After Cheating Admission, ‘Serial Cheater’ Logs Another Suspicious Result

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Just three weeks ago, I published statements by WHY Racing and Emily Clark after Emily was disqualified and subsequently confessed to cheating on her way to a second place finish at The PeaceHealth Apple Tree Half Marathon in Vancouver WA on September 15th.

In Emily’s statement, she admitted to course cutting at multiple races, stating that her struggles with anxiety were the cause.

At the time, despite any skepticism that I had regarding Emily’s reasons for cheating – dating back 7 years, I chose to simply post the statements. I was satisfied with the disqualification, and confident, after the confession, that Emily’s course cutting days were over.

Why Racing held back many of the details from the statement. We jointly agreed that the important thing was the admission and the apology.

Unfortunately, Emily’s actions after her admission does not reflect the actions of someone who was being genuine.

After The Apology

The story received a lot of attention locally – in her local newspapers and network news. I ignored any requests from these outlets. I felt the statements covered the story significantly. There were more details, but since she admitted to the cheating, I chose not to grant any interviews.

Almost immediately after the apology, this appeared on Emily’s Instagram Story.

Immediately after publicly admitting to cutting courses at 6 marathons over the past 7 years, she was claiming that she was disqualified because of her “build”.

Emily did not initially confess when Sherri McMillan, President of Why Racing, presented her with the evidence of her cheating. Even though Sherri personally witnessed Emily riding her bike during the race, Emily claimed that it was her twin sister riding the bike during the race. Emily does not have a twin sister.

Sherri recognized Emily, because Emily biked the course along with Sherri and some others the day before the half marathon.

The Chicago Marathon

In Emily’s apology, the first race that she admitted to cutting was The 2013 Chicago Marathon. She says she made two cuts. She was disqualified from The 2013 Chicago Marathon. Her splits are not available to analyze.

I vow to be an honest athlete from now on..

Emily ran in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, finishing in a time just under 4 hours. However her splits so a pattern consistent with course cutting.

Her splits were wildly uneven and implausible. The most glaring are her sub 6:15 minute per mile 30k and 35k splits. There is only one logical conclusion – Emily once again cut the course, just three weeks after her confession and apology.


In messaging with Sherri Sunday night after The Chicago Marathon, she offered her sentiment,

“We really want to be understanding and supportive but this makes it very difficult when you blatantly turn around and cheat again only 3 weeks after you’ve confessed and apologized and vowed to never do it again.”

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68 COMMENTS

  1. We are obviously dealing with someone battling severe mental health challenges. Races and registration sites should flag her name. Other than that, as long as she doesn’t claim AG wins, and pays the registration fees, she’s only hurting herself.

    • Hey, I could careless if she doesn’t take a prize from someone. Let her live in her crazy world. No effect on the race other than helping to fill a spot. Who cares? Seriously, just disqualify her for life from winning any race.

      • First of all, she took a race spot from someone who wasn’t cheating. And what if she HAD claimed a prize? Would you feel differently?

    • I agree she is dealing with mental health issues but I don’t see it’s fair if she qualifies for a race ie Chicago or Boston and takes away a spot from someone that trained and ran the whole race. Her name should be flagged and demeaned not valid if she cheats. She’s causing more work for people and she should not be rewarded for not doing all of the work like everyone else. She has to make the first step to being honest and getting help with her struggles.

    • Chicago is a World Marathon Major and a lottery race. She claimed the place of someone who wanted to run and wouldn’t have cheated.

  2. In its statement about the previous cheating, Why Racing said, “Let’s not shun Emily but instead understand what may cause someone to do this.” While this is a very nice sentiment, if feel it’s short-sighted. In light of these latest developments, one would hope that race directors come to “understand” that shunning—in the form of long-term or even lifetime bans—is the only fair way to deal with serial cheaters.

  3. The Chicago course has several sections where the course switches back near itself, making opportunities to cut off blocks here and there. If you look at her splits with the course map, you can see that the splits with slower paces coincide with the sections where there isn’t an opportunity to cut it short.

    • I don’t understand how someone cheats in runs. I know it happens but Do they just turn around early? Don’t other runners notice this? How is it that no one sees someone turn early or come out from a different direction?

      • It happens. I was running in a trail race and there was a section where you have to do a 5 mile loop and come back to turn up a different trail to continue on. I watched a woman I was running near just turn up the trail, skipping the loop and continue on.By the time it happened, her back was to me so I couldn’t see her bib number. I just emailed the race director after and said, you might want to have a course marshall standing at the intersection to ensure every runner does the loop

  4. I recognize her. She was previously a member of the Portlandia Runners group on Garmin Connect. Earlier this year she came out of nowhere to win a monthly mileage challenge in the group, putting up mileage numbers that were significantly higher than the usual and consistent top finishers in those challenges. She has since removed herself from the group and set her profile to private.

