Runner’s World Editor’s Races Under Scrutiny

De-Bunked Claims of Failed GPS and other anomalies raise suspicions regarding journalist's results.

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Kate Carter is Runner’s World’s UK acting commissioning editor. From RunnersWorld.com:

Kate is Runner’s World’s acting commissioning editor. She writes about all things running, from deep dives into the science to the latest gadget reviews.  Kate has worked in media and journalism for too many years to count. Before joining RW, she was Life and Style editor at the Guardian and has also written for everyone from World Athletics to Lonely Planet. She also worked in TV for 10 years.  Kate is also a qualified coach, sub three hour marathoner, Guiness World Record holder and has run all the Marathon Majors.  She loves running around in 400m circles best, though. 

The evidence of Kate’s alleged misdeeds was handed to me in meticulous detail. I purchased her photos and videos, and personally scrutinized GPS data, photos, and results.

2023 London Landmarks Half Marathon

The pace in the above table is inaccurate due to the missed split. I have put together the below table. 

Kate did not have a time registered at the 15k mat, and her fastest split calculation correlates with the missed split. Kate has no photos during the section where she missed splits, and her pace was a swift 6:19 min/mile over this section, after running the previous section interval at a 7:50 minute per mile pace.

Manipulating her Bib

Kate’s bib was visible during the first part of the race.

Additionally, there are photos that show her watch face. The below photo shows her watch just beyond 10 kilometers. Her watch appears to read 49 minutes. This corresponds to her 10k split of 48:06. I also compared her 10k time with the male runner in the photo. Their gun times were just 2 seconds apart at the 10k timing mat. This shows that her watch and official split time appear to be relatively in sync and that the timing is accurate.

There are no photos between 10k and 20k. There are photos of Kate near the end of the race. In these videos, her bib is folded in half, partially obscuring her bib #.

While this could explain her not appearing in photos, the fact that the software did identify her in other photos with the obscured bib somewhat diminishes the possibility.

GPS – Strava

Kate originally posted a run on Strava. She noted that the run posted was not hers ‘Because her Garmin “died completely.”‘

Her photos contradict her statement. She is photographed multiple times in the final mile where her watch face is visible. She is photographed near Big Ben, at the Ferris Wheel, and near the finish with her watch face visible.

2023 London Marathon

Kate supposedly ran The London Marathon without her chip. So, she had no time and no official finish. However, given her role as a Journalist and Runner’s World Editor, there are some concerns regarding her claimed run that were brought to my attention.

London Strava Entry

Without going into excruciating detail, the GPS entry was almost assuredly created manually. It most certainly does not follow the London Marathon Course. It is speculated that she used GPX Studio to create the run.

Her entry is backwards. Her Strava showed that she started in London. Below is a map of the 2023 Course.

Additionally, her .GPX entry has roughly 500 datapoints, or approximately 1 data point every 24 seconds. By default, Garmin collects data points every second.

When digging into the map, there are many more examples that indicate that this map was manually created. The course follows (backwards) the 2019 course, not the 2023 course. As the emailer pointed out, she also takes several ‘sloppy detours’ that are easy to miss when manually creating a run. It is unclear if she ran all, or part of the course, and in what time.

As Kate herself wrote:

Running the London Marathon isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.

London Marathon ballot results: 5 conspiracy theories (runnersworld.com)

Why, if running The London Marathon is such a privilege, would you choose to run it untimed and furthermore, why would you fake the entry on Strava?

I will close with the words of the tipster as to why they feel all of this matters:

Kate is a trusted member of the running media community, and is regularly flown abroad by clothing brands for articles and publicity in her capacity as a journalist. On account of her photograph of Eliud Kipchoge at the start line, it appears she was also a VIP at the 2023 event. This degree of access and privilege in the running community, particularly around an event as coveted as the London Marathon, should come with a high degree of respect and integrity. If these anomalies are what they seem to be, Kate’s behaviour regarding her results is unethical and completely at odds with the tenets of journalism, and with running at every level.

I attempted to contact Kate through social media 4 days ago but have not received a response.

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63 COMMENTS

  1. While the analysis seems legitimate, it feels like giving someone such a short period of time to respond feels wrong. Not everyone check’s their social media that frequently. Especially given the impacts this kind of thing could have on the Ms. Carter’s career.

    • “such a short period of time” – How long was it? I haven’t seen reference to the time period. Knowing Derek’s work he always try to give a chance for the person to explain their side of the story – with sufficient time, usually trying multiple contact ways if possible. My suspicion that this has happened, but there wasn’t any response, otherwise it’d be in the article (as usually Derek does). What is weird that usually Derek mentions this explicitly. I hope he responds here.

