Top Finisher DQ’d from Sarasota Marathon

School Principal Disqualified from Sarasota Marathon after claiming podium spot, and editing GPS data

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There was immediate suspicion regarding Jennifer’s result at The Sarasota Marathon. Her 3:39:51 would be a personal record. Her only result on Marathonguide.com is the 2021 Chicago Marathon where she finished in a time of 5:42:47. I found an article from 2013 referencing her time of 3:52:51 at The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon. Those results aren’t searchable and no splits are available.

She has participated in a number of Half Triathlons. Jennifer competed in Finland at The Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2023. I did analyze her Garmin data from her qualifier, and it appeared legitimate.

The Sarasota Marathon is a small race. There were 120 official finishers, including Jennifer. The course is two 13.1 mile loops with multiple turns along the way. There are no intermediate timing mats. This course would be relatively easy to cut, and it would be difficult to prove if someone did cut the course.

Jennifer posted videos and photos of her finish. She was very emotional. She also posted videos on the podium and with her medal and award for her overall placement.

Reasons for Suspicion

Initially people were suspicious because they did not think she was capable of this time. Her time is just under The Boston Qualifying standard for a 41 year old female. Adding validation to this skepticism was that her publicly posted GPS data was inconsistent with her claimed finish time.

Smoking Gun – Garmin Data

Her summary data below looks normal. Garmin Connect did show that the summary data was edited. I did learn from previous work that this isn’t necessarily proof of wrongdoing. Changing privacy, for example will result in Garmin Connect showing data as edited.

Digging further into her run, does however confirm that she edited her data.

If you look at her pace, it never approaches her supposed 8:22/mi. average. More importantly, her distance was clearly edited. The total of her splits shows 22.47 miles. She edited her total mileage to read 26.27 miles.

Luckily, I grabbed screenshots. Apparently, she was being questioned directly by others that were questioning her results. By Monday, her Garmin data was private. Without this data, there may not have been enough justification to issue the disqualification.

While her Garmin profile was public, I was able to view her progress in the map. It showed clearly where she cut. She turned around 2 miles early on the southern portion of the course, resulting in her being approximately 4 miles short of the marathon distance.

Social Media

Jennifer was clearly claiming this result as legitimate. Her Facebook post celebrating her finish was recently removed. She received hundreds of congratulations and was accepting those kudos even after she was hiding and altering her Garmin data.

She also shared videos of her finishing, and a video of her crying was posted on Instagram with the caption “Pure Joy!”


The Final Straw

On Monday, the race director, Thierry Rouillard reached out asking my thoughts. By this time, Jennifer had made her Garmin profile private. I shared with him what was posted above and shared my opinion that she cut the course with 100%. certainty. We discussed the next steps. He reached out to Jennifer to ask for her evidence that she completed the course. As they say, ‘What Happened Next Was Shocking”

Jennifer sent Thierry a spreadsheet with her splits. Basically, she modified the actual splits which I shared above. A few splits matched, but she edited her slower splits and added splits for the miles that she was missing (didn’t run). The spreadsheet she presented as evidence was completely fabricated.

The sum of her actions, from the initial course cutting, to the claiming of a podium spot, and Boston qualifying time, and ending with her presenting fabricated evidence to the race has resulted in her being officially disqualified from the race. If not for her posting her GPS data, I would not have been able to recommend a disqualification.

As of today, Jennifer has officially been disqualified.

Additional Evidence (February 20 Edit)

Jennifer continues to insist that this article is defamatory. She continues to make threats with no substance. As such, I am adding a couple key pieces to this article.

Below summarizes her actual splits – taken from her Garmin Connect against the spreadsheet that she sent the race director as evidence that she completed the full marathon. Note that even the spreadsheet that she submitted as evidence does not match her claimed time.

Shortly after posting this article, I was sent this video from Training Peaks. This matches what I initially viewed on Garmin Connect before she made her entry private. As mentioned above, the course is two loops. At the 22 second mark, you can clearly see where Jennifer turns around early.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Where do you get all your info and what is your basis for making all these assumptions? The above seems unclear. Also, have you ever had a corrupt Garmin file? A bad GPS reading? An awkwardly fast or slow mile split because of interference (building, trees, etc? Way to go destroying someone based on your own “speculation”, Derek.

    • This is not speculation or a corrupt file. Her track clearly showed where she turned around. Her mile by mile splits are clean. She edited her total distance and sent a completely fabricated file to the race director.

    • Steve I was holding 2 nd place and never saw her or had she passed me and neither did the people who where counting where I was in the race and place I was holding on the long out and back. Plus you can see where she cut and her splits were 9 min pace.

      • Congratulations on your *actually earned* second place finish! I hope this cheater didn’t totally ruin your accomplishment.

    • It’s amazing how the comments on this site have moved from a consensus maybe six or seven years ago that exposing clear cheaters is a good thing to a wave of pro-cheating sentiment, usually from anonymous clowns.

      Did an entire generation of people now in their mid-twenties to late thirties have parents who simply weren’t worth a damn? Cheating is traditionally unacceptable, champ. If you want recognition for doing something, then *actually do it*.

