For a fleeting moment, she had everyone fooled.
Seo, 24, a food blogger from NY, finished second and won the silver medal in the women's division of Sunday's Fort Lauderdale Half-Marathon.
The food blogger who hails from NY finished with a time of 1 hour and 21 minutes. Runners wear an electronic chip to record their time.
Though runners often try to maintain a steady pace for the whole shebang, exhaustion forces most to slow down as they near the finish line.
"Very few, if any, runners could shave a minute and a half off their splits in the second half of a race", reported the Miami News Times about the incident. Her second place finish stood. The data only listed a distance and completion time, as opposed to more granular statistics. He posts his findings to his blog, Marathon Investigation, which he maintains from his home in Ohio.
A FOOD blogger has been shamed after data from her fitness tracker was used to accuse her of being a marathon cheat.
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Murphy told As It Happens he doesn't always publicly out the cheaters he catches, but felt it was warranted in this case, because Seo benefits from her runs through her writing, social media followers, sponsorships and membership in an elite running club.
"That's when it became indisputable that she cut the course".
"As some of you may be aware, one of our members intentionally cut the course at a Half Marathon this past weekend", according to a statement on the group's website.
Seo has since been disqualified from the race and removed from the group.
In a lengthy blog post, the sleuth explained how he exposed the runner. During the last 11.08 kilometers, it increased tremendously to 5:25 per mile. She had posted but rather than let the app pull her info from Global Positioning System data, she manually entered just her time, distance and pace.
Later in the day, she uploaded more info to Strava, including her path and cadence, a.k.a., steps per minute. After the run, Seo logged data into a mobile app for runners, and then later covered her tracks by biking the distance.
Instead of immediately coming clean, Seo even approached the marathon officials to provide her "evidence" that she deserved the runner-up award despite no one contesting her win at that time. "The cadence data is more consistent with what you would expect on a bike ride, not a run", he wrote. So he purchased the high resolution photographs and zoomed in.
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But the incorrect mileage: 11.65 total miles. "Her total time on the watch is 22 seconds longer than her initial finishing time - showing that she did indeed start the watch when she crossed the starting line". Murphy grabbed a screenshot, though.
Before making her Instagram account private, Seo allegedly fessed up. I wasn't feeling well so I CUT THE COURSE and headed to the finish line, ' she said.
By investigating the data Seo posted about her run, Murphy deduced that she went back and biked through the course to come up with the "correct" data. This wasn't a case of getting exhausted and calling it a day.
Things got weirder when Seo eventually posted a "complete", GPS-tracked run of the half-marathon course. "However, it is clear that the 2nd half of her run was faster than the first 10k".
She added: 'Even worse, not only did I steal the award from the true, well-deserved runners/finishers, but also proceeded to BIKE the course afterward with my Global Positioning System watch to cover my wrong doings.
She may be fast, and she may be sneaky, but she was unable to outrun (or outbike) her consequences!
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