Derek Murphy of Marathon Investigation has uncovered mass course-cutting at another international marathon, this time at the Honolulu Marathon, which took place on December 9. Murphy claims that more than 300 people’s results show no splits for one or more timing mats, with a large portion of those cutting even more mileage off the course, but still crossing the finish line and claiming false finishing times.
— Derek Murphy (@MarathnInvestgr) December 11, 2018
And that’s a conservative estimate, says Murphy. He didn’t count back-of-the-packers who may not have finished before the timing mats were dismantled. And he says those whose cheating may have put them near the top of their age groups have rightly been removed from the results. But many others remain, only they’re not easily visible.
Stories of mass cheating are common, and they make race organizations look bad. Murphy reports that, as they did last year as well, Honolulu’s response to cheating (which first became obvious in 2016) is to make it possible to look up results only with an athlete’s full name and bib number. There isn’t even a leaderboard.
That’s just enabling cheating, Murphy said on his site yesterday.
“The 318 flagged runners is about one and a half per cent of the total finishers,” Murphy says, adding, “This percentage is in line with the number of course cutters that would be expected in any race of this size. My issue with Honolulu is the apparent effort to protect those that do cut the course.”
Murphy says he plans to publish a link to the full results himself, since the race declines to do so.