    • Derek is an individual with impeccable integrity. All of the major marathons rely on his expertise. Steve, do you know how to read and do basic math??? Her FASTEST mile split was a minute per mile SLOWER than what she needed to average her supposed finish time. And to think this woman is a principal at an elementary school. BEYOND PATHETIC….

  2. Yeah, I know her, saw the time and knew immediately it could not be real. 2:39 half marathon 4 months ago and a 3:39 marathon? No.

    • That’s not necessarily correlation of cheating – I ran a 2:28:00 half marathon three weeks before a 3:19:55 at Boston. Both were obviously certified results – however, in the former I was pacing my son at his first half marathon. If her PB is 2:39:00 or somewhere close to that, then fair point.

      • I was there at her 2:39 half, I saw her running it, by herself not pacing someone, and I know her running history. 2:30s half is her baseline. >5hr marathons is her baseline. Way to try to great a straw man to argue against. She cheated/lied and continues to.

  3. I don’t know the details of what happened but would prefer you leave her profession out of this discussion. You can handle that as your sport and we can handle that separately as an organization. Jennifer is the Principal of a school which is a Christian home for kids that have been dealt a difficult hand of cards in this place we call life. Dragging anything through the mud outside of your race is very hurtful and unnecessary. I’d appreciate you rescinding all of your posts about this. It’s not fair to those not involved.

    • “Jennifer is the Principal of a school which is a Christian home for kids that have been dealt a difficult hand of cards in this place we call life”

      It’s “kids WHO have been dealt,” not “kids THAT have been dealt.” etc. I only bring this up because part of your spasmodic and foolish demand includes mention that this goofy cheater Jennifer is technically in the education sector. If you genuinely consider the education of children a worthwhile endeavor, then please learn to better craft your idiotic, baseless rants.

      “I’d appreciate you rescinding all of your posts about this.”

      I bet you would. Why not pray for this outcome? For my part, I’d appreciate you taking your demand that the proprietor of this site censor himself to make a cheater and her pals feel better and sticking them somewhere anatomically unlikely. You’re the one who should be ashamed, although it doesn’t surprise me one bit to see a self-identifying Christian defending a Christian liar.

    • I disagree. It’s unfortunate that this has happened but yes her profession is an important part of the conversation. She is a role model and representative of the school. The best thing she could do is have some humility, apologize and show the kids, staff and anyone associated with her school that it can be hard to do the right thing and that everyone makes mistakes and go forward and life a positive and good life. I would respect anyone who could do that but especially someone with such influence over kids.

    • Hey Chris, you think that cheaters should be guiding children at a Christian school??? Somehow, I think decent and responsible parents would disagree.

  4. Way to go Derek. This is superb clear reporting of HER actual information, SHE provided which in turn proves she cheated and all for what? Smh.

    A Principal cheating at a running race doesn’t bode well for her credibility.

  5. It is amazing how naive some race organizers are. Of course some people will try to cheat by cutting the course. May it be to get a BQ or even just finishing when hitting the wall. Sure, technology can help with regular timing mats but it is not a guarantee (my chip had a malfunction at the 2023 Houston Marathon and didn’t record at any mat, including start and finish, except for the 40k one). But course design could remove 90%+ of course cutters. If you run Boston, Houston or New York, the only way to cut course is to leave it and take a cab to a further point. Chicago gives dishonest runners the “I could walk 0.5mi and shortcut the course by 5mi” option. So does Sarasota. Use the portapotty between the out and back ways and just “forget” which way you were going and you remove 4 miles from your route. Don’t be naive, don’t give cheaters easy ways to cheat.

    • I understand your point, but as someone who has had some small experience in assisting in setting up/managing a race, sometimes you are just at the mercy of the city officials and your own resources. You may not always get the course you want. And even if you do, your access to volunteers to man aid stations, provide race flow management, first aid, etc, may dictate having a course that is more condensed.

      • Yeah I am 100% more inclined to give small races the benefit of the doubt. There’s a small South Texas marathon on the beach that I love to do (I only do the half) and while I love the course and the organizers I always leave with a sour taste because there are definitively ways for people to cheat since there is no mat at the turning point.
        Unfortunately, you also see it at large races. Chicago is the perfect example. It’s an Abbott major but they give cheaters an option while having the budget to close these loopholes with tech. A back and forth with turnaround and no timing mat like here, especially on multiple loops as in you KNOW doing the second loop that if you just u-turn one or two miles early you will NOT be detected, may tempt some people to cheat even if they did not intend to at the beginning of the race.
        How much is a timing system versus how much participants take part in the race? at ~250 the rfid system and ~500 participants this year that’s an extra 0.50 per participant to purchase that mat.

  6. Great work Derek. People have incredible gall when they resort to cheating. Aside from their dishonorable actions, there is the collateral damage when they take away the glory from the true winner. Not to mention the cheaters who take “Boston” (or other) qualifying spots away from legitimate runners. If caught, they deserve to be shamed — “they themselves made their own bed, so lie in it”.

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