  5. Dear lord, she clearly cut ALL three of the out and back’s on the course. Her suspicious splits line up perfectly with them.

  6. I disagree with the sentiment that she’s only hurting herself as long as she doesn’t win anything. As long as she’s registering for and getting into big races that have lotteries for entry she’s taking a bib from someone who would very likely run a legitimate, fair race. She’s shown her true colors. Ban her from any race that maintains a list.

  7. A 4+ hr marathoner dropping sub 20 5k times on the back end? I think not!

    If you’re going to cheat, at least make it believable!

  8. I really hope this person gets help. Now it’s races; Tomorrow it could be actions much more sinister.

  9. I ran the marathon yesterday and there is an area on Grand that is almost exactly 1 mile from the start. I told my wife as soon as I finished that I saw what I thought was someone, a lady and a dude cheating, they ran up lower Michigan Ave at Grand. They were very definitely heading somewhere with purpose. It happened so quick in the shadows, one second they were in the street the next running up Michigan to the building on the right out of view. I didn’t see a face or anything but the yellow shirt is a match.

    • Hello, I’m a reporter with Willamette Week and we are working on a story about Emily Clark. We are looking for people who may have seen her cheat. If you believe that was her, please give me a ring at 503-347-1129 or email me at [email protected]. Best, Sophie Peel

  10. I don’t understand why they just don’t ban her from racing? She’s clearly always going to cheat so why let her?

    • AFAIK there is no national database or list of banned athletes except USATF’s list of high-level athletes banned for doping or criminal acts. No way to enforce such a list. It’s one thing for an individual race to DQ and ban someone. Another thing to ban someone from pursuing their hobby nationwide. We would need a robust due process with appeals. Suspicion based on implausible splits would not be enough. You and I may know how hard it is to run even a single mile at 6:10 pace – I can’t – but it would be hard to communicate that to a non-running arbitrator or judge.

  11. She says herself that she’s struggling with mental health issues and this isn’t the behavior of someone who feels good about themselves. Let the race directors do their jobs and keep it from being a public pile-on. Show some humanity. I seriously hate this site.

    • I’m not convinced about her mental health issues or that she doesn’t feel good about herself. Actually, the problem seems to be that she simply has no sense of shame, that she is so self-centered that she doesn’t care whom she hurts or whom she fools. She just wants attention and adoration; it’s “me, me, me” all the time. She doesn’t care one bit for people who want to understand her, who might want to help her. I think this is an all-too-common and growing problem in today’s society. And I think it thrives in an environment of undiscerning sympathy and lack of accountability. I think holding someone accountable for her repeated, unrepentant actions IS showing humanity because we only expect shame/sorrow/change/repentance from humans, not animals.

      • Eloquently written, S.K. And I would add the problem is worse since the proliferation of social media. Narcissistic people do anything for more “likes.”

        • You’re right. Social media must be like crack for narcissists. People like Emily Clark seem to be addicted to this kind of behavior.

    • This is exactly how race directors do their job and I know first hand. I seriously love this site and I’ve sent you some money. Keep up the good work! Race directors need sites like this – they cannot use ESP to find cheaters.

  12. I urged empathy before, but c’mon! The IG story was bad – errr, not how you follow up on a CONFESSION.

    Then the eyes of the world – or at least MI – are upon you….and you go and do this?

    I retract my earlier statement on rehabilitation. Ban early and often. Ms. Emily….seek help.

    “Some people just want to watch the world burn” – Alfred Pennyworth

  13. She had a sub 1:30 half before and a 2:52 before that were DQd, so someone with results event close to that won’t be running a 4 hour marathon unless seriously injured. So, she was so desperate she was willing to cut again for a 4 hour marathon?!!

  14. One of the advantages of chip timing, makes it easier to catch cheaters, a lot of advances since Rosie Ruiz. I can’t get why runners cheat, if you have a serial cheater like her, I would flag all her entries and make her a provisional entrant and only give her a medal after reviewing her splits.

  15. I simultaneously feel sympathy for the mental disturbance which would cause someone to repeatedly engage in this behavior, along with dismay that the opportunity to run a World Marathon Major wasn’t given to someone else who would have participated fairly.

  16. I know a guy that has been caught cheating in 5K races but no RD has yet denied his entry cause he’s been at many that I’ve ran. Terrible to think a runner cheating AND taking a deserved award away from someone else.

  17. Based on the data, is there prolific cheating in Chicago, year after year? I would think a WM race would not have any out-&-backs – any O&B marathon I’ve raced, I’ve witnessed course cutters, every single one.

