Just keep building from where you are. I’m now 2:06 ahead of the new standard, on my 4th marathon that had met the standard. Fingers crossed for 2020!

  19. I know a runner who cut off almost half of the 2018 Chicago marathon course. She has finishing pictures and her partial times don’t exist. I don’t understand why Chicago isn’t checking this!! I can give you the name if you are interested

  20. I’ve run Boston. This man is nothing short of humiliation. Just look at him. Just saying ‘REALLY’? I am totally insulted

  21. Wave 1 , Corral B for his Chicago entry , I Don’t think so , to get that far up the starting grid , would require a proven sub: 3:30 in a previous marathon.

    • Actually, it’s a lot tougher… Wave 1 corrals cutoffs:
      Corral A: 2:51
      Corral B: 3:10
      Corral C: 3:20
      Corral D: 3:30
      Corral E: 3:45

      I think, based on his physique he belongs to Wave 3, Corral K or L, 4:30+

  22. I initially missed that he had Rossied Chicago to qualify – I wonder if this guy learned from the “great” man ?

  23. Question…since I am struggling to just get a BQ and need a 4:25 to be SAFE…and if I do qualify…I don’t plan on tearing up BOSTON..I will just be one of those very slow ones and enjoying day and totally wiped from getting in, BUT will that make you investigate me? Because my time will not be what I needed to get in….just want to do it once. Also I’m a powerwalker transitioning from walking to running FULLS. Have done 21 walking.

    • He probably “investigates” a ton of people. I mean a TON. I’ve probably been investigated twice for the same reason you just mentioned. I’ve gotten in with legit times of 2:44 and 3:05 and followed both of those up with 4:24 or worse performances at Boston. But once he looks into things, I’m sure I’ve cleared his inspection. I’m sure you will too. Don’t worry about being discreetly looked into. Nothing will come of it (assuming you’re legit) and nobody will ever know he looked into you, not even you.

    • My PR and my PW (personal worst) are almost 2 hours apart (3:37 – 5:24). But I crossed all timing mats.
      If I had missed one, the splits would show a solid pace between the two adjacent timing mats.. If anyone should investigate further I could also produce all my Garmin results from my training runs plus times from smaller races that back the results. I would think that similar evidence is available for most runners. So, I would not worry about being investigated.

    • @Laurel: I would not worry about being investigated. If you ran legitimately you probably have tons of data to back it up (including training runs on strava or Garmin, small local test races that also show your ability) and the like. Plus, if you miss one timing mat, but your pace is consistent that would also point to a real technical error.

    • It’s more than your time. He’s extremely thorough and if he had questions, he’d contact you and if you had nothing to hide, you’d probably gladly give him your Garmin data to back it up. He’d also see your qualifying race and notice it was legit. Honestly, a runner doesn’t go from a 5 hour marathon to a 3 hour over night. Your race history over that time would bolster your faster run times, i.e. you’d slowly show getting faster in your 5k, 10k and half times leading up to your Boston qualifier and those combined would give a picture of improvement.

  24. And just to be irritating – because it bothers me to no end – this man has no double letters in his name. (Let it die).

    • I’m brazilian, therefore I can understand the other article. Runner’s World quotes and credits Marathon Investigation for the work. Nothing wrong there.

      And since I’m here, I feel obliged to say: this ridiculous turd does not represent Brazil. We love the sport and work hard to compete fairly. I feel completely ashamed by what he did.

    • I’m brazilian, therefore I can understand the other article. Runner’s World quotes and credits Marathon Investigation for the work. Nothing wrong there.

      Since I’m here, I feel obliged to say: this ridiculous turd does not represent Brazil. We love the sport and work hard to compete fairly. I’m completely ashamed by what he did.

