Users on LetsRun.com are playing hardball with Robert Young, a British man who is attempting to run across the United States faster than any person before him. The website, which features a forum, much of which is anonymous, already has more than 41 pages of responses as of June 10 at 1:30 p.m. EDT after a user by the name of Asher Delmott stated that his run across the U.S. may be fake.
The 33-year-old British endurance athlete got into running in 2014 and won the Race Across the USA in 2015. His current attempt is to break the record for fastest run across the U.S. Young began in Huntington Beach, Calif. and plans to finish in New York City.
The LetsRun.com poster says he wanted to join Young for part of his run as he was passing through a local town.
“I recognized that [Young’s support vehicle] as the runner’s RV, but I did not see anyone running,” recounts the post. “I thought the runner might have another support vehicle further back, so I kept driving. After a couple of miles, I checked his live tracking, and saw that the runner was indeed east of me.”
Screenshots of his location can be found here.
The video, which was posted as part of the original accusation, is footage of Young’s support vehicle passing by a local store without the runner in sight. The video can be found below.
The LetsRun.com poster then got out of their car and followed the RV, which is accompanying Young during his cross-America run as a support vehicle, before someone in the RV noticed and stopped before proceeding to “drive off too fast for me to follow on foot.”
The LetsRun.com poster used live tracking to determine where Young was but it’s believed that the live tracking device was in the vehicle and the poster concludes by saying “I am convinced that Robert is not completing all of the distance on foot,” implying that Young is doing a mix of running and driving during his record attempt.
LetsRun users have been notorious in the past for uncovering rather niche events in the running community as they relate to cheating. In 2015, the users of the forum determined that Mike Rossi, known as “Marathon Dad,” cheated his way into the Boston Marathon and the site’s owners offered $100,000 for Rossi to replicate the times he claims he ran.
In the case of Young, some have become skeptical of his attempt to run across the United States in record time – 46 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes is the existing mark – because of other discrepancies in his story. His website, for example, lists his 10K personal best as 30:47 when the race was a 7K.
Young says during his first week of serious running that he ran 262 miles (421K), about the equivalent of 10 marathons, which is outlined in the book Marathon Man: One Man, One Year, 370 Marathons.
He’s doing the cross-country run for charity and covers much of his mileage at night. He’s currently in Missouri travelling east and has covered 2,888 kilometres in 27 days according to his recent Facebook post.
Young responded to questions surrounding his methods of verification on Facebook on Friday. The video can be found below:
In Young’s latest blog post, his support staff state the following in response to the people who are doubting his run: “We are out in the open doing something without guile or manipulation, and to accuse us or Rob of doing anything else is a very low thing to do, and completely without basis.”