    • you realize she immediately deleted all her faked races and made her socials private? she isn’t even attempting to lie and deny it. she knows what she did.

  2. She literally unpinned the bottom two pins of her bib (seen in earlier photos) and repinned them to fold the bib in half (seen in later photos). If that isn’t blatant 🤷🏻‍♀️

  3. Sorry, that comment doesn’t make sense. Someone with her access and credentials lives on social media. She’s caught and she knows it.

  4. What does the watch show towards the end of the half marathon? I cannot make it out clearly and it’s not in the article. We can see that the watch was functioning – so that thwarts the claim the watch died, – but we know Derek usually purchases the large resolution photos, and the exact time and distance on the watch could provide more info.

    • in one of the photo’s it seems the other watch is squarish, my assumption its an apple/samsung watch with poor gps maybe used to play music as she wearing ear phones, that could be considered as outside assistance.

      • The LLHM only discourages headphones – they aren’t banned.
        Same with the London Marathon. Plenty of people wear them.
        Just seems a odd to me to race a big event like this with plenty of spectators and then block yourself off from their encouragement.

  5. Just a minor technical correction. Most Garmin devices have a default Data Recording setting of “Smart” which records data points less frequently than every second in order to save power and minimize FIT file size. The actual interval varies dynamically based on movement, but it never goes as long as 24 seconds between points so your overall conclusion still seems correct.

    Experienced runners do often change that setting from “Smart” to “Every Second” in order to get a smoother GPS track.

    The 2023 London Marathon Strava screenshot is also suspicious because the device field shows as “Garmin Connect”. For legitimate activities recorded with Garmin devices it will show the specific model such as “Garmin Forerunner 255”. I can’t tell the exact model that she’s wearing in the pictures but it’s something similar to that. (If she was a Garmin beta tester wearing an unreleased prototype then that field would just be blank.)

    • The smart recording is a post process, where the larger the time/distance the more GPS points are removed and re-aggregated between points, I have used douglas pecker method a very good example slider animation of this https://mourner.github.io/simplify-js/ and what tends to happen is along a straight section more points are removed in between so you could have more than 24 seconds between some points and other points could be 3-4 seconds such as a turn at an intersection or curve road and just depends on the tolerance level, consistent recordings of 24 secs seems constructed from an app or an outputted TCX/GPX (xml files) and then re-submitted to garmin connect and that would be synced back to strava. In terms device name any name can be assigned, I am using Fenix6pro watch & edge530 they are both on Beta Firmware and device names are reported correctly, I have the SDK ant+ software converts fit files to other formats like csv, I also run the Strava API and I map data and have dealing with GPS data, for over 15 years.

  6. “Kate has worked in media and journalism for too many years to count.”

    Not so. According to sources, she has worked in media and journalism for well over three-hundred and sixteen years (non-consecutive). It takes a while to count that high without a computer or a wild excess of fingers and toes, but it is not impossible.

  7. The Bib / Race number has been moved, in the early photos the top of number is right near where the white stripe intersects with red & black and then its moved further down and the right corner of the number right across the white stripe and the later its on the inside edge of the white stripe which indicates to me the total removal of the number and repinned with the fold. Another point is she is wearing headphone and I think that is outside assistance as you could have coached instructions on what to do.

  8. Bib location in the half changes too between the early and late photos – the black triangle of her vest appears above the bib number in the later photos, whereas the bib numbers is attached higher up in the earlier photos. Plenty of reasons why that might be the case of course, I’ve had a bib location annoy me part way through a race and made some significant adjustments. But just another “oddity” to add to the mix.

  9. This is madness. This is either absolutely appalling behaviour from someone meant to be respected and trusted in the running community.

    Or could it possibly be done in a journalistic manner as part of an investigation into how ‘easy’ it is to cheat in races?

    I’m not sure how I feel about the ethics of the latter but I want to believe all of these lies have some explanation.

    If it turns out that this was actually Kate cheating then I really don’t understand her values or even motives.

    • “Or could it possibly be done in a journalistic manner as part of an investigation into how ‘easy’ it is to cheat in races?”

      well this will for sure be her excuse after she has read your comment.

  10. There is an unofficial backwards London Marathon route done just before the race. Because the actual route requires busy roads to be closed (and barriers for the race may be up) I expect it does diverge.

    So that may be a source for the GPX data.