  25. Why???
    One look at him and you know he can’t do 3hr marathon, who the hell is he going to brag about this

  26. My bs radar always goes of when my bib # is higher than someone i feel could not keep up with my easy pace. i was #10045 (look at my photos you will giggle) i bq’d in tokyo and improved my time in vegas (tho didnt bother updating my boston time) i usually try to be objective looking at the start video and ill suddenly think theres no way that fat ffffff is faster than me (not that im skinny 🙂 ) luckilybsunce i bqed in vegas i xould pace my friend and have fun this year 3:39 🙁

  27. Good work!! I find cheating so frustrating as I know too many people who missed the cut over the years. I ran a good race in Boston this year and was on pace for a 3:06 finish until my leg locked up and had to do a zombie march to the finish with a disappointing 3:25. Can’t understand why anyone would disrespect the pride of any runner’s finish this way. Personally I’ll take the 3:25 (or a DNF) any day.

  28. It’s one thing that these people (and some China runners from what I read) are cheating to get into the Boston Marathon and only fooling themselves. They have to live with the fact that they did NOT earn the bib or medal. Sad. BUT, the bigger outrage for me is that they are taking the spot of runners that worked very hard to BQ and are prohibited from running Boston due to the cut-off times being higher and higher from fraudulent entries. I would suspect that the BQ times are also being tightened due to fraudulent entries claiming faster marathon times.

  29. Now, i’m not fast, but I heard it was humid during the race, he claims he ran a 3:01:55, and not even sweating.

    • I ran that race on Monday. I was in Wave 2, corral 2. The first half of the race was relatively cool, and then it cleared off and the second half was steamy hot and miserable. I ended up with a decent time, but I struggled the whole second half (and paid for it afterward).

      There’s no way this knucklehead ran Boston 2019. No frickin’ way.

  30. I was a shame, of course. But, I am also curious to heard from Boston and Chicago organizers about its failure on the qualifying investigation. For sure there was many other “fake runners” there.

  31. My friend qualified for Boston and missed this year’s cutoff time by literally :01 second. This guy either took her spot, or another runner that missed the cut by one second.

    Both Chicago & the BAA should make him give his medal back. Seriously. Obviously all he cares about is the medal and posting his pics / videos on social media (hence the reason why he’s got his phone in his hand in every photo).

  32. I BQ’d with 3:38:15 qualifier for 2019 (BQ for my age group is 3:40). I wonder how close I would have been to getting in without the cheaters. Pretty sure I still wouldn’t have made it, but it’s still annoying. Now that they’ve made the qualifying times 5 mins faster I have very little chance.

    • I ran 3:10:09 at LA in 2018, I needed to run under 3:15:00 for my AG. They made the cut at 4:52 under your qualifying time – I missed it by 1 second. This dude for sure took my spot.

      • Wow, you’re right. He took your spot. You’re the guy he screwed over. Sorry about this man. I know it sucks, but all you can really do is try again to get in. You got it next time for sure! Looks like there were cheaters doing the same thing to get into colleges. It all makes me sick.

    • David, don’t discount yourself. I’ve been hit with the cut off a few times. Each time I revised my training plan, just a little. Adding a half mile to your typical daily run adds up. Make it interesting too, like a fast quarter followed by an easy one. Do it often and it’ll become part of your base. Keep in mind too that your qualifying time is based on your age on the BM date, not the qualifying date. It’s like the sweet spot in the age bracket where you’ll get an extra 5 minutes before you actually age up. For us old guys, that’s that’s nice compared to 4 years later!

  33. My Chicago 2017 result (my slowest ever!) was under investigation until I could provide proof (Garmin plot & photos) to counter missed mats (faulty chip) & variable speeds (dislocated shoulder in fall at mile 7, pulled off course for medical check at mile 12) Why wasn’t his??? 😡

  34. This cheater obviously deserves massive blame here.
    In addition, what about the Chicago Marathon and the Boston Marathon? Where is the blame for them? These are two of the top marathons in the world, with every possible resource and millions of dollars at their disposable. Finding this guy’s illegitimate Chicago result requires a 6th-grade level data query. Or, if you’re the B.A.A., how about taking 10 seconds to go online and find his Chicago result, just like the Marathon Investigation guy did? The only people in this story lazier than the runner are the validators at the B.A.A. and the Chicago Marathon who are apparently doing absolutely nothing to validate their results.

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