No race is too small for cheaters.
At Across the Years, a fixed-time event in Arizona, ultrarunner Kelly Agnew was disqualified after he was spotted “registering laps without running the complete loop of the course.” According to race officials, Agnew circled “back at the start/finish staging area after completing a lap, spending over seven minutes in a portable restroom and then “completing” the lap and going on for his next without actually running the mile plus loop.”
— Derek Murphy (@MarathnInvestgr) January 9, 2018
Across the Years officials also announced that he has been disqualified from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 editions of the race after it was discovered there were missing timing data points. He previously placed first in past events, according to race officials via their Facebook post.
The Phoenix race format was set up in a way that runners completed as many laps of an one-mile (1.6K) loop as possible within a give amount of time, from 24 hours to six days. Canadian Dave Proctor set a number of national records at the 2017-18 Across the Years event, which began on Dec. 28 and crossed into the new year finishing on Jan. 3.
Across the Years announcement
As reported by Derek Murphy over at Marathoninvestigation.com, race timer Mike Melton told event directors that the “process Kelly [Agnew] used at ATY [Across the Years] to circle around and come back through the timing mat without having done a complete loop was so blatant and obvious it could not possibly have been anything but deliberate.”
In light of the Across the Years cheating surfacing, other races Agnew has participated in, and won, have gone back and checked his results. Beyond Limits Running announced on Facebook on Tuesday that Agnew has been retroactively disqualified from the 2017 Beyond Limits Ultra 48-Hour Race and the 2015 and 2016 Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 24-Hour Races.
Beyond Limits Running announcement
Murphy reports that Agnew has been deleting blog posts about previous fastest known times (FKTs) on notable trails in the United States since news surfaced that he faked laps at Across the Years.
Aravaipa Running (whose CEO is Jamil Coury, who some may know for his YouTube channel, Run Steep Get High), the host organization, announced updated podium finishers from all of the races that Agnew has been disqualified from.