Boston Marathon

15 runners barred from Boston Marathon were identified by race sleuth

Bill Greene / Globe Staff

Before today’s Boston Marathon even began, several runners had already been disqualified.

The Boston Athletic Association barred at least fifteen runners from this year’s race based on evidence from a racing sleuth in Ohio, Runner’s World reports.

In a story posted Saturday, the runner’s magazine reported that the 15 barred runners were identified by evidence gathered by Derek Murphy, 46, over the past six months.


“The goal here is just to reduce the incidents of cheating. This year I am going to go through every race that sends a significant number of runners to Boston,” Murphy told Runner’s World.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Runner’s World reports his blog has had more than 2.4 million views since it launched in 2015.

In a previous interview with the Globe, Murphy said he takes on deep dives into race results around the world.

Murphy, a business analyst, spends his spare time looking into race results, trying to find runners who skipped parts of courses or had faster runners wear their bibs.

According to Runner’s World, Murphy found that eight of the runners appeared to have skipped parts of the races they used to qualify for Boston.


The remaining seven appeared to have had a faster runner wear their bibs to obtain a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, according to Runner’s World.

After Murphy has identified a runner with a suspicious qualifying time, he will contact the director for that race with his evidence. If the director disqualifies that runner, Murphy will bring that decision to the BAA’s attention, according to Runner’s World.

On his blog, Murphy offered a warning to would-be cheaters, written in italicized red letters: You will probably be caught.

“My advice to those that are planning to run Boston next week that didn’t earn the honor — Don’t do it. You didn’t earn the right to wear that bib. There is a very good chance that you will be identified, if you haven’t been already.”

John Hilliard can be reached at