On March 8, The 2020 Los Angeles Marathon was held. It would be the last large scale marathon run during 2020. Three days later, the sporting world as a whole came to a hault.
With the onset of Covid-19, and the (at least temporary) end of normal life, I was not motivated to write much. I initially pulled down the results of The LA Marathon but only recently analyzed the results. I found the exercise of looking at actual race results and timing splits therapeutic and preferable to estimating the size of living room carpet squares.
I will write about The LA Marathon very soon , after I get a chance to forward the information to The LA Marathon. I don’t expect that they will have the resources or inclination to make adjustments to the results. Some of what I found were technical errors, some was clear cheating.
Still, even though there are no major races to qualify for (except maybe the virtual variety) there has been no shortage of cheating and lying. I am just now starting to go back through my messages after a long time of mostly keeping the Marathon Investigation laptop closed. There were lots of reports of virtual cheating, and some reports of cheating at actual races.
I am not going to write about a random individual that turns in their moving time vs their total time on Strava for random virtual swag. But if there are real prizes or benefits involved, and someone is especially public about a result, I feel it’s open for scrutiny.
Below are a couple of the more egregious examples of lying or cheating during the Pandemic.
“I didn’t cheat, I lied…Part 2”
Before the Pandemic shut everything down, I wrote about Michael. Michael claimed to be an elite runner. Those claims unraveled after it was determined that he lied. He claimed he finished in 4th place with a time of 2:39:46. In fact, he dropped out after the 10 mile point.
Michael was registered for the 2020 Virtual London Marathon. Out of approximately 43,000 participants, Michael turned in the fastest time. He submitted a time of 2:15:37.
After I wrote the article about his false claims related to Disney, he seemed to try to minimize or justify his actions when he wrote me that “I didn’t cheat, I lied”.
I wrote Michael about 2 weeks ago. I received a reply but it did not include any response. I emailed him again and have not heard back.
At Least Make it Believable
A writer on an Equestrian website wrote this article about taking up a second sport. The writer claims that she took up running as her 2nd sport.
Below is a summary of claims made in the article.
- 2007 Chicago Marathon – 4:29
- April 2020 – PR’d Half Marathon 1:11
- May 2020 – PR’d Marathon 2:56
- June 2020 – 100k 8:25 First Place Female
- August 2020 – 100 Miler 10:58 First Place Female
- 100 Mile in 10:04. Claims this resulted in a second place finish.
Non runners may not have blinked at those times. For anyone in the running community however, there are a series of red flags.
- What races (besides virtual) were taking place in April and May?
- 1:11 Half Marathon time is elite.
- Zack Bitter holds the 100 mile world record of 11:19:13. The author claims two times that are over an hour faster, and claims to have finished 2nd in one of those races.
It’s clear that she fabricated her times. I could not even verify her claimed Chicago Marathon result.
Note: I have not been able to contact the author, and due to some additional content in the article, I made the decision not to link it or reveal her identity. I have reached out to the website’s editor over concerns about the content and false claims.
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