Busted! Ultramarathon Champion Cheated for Years by Hiding in Port-a-Potty
Most people can’t stand being in a port-a-potty for more than 30 seconds. But ultramarathon champion Kelly Agnew is not most people.
Agnew started running marathons and ultramarathons back in 2011. Within a couple of years he was completing 100-miles races. By 2013 he was winning races and setting records. And by 2014 he had established himself as one of the greatest endurance runners on the planet.
Unfortunately, it was also around 2014 that people started to get suspicious.
Agnew’s specialty is timed races, in which runners try to cover the most ground in a set period of time, usually 24 or 48 hours. In 2014 he won the Across The Years Multiday, which begins on New Years Eve and ends on New Years Day. Then, in 2015, he won it again. But his time was too good. Agnew beat everybody by a whopping 55 miles, despite running for just 41 hours.
At that point ATY officials started keeping a closer eye on Agnew. What they found was that he was not clocking in at one of the checkpoints along the mile-long course. Instead, he was ducking into a portable toilet, hanging out there for seven minutes, then hopping out to cross the start/finish line to create the appearance of maintaining a steady pace.
“The process Kelly used at ATY 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,” the event’s official timer, Mike Melton, told marathoninvestigation.com.
After looking back at data from previous years, ATY officials retroactively disqualified Agnew from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 races. That’s a lot of time spent in the port-a-potty!
It’s not just Across the Years where Agnew has raised suspicions, either. Marathoninvestigation.com reports that he also missed checkpoints at the Leadville 100 and the 2017 Lemming Loop, and Beyond Limits Running has also revoked three of Agnew’s fixed-time titles.
No word yet as to whether he hid in a port-a-potty for those races, too.
Hat Tip – [Deadspin]