Runner Disqualified after Claiming Victory in Columbus

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On Groundhog Day, the marathon runners of The 2020 Warm Up Columbus Marathon ran 26 one mile loops (plus one partial loop) to earn their marathon medals.

The preliminary results showed the winner finished with a time of 2:45:13, about three minutes ahead of the second place finisher. The runner is a 20 year old who competes collegiately in cross country and triathlons.

Immediate Suspicions

When the results showed the final rankings, at least one runner was surprised. “I definitely passed him three times or more.”

The runner’s time, on a very windy day, was a 13 minute improvement over his time in the same race last year.

The Splits Don’t Lie

His splits were wildly uneven, and not at all realistic. He ran the 6 mile stretch from 17.22 to 23.22 in a time of 30 minutes and 54 seconds, a pace of 5 minutes and 9 seconds per mile.

His best 5k race times are all over 18 minutes – about 6 minutes per mile.

Summary

The legitimate top 3 males are as follow:

RankAthleteBibTime
1brennan crawford30402:48:03
2Harvey Lewis49302:54:47
3Charlie Blankenbiller20203:00:55

Despite the overwhelming evidence, and at least one eyewitness, he has not admitted to cutting the course. At this point, he is also not fighting the disqualification. I checked some other results, and there was no evidence that he has cheated before this race.

On social media, we got a possible peak as to the motivation behind the course cutting: This was posted by a family member.

Last year….. missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 7 seconds. Today he clinched a spot in both the 2021 Boston and New York City marathons

Thanks to attentive runners and a vigilant race director, the runner will not be using this time to run in New York City or in Boston. I am respecting the wishes of the race, and I am not publicly naming this runner. I will continue to monitor any of his future races.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. They have mats every mile? How on earth is he hitting every mat AND cheating? That’s some dedication right there.

  2. Anyone who could BQ a one mile loop has my respect. (Actually anyone who BQs a marathon has my respect, but these guys/gals are crazy). I would go nuts. That said, there’s a loop race that’s much worse – and just occurred. The Groundhog Race in Grand Rapids.

    4.4 mile loops, usually in frigid temps (avg 15-30 deg F) with lots of snow!

    • I ran that this past weekend – it was the most clear it’s ever been, thankfully. It was nice to have completely clear pavement versus the inches (or some years, feet) of snow underneath your feet!

    • ” I am respecting the wishes of the race, and I am not publicly naming this runner.”

      You haven’t respected their wishes at all. You’ve given us all the identifying information we need to find out who this individual is with one simple Google Search. You may not have given his name in this article but you have identified him. The delusion that you have respected the race’s wishes is juvenile.

  3. Great work guys. I admire the fact that his names wasn’t published, but I have to admit I just spent the last 30 minutes trying to figure out who was disqualified.

  4. So he missed the BQT by 7 seconds at 19 years of age. This means he could have just carry on with his training and get qualified this year, just because he’s getting naturally stronger. Instead, he chose the shortcut (a literal one as it looks). Hope he learns from this and does it right next time.

  5. Ran this last year with family (relay). It’s a great race, but i remember thinking, wow this would be perfect for cheaters. It’s not closely monitored and with the relay, people think nothing of someone stopping and stepping off the course.

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