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Kip Litton (black shirt) Attempted Finish (DQ) at Missoula Marathon

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Published on Jan 14, 2011

Kip Litton DQ Finish at Missoula Marathon. he crossed the line in 2hrs 49min (net or chip time) but was later disqualified by race staff. Read more at http://kiplitton.blogspot.com. http://kiplitton.blogspot.com/2011/01...

"I ran in the 2010 Missoula Marathon, and together with the race director discovered Kip Litton's cheating at that race that led to his disqualification. After that bit of detective work, we formed a sort of loose-knit ad-hoc task force via e-mail and attempted to contact as many race directors as possible about Litton's cheating. Given all of the work I did, it is my opinion that all of this speculation about his splits for various segments of the marathon courses do not constitute very strong evidence for cheating.

Taken together, however, his gun/chip differential, his weird splits, his changing clothes and a few other things make one very suspicious, but again, they aren't a slam dunk. For this reason, the race directors that I contacted at Providence and Vermont City were unwilling to disqualify Litton. The race director at Delaware WAS willing to disqualify him because in addition to the above items and a complete lack of race course photos, Litton had literally changed clothes and shoes during the race and done a few other suspicious things.

For me, the most important piece of real evidence that he has cheated in so many marathons is that in starting at the back of the pack, two to six minutes behind the runners on the front line, he literally has to pass almost everyone to finish near the front. This leads to the following: no evidence is stronger than the fact that none of the runners that finish near to Kippy but behind him recall seeing him on the course - NONE.

At Missoula, we went through every single photo taken during the entire race at every single location (not just Kip's photos, but every photo provided by the official photographer to us) and there was no photo of Litton between the start and the 25-mile mark. Then, we showed photos of Kippy at the finish line to nearly all of the runners who finished 7th - 20th (Kip "finished" 6th overall), and none recalled anyone remotely resembling him passing them at any point during the first 25 miles of the race. It was for this last reason that he was disqualified.

I personally spoke with the race director at the 2010 Deadwood (South Dakota) Marathon, who disqualified Kippy with exactly the same evidence - on a six-foot-wide trail for much of the latter part of the race, none of the runners near the front that Kippy beat recalled him passing them. Again, it was for that reason that he was disqualified, not the splits or lack of photos or gun/chip differential.

Had Gasparilla, Go St. Louis, Vermont City, Providence, etc., done the same thing, I'm sure they would have had all the evidence they needed to disqualify Litton.

If I were a race director at one of the 2010 marathons that he ran, I would be outraged to find out that my race was compromised by a serial cheater. I know that race directors are insanely busy, but in order to preserve the integrity of the awards and to maintain a high level of vigilance, I would strongly urge race directors in the future to do what they did in Missoula and Deadwood.

From here on out, we need to take the relatively easy step of e-mailing Litton's photo to the key runners who finish behind him to ask if he had passed them. There's your slam dunk. Race directors should use the lack of photos, weird splits and the other oddities simply as a starting point for identifying suspicious activity.

One other thing that could be done for very little cost and effort would be to video surreptitiously at three or four locations on a race course.

Given my conversations with race directors this past fall, it is clear that Litton is just the tip of the iceberg. Many race directors at the largest marathons "knew" that they had problems with people cheating to make Boston Marathon cutoffs, but they felt powerless to disqualify runners because they lacked manpower or hard evidence."

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