Elite Runner Claims 1:15:28 Half Marathon -Removed From Results after Cutting Course

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Patrick Wills competed in the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon this past Sunday. Patrick finished 13th overall, and was listed as The 50-54 age group winner on the RnR App (Although as an elite he would be ineligible for any age group award).

His splits are below:

MilesTotal TimeTotal PaceSplit Pace
3.10:18:380:06:010:06:01
6.20:37:240:06:020:06:03
13.11:15:280:05:460:05:31

Patrick didn’t register a 10 mile split, and his pace increased significantly over the last half of the race.

Immediately following the race, he posted on social media and the run was uploaded to Strava.

Patrick is a talented runner. There is no question about it. He ran as an elite and lists multiple companies on social media including Hoka, Squirrel Nut Butter, Dry-Max and Honey Stinger. Added note: it is unclear whether he is actually sponsored by any of these brands.

What Happened in New Orleans?

There are plenty of questions about Patrick’s result. His Strava entry shows he only ran 12.23 miles.

The course consists of many loops and out and backs. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Patrick took a wrong turn.

Outline of RnR New Orleans Half Marathon Course

Not long after Patrick’s run was posted, people started to question the result. I followed Patrick and was immediately blocked. However, I was able to log into a secondary account and view his run in more detail (I also received about a dozen emails and messages with screenshots and links).

Eventually Patrick responded to the comments stating that he missed a turn:

I made a recording of Patrick’s Strava Fly By. Patrick’s icon is outlined in black. You can clearly see the section he cut short.

The section in question is around mile 8. I noted earlier that he missed the timing mat at mile 10. His Flyby shows that he did not cut that portion of the course. He only missed the portion in the video, resulting in cutting a total of 0.9 miles off the course.

My suspicion is that he purposely did not run over the 10 mile mat. Had he done so, he would have recorded an even more unlikely split, having cut 0.9 miles of the previous 3.8 miles of the course. A missed split would raise less of a red flag than a sub 5 minute split time.

A couple key points which I think are likely indications of of intent:

  • Someone that has run ‘hundreds of races’ would immediately know if they only ran 12.2 miles of a half marathon. Patrick had initially claimed the result as legitimate – he made the Facebook post showing his time and holding his medal.
  • He didn’t ‘miss a turn’. Patrick simply turned around prematurely. There is no explaining how he could have unintentionally turned around where he did.
  • His belligerence when questioned. Patrick has removed comments, and is calling out those that question him as haters.
Updated Strava Entry

It’s Complicated, and I’m Tired of Driving for My Races with No Love or Support!!! So I’m im going to keep doing it my Way . Because that’s the Way I Was Built!!!

-Patrick Wills

Not The First Time

Patrick was disqualified from the 2018 Rocky Raccoon Trail Race. In a statement that was pulled from TexAgs.com forums from Chris, the RD.

The unfortunate DQ of Patrick Wills was secondarily due to the red flag our systems showed from his negative third-lap split. [Editor’s Note: 3:41 for 25 miles or 8:50 per mile.] We compared those times with splits of the last 16 years among all top runners. Obviously, that would be an incredible negative average mile [i.e., quicker pace] for miles 50-75 with a course getting muddier and sloppier every hour that went by. [Editor’s Note: 2 minutes and 52 seconds per mile faster than his second lap that took 4:01. Wills’s splits.]

However, the primary reason was due to the mandatory check-in at the two out-and-back aid stations. He only had check-ins recorded for the first two laps for both of these aid stations. I stated before the race that even though volunteers were there to make this happen it was ultimately up to each runner to ensure their bib number and time of day was captured each lap at both Gate and Farside Aid Stations.

Finally, after I questioned him post-race, I was told by Mr. Wills that he did in fact have .gpx track of his race, which would satisfy us that he completed the correct route. After three reminders to send the file, he failed to do so.

There have been many accusations floating on social media and reports that he has been banned from local running clubs. Digging through comments on multiple posts, it is clear that there have been suspicions surrounding Patrick for years.

