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 Runner fraud
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millar1987

149 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  07:01:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For people who haven't seen this story yet. Buffalo runner steals $15,000 from UB and uses $8,000 for donation to run the Boston marathon. Craziness.

http://buffalonews.com/2017/12/06/former-ub-administrator-repays-14664-in-stolen-funds-gets-conditional-discharge/

Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  10:33:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is not "runner fraud". It's an abject financial crime.

I do not condone criminal activity of any sort. But I think we should find it in our hearts to understand and forgive. The subject here did wrong but has made full restitution.

Runners often get so deeply committed to their efforts that psychologically it becomes inconceivable to the runner that he/she not train for and run in the big race. Serious runners are driven by a powerful sense of duty. This might be an example of a good thing getting out of hand and the freight train ran off the rails.

What concerns me from the sport's perspective, though, is that the subject has posted an official time in the 2013 Boston Marathon, the bombing year, that is absolutely not realistic for this athlete.

I suspect an administrative error (or a fascinating athletic miracle). That needs to be corrected or explained. If not, then that as yet unmentioned offense IS runner fraud.

BuffaloRunners.com
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millar1987

149 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  10:44:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you go to Marathon Guide and search 2014, she had a 3:26 marathon in Hamilton. Not too far off.
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Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  10:57:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Millar1987. That may be, but our circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

We have 72 data points (race results since 2003) for this good runner. Her average pace at Boston 2013 was faster than her fastest ever posted stand-alone 5K per mile pace, and the same for 10K, 15K, Half Marathon, Marathon event. The gap is tremendously significant on the Half Marathons. She has posted an impressive resume of 25 local half marathons - but none of those could come close to keeping pace with this Boston full.

It is improbable that the 3:15 marathon and steady pacing exhibited over the hilly and crowded Boston course was made by this same athlete. Boston is considered "not a PR" course for good reason.




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buffalogal

86 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  15:28:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In addition to embezzlement, she's also guilty of bib switching. I suppose some people are born cheaters. How disappointing.
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Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 08 2017 :  16:00:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know it's tempting but perhaps it's not fair to jump to conclusions.

This is not an inherently bad person. Dr Cosantino has, otherwise, an exemplary service record at UB and even served as one of the race directors for the Linda Yalem Safety Run for multiple years.

Our information suggests an un-corrected bib-swap type error in 2013 but does not have to prove intentional cheating.
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Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 09 2017 :  06:45:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We had hoped to prove she did have a miracle run via the official race photography. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

MarathonFoto was on hand with cameras everywhere: Expo, every split, finish, and post finish. They captured every runner up to 60 times each in both action shots and posed. Unfortunately, bib #25044 (Andrea Cosantino) was never seen although its associated chip was registered like clockwork at every split. 100% of the other 50 local runners have many photos each.

Race photography is a great feature of a good race: You can find your 2013 Boston images here:

https://www.marathonfoto.com/Landing/12902013S1/boston-marathon-2013





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JF

2697 Posts

Posted - December 09 2017 :  07:48:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sad, but like Jeff said, I think forgiveness is something we are all taught. Sure, she made a mistake, but she didn't kill anybody and she paid it back. I might not trust her, but I can probably forgive her.



XXIV
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Occhino

913 Posts

Posted - December 12 2017 :  11:57:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://s.cleveland.com/2TOa4Ym

Easy to let go until it has happened to you.
I knew this guy cheated that day, luckily my wife helped me stay in control after the race.But after speaking with the other local runner's and many phone calls he got what he deserved. He never did show up for that 5K
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Brian

27 Posts

Posted - December 13 2017 :  10:52:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeff. The Marathonfoto link that you posted yields no runner's photos, unless I did something wrong. I checked about a dozen 2013 finishers, including my own, and it showed no results.
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Outside Counsel

214 Posts

Posted - December 13 2017 :  10:56:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Running is the purest sport, except when it isn't. It is hard to imagine why a fake marathon would matter to someone; it is hard to imagine how embezzlement in furtherance of pursuing a fake marathon could be rationalized.

My lousy times are my own, and I am proud of them. They represent my best efforts on a given day. How sad that this person thought that a lie would be better than training hard and giving the race all of it back- that's our sport's greatest pleasure
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Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 13 2017 :  14:12:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's right. A mid-pack marathon finish is a wonderful personal achievement and nothing more. It may have tremendous meaning to that one runner and no one else -- that's why to intentionally do this is odd since it would be meaningless - that's why we hope and suspect that it was not an intentional fraud.

Its intriguing that a very strong steady pacing marathoner whose pace was unaltered by uphill, downhill, and heavy crowds did run this 3:15 Boston finish. The pace over the entire marathon is way faster than any race at any distance ever run by this subject.

The subject, if honorable and if aware, may want to contact the BAA and try to get this erroneous result corrected. We are 100% satisfied that this person certainly DID NOT run the 2013 Boston to a 3:15 finish - but someone did. We know the subject is very capable of running a marathon a little better than an hour slower and has done so at the Boston twice before.

The MarathonFoto does have tens of thousands of photos of 2013. But, the subject's bib is not seen ever anywhere by MarathonFotos many cameras. But there are hundreds of images at the finish during the relevant time span. We could probably determine which person is responsible for this chip-recorded time by viewing all the photos and finding the person either not wearing a bib or wearing a bogus bib or obscured bib in the relevant time span. We did a perfunctory check but did not immediately spot an overlapping set of split times (which we'd expect to see if a runner had carried two bibs).

From an official's perspective I do not intend to pursue this further since no money, overall, age group, or special awards were impacted.

JJ
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Admin

249 Posts

Posted - December 14 2017 :  04:28:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brian, yes MarathonFoto has 32 images of you at the 2013 Boston.
They are here: https://www.marathonfoto.com/Proofs?PIN=M14P97&lastName=MCELROY

To get there the APP requires that after you enter NAME or BIB# you then must select your name from the drop down list that appears -- you can not go direct from name or bib entry to the photos. I suspect that's the hangup. The other possibility is your browser may not be up to date and the app is using feature(s) you dont yet support. Check it out!
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Brian

27 Posts

Posted - December 14 2017 :  05:44:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Jeff. I see what I was doing incorrectly. Thanks for your advice.
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NSWC

97 Posts

Posted - December 18 2017 :  07:40:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So she stole money to get into Boston and then had someone else run it for her? Sounds like she has some serious issues.
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