  18. So she mentioned a therapist and “coach” she was going to consult with about her problems after she confessed. I guess that didn’t happen. She’s beyond troubled and if any of her family or friends are reading this, please get this woman some help. NOW! Nevertheless, she’s starting to clumsily blame the world for her issues. Nobody cares if she’s in shape, underweight or overweight: She’s an habitual cheater (like we’ve seen before) and she needs to be banned from ALL races from now on.

  19. Derek,

    Also she’s wearing a wave 1 corral A bib for Chicago. Wave one was for time qualified athletes only. This is what she would have had submitted to be in Wave 1 corral A…… a
    < 3:05:00 (F) marathon time. So she got into Chicago cheating as well. I timed qualified and was in Wave 1 Corral B.

  20. Ya right. I’ve seen very good runners of all shapes and sizes, its does a disservice to people like my 57 year old wife and grandmother who trains hard and runs 1/2s in under 2 hours. She can be proud of herself. Emily you need serious help!

  21. She’s wearing a GPS watch, ask to see the map it produces. It sucks to have someone like her get away with this. I ran Chicago and worked hard to be able to finish. She’s just a low life.

  22. In another article, she claimed she had two asthma attacks during the Chicago Marathon and also, despite being in corral A, claimed she was way back and couldn’t get up to pace until later in the race, because she had to run around so many people.

    Ridiculous. She should be banned.

    • She crossed 18 or so minutes after start, so it seems she had A bib, but started in E.

      I was in D and crossed start after 11 min. Last year I was in E and it took me 16.

      It is bothersome that she used a fake time to time qualify, while many people don’t get in.

  23. You may say: who cares? I think every person that didn’t qualify for the Chicago Marathon.
    You’re taking a spot from someone who works really hard at running and training and finishing a race.
    Indeed, flag her in all databases. But who is to say that she doesn’t register under another name?
    Bringing this out in the open, helps prevent her from doing it again hopefully.
    So, no, they don’t disqualify because of your build. Get over yourself. You’re a cheat! Nothing but a cheat!

  24. Please, please stop saying this person is mentally ill. She’s completely aware of what she’s doing, knows it’s wrong, does it anyway, and lies/blames others when caught. People with mental health issues do not need to be lumped in with this sociopath.

  25. There is a post on her dog’s instagram account wherein the dog claims that his mom
    “won” a half marathon on 7/8/18. The photo on that day includes both her and her dog. Couldn’t find anything locally where she showed up in the results, but I find it interesting. Also found an 8K time at the Portland Shamrock where she posted sub 7 splits. Makes me wonder if she has ever run an entire race….

    • I know a few people with anxiety , they do not cheat. Anxiety does not make one inherently dishonest. Cheating is not a mental disease it is bad character. She has no excuse!!! Ban her from all certified races immediately.

  26. She should be banned, she’s stealing medals from those that deserve them , moments on the podium that she doesn’t deserve ,weather I get an award or not it matters to me if I should have been one place up ,so in the long run it effects every runner doing the race

  27. Given that she’s registered for Boston 2020 I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to see more “six minute miles” out of her.

  28. THIS IS NOT MENTAL HEALTH behaviour. We need to be clear about this. People that struggle with mental health do not deliberately and purposely be manipulative and deceptive. This may be sociopathic, narcissistic or even anti-social but please people that struggle with mental health do not identify with her.

  29. I ran Chicago. It was my first marathon so I didn’t have a qualifying time and had to go through lottery. Thankfully, I got in and finished with 3:43:26. It was an amazing race! Now think of a person who didn’t get in, because of Emilies of this world! She hats no sympathy from me, only judgment.

  30. Why in the world are you going after this runner for this? She “ran” in just under 4 hours and didn’t place. She paid her money, I presume, to enter and may or may not have run the whole course. For those that want to finish 999th instead of 1000th then you have a problem too. There’s no need to out this particular type of entrant.

  31. Meh, she was caught and dq’d. Now she’s publicly shamed for wanting to try and participate. I used to like this site when it focused on larger issues or when they found the cheaters themselves and not publishing 3rd party. Now it seems there’s some kind of vigilante sheriffing going on. I think the front of the pack deserves the microscope and not those just trying to participate.

    • I still do the legwork. In this case the race reached out to me and Emily provided the statement directly to me. Remember she got to the podium in many of these races. Two weeks after her admission, she cheated again. It’s relevant. She also is registered for Boston. I am working on that.

  32. So did she end up getting DQed from Chicago? I see her results as showing up blank but no indication of a disqualification. Hopefully she has been disallowed from Boston by now?

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