  11. “By default, Garmin collects data points every second.”

    By default Garmin watches use “smart” recording to save power. To record with one-second intervals requires a manual change in the watch settings.

    • can confirm the manual change. i did that to see if my route map was smoother but it was a rough as before. the greater granularity of the sampling does not seem to translate to a smoother looking route map for some reason!

  12. Who stops to repin their number to block it out like that ?

    She’s the editor of RW. RW has run articles on runners being accused of cheating.

    Who cares about what time she runs ? Slow time – clearly she was injured so taking it easily. Nobody cares so why would anyone cheat – and why when you have so much to lose?

    Bizarre.

  13. Jeez the negativity in this website, she didn’t win or took someone else’s winnings, even if she cheated who care she’ll live with it. What kind of a attempt are you making accusing someone of cheating with this kind of evidence.

    • Reread the last section. “I will close with the words of the tipster as to why they feel all of this matters:”

    • I think it’s fair enough if someone who is earning their living, profile and endorsements by portraying themselves in a certain way and then they are found to be doing so dishonestly and against the ethics of both their sport and their profession.
      No, she may not be on the podium or earning cash prizes but like many influencers there is a financial incentive and she is also making sure she secures a GFA entry to London or BQ or whatever for the next year based on this.
      If true, the hypocrisy is next level.

    • One could argue that ….. if it matters enough for someone to cheat, it matters enough to those that get cheated.

    • Jerry Rice, accountability and criticism within society matters. If there is none, people will do all manner of devious and dishonest things.

  14. This makes little sense in terms of motive. She’s a sub- 3 hour marathoner, world record holder and her half time is around 10 mins faster than the one in question. I’ve seen her race on a track. Why on earth would she waste her time faking a 1:32 half and 3:19 marathon?!

    • Motive is never that simple though. Arguably since she has already built so much of her identity on being a “fast” runner, she has more to lose in terms of confidence and social status by posting slower times. Even if nobody really cares, it might mean a lot to her personally to be able to continue talking about herself as a sub-x marathoner, etc.

  15. thank you for continuing to report on these cases. as other commenters have pointed out, she receives financial incentives and freebies/perks/access (both as an employee and an individual), stemming directly from her past and present race activities. cheating would surely violate even the most generic ‘morals clause’ in an employment agreement, so there’s far more at stake for her here than bragging rights or being an influencer. following this story with great interest…

  16. I’m slightly surprised that the London Marathon photo montage suggests her trainers have done almost 18000km – my Garmin tells me each new pair of Brooks can do 680km. Surely a serious runner like her would track her gear?!

    • This doesn’t raise a red flag to me. I know at least one serious runner who on Strava has over 17,000 miles on a single pair of shoes. Obviously he’s getting new shoes and replacing worn out ones, but doesn’t use Strava to know when he needs to do that.

    • Garmin also tracks kit – so she might be using that rather than Strava to look at mileage.
      That said – she works for RW so there’s probably more shoes in her closet than Imelda Marcos so mileage might not be important to her.

  17. Kate must have peed in your cheerios at some point. Derek (the author) clearly has a self confidence issue.

    Derek have you ever even run a marathon? Sounds like you’re a bitter kid that never made the varsity team and doesn’t know what good journalism is.

    • Hello Kate 👋

      This sounds like the sour sort of post you would write about others. Derek has investigated well and everything in this article makes logical sense. Simply, Kate cheated at London landmarks and London Marathon (I would imagine many more), for those saying they have ran with her. The reality is she is not where she was fitness wise and rather than gracefully slowing and being real, she would rather cheat to keep up appearance. The irony is she is such a critic of others and does not care about truth and honesty, just brining others down… finally she is exposed for the person she is

  18. This is all very bizarre. I’ve ran with Kate a couple of times, very fit, motivated…doesn’t seem in her nature at all.

    Just odd.

  19. Don’t over-complicate this. She missed a timing mat. This could be due to an RFID malfunction, but she passed the next timing mat with a split that is extremely unlikely. For a journalist to fail to respond in any way to an inquiry about this anomaly, just adds more suspicion, and she would know that, yet did not even feign surprise at the inquiry.

    • Sean Ingle to my knowledge, is a fine journalist & a thoroughly nice guy. But this exposee of his wife/partner is truly embarrassing – and she’s someone who, when it suits her, is very critical of others in the rerunning industry. As mentioned by someone else, it is next-level hypocrisy & a gives stark clarity to who she really is.

