I love spectating Ironmans, especially when Jason's racing of course. I have been doing it for a really long time, since 1994! One thing about Kona is that you get to know some of the other athletes staying in the same place as you, so I end up keeping an eye out for them on race day to cheer for them too. Which leads to my story. I'm not going to give names of those involved, or identifying information, other than to say the person (who I will refer to as RX - Racer X) is not in Jason's age group, and not from Canada.
Jason had a good race, and afterwards he said "hey you know RX from the condo - he must have had a really good day as I passed him at mile 22 on the run". I said he couldn't have passed him, as he was almost an hour behind Jason pretty much the whole day. Jason said he definitely did, and I said he definitely didn't. It was one of those conversations where each person knows the other is wrong, and you are right.
Later we found out RX had a finish time of 10:11, but "lost his chip during the run" so had to go to the officials to get an official time registered. He was really bragging about his 3:10 marathon split, and how he was running faster than almost all the pros during the second half of the marathon. I thought it was surprising for someone who qualified with a 3:49 marathon, and Jason and I started talking to each other about what we were thinking - he must have cut the course and not gone into the energy lab.
Heading out of town at the hot corner (Alii Dr. and Hualalai), RX was 50 minutes (almost exactly to the second) behind Jason. I checked athlete tracker and RX had a timing chip up until the 10.2 mile mark, where he was averaging 8:15 miles. Here's where things get weird. How then, did Jason end up passing RX at mile 22, when RX was so far behind him? And even more weird, Jason crossed the finish line almost 20 minutes ahead (his time was 9:52, and RX 10:11). Jason's pace for the last four miles was 8:02, so if he put 20 minutes on RX in that interval that means RX was running 13 minute miles for those last four.
For RX to finish in 10:11, based on the first 10.2 mile pace and his last 4 mile pace, that meant the middle 12 miles (which coincidentally there is no time split for since he "lost" his timing chip so the mats in the energy lab didn't register him) he would have had to run 4:30 miles. 4:30 MILES FOR 12 MILES? In the middle of IM Hawaii? That's world record OPEN half marathon pace, and I'm 100% sure there's no single pro in the world that can run that in any Ironman! Even if Jason hadn't seen him, so we didn't know how slow RX's final 4 miles were, according to the last official time he had, he would have run the last 16 miles in 6:30 pace. Yeah right. Who starts the first third of an Ironman at 8:15 pace, and then the last two-thirds at 6:30 pace? Nobody. That's one hell of a negative split! But RX was sure bragging at the pool the next day to anyone who was in earshot.
I couldn't take this kid bragging anymore, so asked RX "hey what did you think of the energy lab?" He stared at me for a few seconds and didn't say anything, and then said a weak "pardon?" I repeated my question, and his answer was "oh yeah all the solar panels were cool". Well, the solar panels are next to the highway, not in the energy lab, so I asked him what he saw and thought of the actual energy lab. He said he thought it was cool. Hmm. I really wanted to shout "CHEATER" for everyone at the pool, but I didn't. I kept my mouth pretty much shut (for once), but said enough so he knows we know. If you know what I mean.
Jason and I talked about what to do for awhile, and decided we should go talk to the refs. They agreed that he couldn't have run that, and DQ'd him. (Incidentally he is listed as DNF on the results, not DQ). But here's the thing - he crossed the finish line and has a finisher medal and a finisher shirt.
I am totally disgusted with RX and feel like he's disrespecting an incredible event. I have seen people work their asses off to qualify for Kona, do almost anything in their physical power to experience that hallowed ground and finish honorably. Now here's this twit who cut the course and his bragging to everyone about how he outsplit the pros. I want him to give his finisher stuff back, the bastard!
What do you think?