Note: Many others have posted about allegedly fake Strava segments, and his odd Strava trail at The Houston Half Marathon. I have not, and don’t plan to look at the alleged ‘Strava cheating’. I have looked at the Strava track from The Houston Marathon, and while odd, he hit all of the timing mats at reasonable pace. The portions that skip ahead and the portions off course are not following roads.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Patrick’s “sponsorships” should be listed with quotes. He claims Hoka but wears next percents…

  2. In the Strava flyby Youtube video, looks like was passed and dropped by “Caleb” (green). He cut at moment when he could retake the lead over “Caleb” while out on that bend around the corner and the group behind hadn’t turned the corner yet.

  3. We are not aware of this runner, and to the best of our knowledge, he is not and never has been a directly sponsored drymax athlete or an ambassador. He may be part of one of the multiple running clubs/teams throughout the USA that we support, but according to our records, we have never been directly associated with him until this article and several of your reader’s emails, we had no awareness of him or this situation or previous possible issues. Many runners include brands they use and support in their bio of social media, it doesn’t mean that they receive direct support from any of those companies listed.

  4. I do not believe he has sponsorships with any of these companies. Maybe his run club does (now former run club), but I cannot imagine Hoka sponsoring him directly. There is not link to him anywhere on their website.

  5. You are All full of too Much Social Media !!!🤣🤣🤣 you just need to get out there and Have Fun Relax and Run!!!!

  6. Can’t believe he’s at it again. I ran the 2018 Rocky Raccoon 100 and couldn’t understand how he finished 12 minutes in front of me. I was 100% certain he didn’t pass me during the race, and really pleased the RD acted on his suspicions. Keep up the great work, Derek!

  7. Funny to see he’s still cheating. He wanted to run a Spartan Beast with my group of friends years ago, so we had him tag along. He immediately bolted off and left us at the start of the course only to show back up while he was “running his second lap,” but somehow was bone dry without a speck of mud. If you’ve ever run a Spartan, you know that’s impossible. Especially if you don’t complete obstacles and follow the rules and do the required burpees.

  8. Oh. The irony. Derek complains to Twitter when people point out facts about the unsavory tact he takes. He seeks to get people banned but continues with his lies and harassment campaigns in Twitter and on this website. What a hypocrite

  9. He has no sponsorships, and his strava is littered with instances of him misleading his followers with progression/speedwork that’s faster than he should be capable of, when a simple look at his flybys/cadence map shows that he takes breaks in the faster reps. Anyone who has to cheat with intention to run only a 1:15 will never be someone I look up or would want to be friends with. It doesn’t matter that he’s not running elite times, it’s a matter of morals and honesty, of which he clearly has none. Man should be banned from USATF sanctioned courses.

  10. He should be wearing the “Scarlet Letter”, “C” on his singlet for the future so he is a marked man. Runners work hard to achieve the results in races and then to have this guy participate and steal a finishing place and/or award is fraud.

  11. No such thing as Bad Press !!?🤣❤️‍🔥!!! Thanks for Following me as you are just a Speck in my Rear View Mirror.

    • The sad thing is that you are a talented runner that just desperately wants to be respected by the local groups and elite runners. If you were honest about your failures, others would be willing to celebrate your accomplishments that much more! We’re not “waiting for you to fail” (as you stated in your Strava), we’re just not surprised when you take shortcuts because you’ve done so many times before (cut race courses multiple times, claimed wins when you either didn’t actually win or even DQ’d, virtual running races on your bike, even the stupid Strava segment cheating on your bike).

      We all come up short with our goals, we push each other to bounce back, but trying to lie about what you’ve done loses ALL respect and you’ve just about expended all your chances. Your story on this race on Strava changed multiple times as other athletes call you out on your BS.

      It would take time and a lot of proof, but if you’d just be honest and a little humble, you’d (maybe) be able to earn some trust and the respect you so obviously crave.

Comments are closed.