  20. https://www.thepowerof10.info/athletes/profile.aspx?athleteid=507141

    Ms Carters Power of Ten shows a pb of just under 38 mins in 2019 but closer to 47 mins last year which chimes with what she went through 10k in. It would be unbelievable that she then runs a PB for the next 10km ( by passing the15km timing mat!!)….. I’m pretty sure that even if the number folded up as pictured it wouldn’t affect the timing mat readers ( it looks like the chip is in the back of the number). The whole claiming that the Garmin wasn’t charged and died is clearly false based on the pictures which clearly shows that it is working.

    Given that Ultra runner Jo Zakrzewski was recently banned for a year for cheating in a race there’s a clear precedent for banning athletes caught cheating in this way with a ban. Hopefully UKA will follow this and other allegations of cheating and issue bans where appropriate!

    Given that Ms Carter recently described on X ( Twitter) the recent women’s road world 10km record as ‘unbelievable’ she may as well have been describing her own performances!!!!

    Hopefully we will get an explanation from Ms Carter that is believable and sets the record straight but thus far it seems as if she remains silent on the matter.

    • Completely agree, in all her media and within the running channel podcast she targets people in the running community and lacks integrity.

  21. This is a sad story. My Niners would never cheat to win a Super Bowl. I’m going back to my room at Motel 6 and wait patiently to see how this all turns out.

    Sheesh~~~~

  22. Kate has no moral values and made a career bringing others down. She clearly cheated, I saw her on the course and she was not running that fast in london

  23. Just want to add for future investigation that it appears races are now are able to get the photos of runners on the course even with the bib partially blocked. I had this happen to me. I had a rain jacket cinched around my number with digits barely visible but NYRR or Marathonfoto still attributed the pics to me. Maybe they’re using special software or the camera itself is tagging off the bib’s as runners passby.

    • Most races I enter use facial recognition, not the bib number. I’ve never ran the races in question though so I don’t know how their search functions work.

      • Really ? Is that new then ? All of my big runs have worked from bib number as you’d often get a similar runner number in your reported pics.

  24. Hi, Derek. Did you contact Runner’s World UK for comment before publishing this?

    If not, seems like you should have, given the prominence of their name not just in the article but in the headline itself.

    • Her employer is not responsible for her actions and there is nothing to suggest they knew of them, so what useful things are you expecting them to say. It is not an attack at her employer. Her employer is only relevant and mentioned because they are a running media outlet.

      • I understand why her employer is mentioned.

        My point is that if you’re going to cite RW by name in the headline, you should do RW the courtesy of a chance to comment for the story. That’s a pretty common standard in journalism. Not that hard.

        • Hey Mark. How about you reach out to me when you mention me by name in one of your comics? Or a heads up when you are going to make a comic about a very tragic situation just a few days after the fact? You have my email, I would have happily responded to you there regarding my thoughts on why I did not contact Runner’s World. Again, you are making assumptions.

    • I saw. If she left the course to clean up for a significant time, she would have had to cut off a good chunk of the course at The Half to record those splits.I get that something like that may have ruined her race, but she would have realized right away if cutting the course was accidental. Her Garmin was working, she would have seen she was short. Had she thought she ran the entire course, she would have used her own Garmin data.

  25. She cheated, pure and simple, especially at the Landmarks half, at London too but didn’t take an official time.
    The explanation provided in the Telegraph and copied in Reddit entry above doesn’t stack up.
    Why not just admit it instead, like some have in be past, I made a serious error of judgement based on my ego.
    Adding a further lie doesn’t help; what should ppl believe? That her watch didn’t work (when it clearly was in the photos) or “left the course for a pee and rejoined at wrong point”.
    Plenty runners pee themselves; I’ve even seen runners with “the other” problem just continuing to run (whilst volunteering at a 10km).
    It’s weird to cheat for 1.32 as well, a good time for a recreational runner for sure but not world beating, and not even her PB.
    It does affect people too – 42nd female was it? I wonder about age category, for runners like me (nowhere near the front) that’s all you can look at, and you do after the race, just to see how you stacked up against others.
    Should give the finishers medal back to Landmarks half and apologise to them.

  26. Curious that there doesn’t seem to be much challenge around the lack of a chip at London. There is the photo above of her wearing the bin number, chips are attached to the bib at London, and I’m not aware of ever hearing about anyone being given an official bib by the organisers that doesn’t have a chip registered to it.

    Is this something that Derek has a view on?

    • She removed her chip. It was an official bib, but for whatever reason she removed the timing chip and was never in the official results.

Comments are closed.