The strangely common case of runners caught cheating happened again Sunday at Hamilton’s Around the Bay race, with a woman called out for cheating by a runner from Windsor who participated in the race and follows the blog Marathon Investigation.
“The red flag was that she ran quite a slow split at 10k (4:33/km) and 15k (4:21/km) and then somehow managed to pass all of us Windsor boys on the hilly section and finish at 1:57:14,” wrote the runner in question in an email to iRun. “This would have been an insane negative split and there’s photo evidence of her running at 15k and her at the finish line finishing at 1:57:14, so this is not a timing chip error.”
The woman in question apparently had two chips on her shoe and both were disqualified after the discrepancies were brought to the attention of Sportstats CEO Marc Roy and confirmed by Around the Bay race director Anna Lewis. For the good samaritan runner, the errant runner got his attention after striking up a friendship with Tanis Smith on the race course.
“We chatted during the race about Windsor and about training with Lionel [Sanders], she worked her tail off to catch back up to us after the windy section, she deserved to get that place,” the runner wrote. “When I saw that her husband [Josh Bolton] got eighth, but she didn’t get eighth cause of a cheater, it PISSED me off and fired me up to figure this out!!!”
The way the sleuth did his reporting was by combing through public data. “I did a lot of snooping—at her Athlinks records, at the race photos, on her Facebook, on her Strava, to piece together evidence, and I even contacted a man she ran with during the first 10k and they both had identical splits and were both friends on Strava and Facebook,” wrote the sleuth. “He didn’t admit the crime, but definitely did not deny wrong doing.”
Tanis Smith-Bolton, who now jumps up a place in the finisher standings, is a member of the Grand River Endurance Club and a sponsored Skechers athlete. Yesterday she wrote her race recap for iRun, prior to realizing there had been a fraud. On Facebook she exclaimed her gratitude to the racer for correcting the finishing results.
“When your overall placing at ATB moves up one spot due to dirty cheaters. You can’t jump in the elite women’s top 10 randomly and not have people notice!” she wrote. “Thanks for all the investigating and straightening it out for me! Great people runners are I tell ya!”