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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Analysis of Vermont City Marathon - May 30, 2010

"Kip and I talked on the phone in early June and he told me he was raising money based on how many runners he passed in his marathons, so I'm probably the one who first posted that info to this board.... I'm the Technical Coordinator for Vermont City Marathon. Part of my job after the race is to review the results for "anomalies". Every year I find a few results that don't look legit to me and we pull them out and wait for the runners to contact us to explain things. We find that a lot of times when runners get "caught" they just go away never to be heard from again. Out of probably 30-35 finish times that I've pulled from our results the past decade only 2 people have contacted me and been adament that they ran the full course.

Kip's result at our race this year was reviewed by our staff as "suspicious". In the end we decided we did not have enough evidence that he cheated. We may have been strongly suspicious of his result, but we didn't have what we needed to pull him out. What I've seen at other races is stronger evidence.

As I posted in the original thread that was pulled, what I don't understand is "how". First off, the start line discrepancy is suspicious. One of my job duties is to time how long it takes for all starters to cross the start line after the gun. On my watch I had 4:18. Above it shows the 5th to last official finisher crossing at 4:21, I can buy that it's close enough. But it shows Kip at 4:34. At 4:10 post-gun the only people behind the start line were coming out of the portos. Why do I know this? We have to pick up the chip mats ASAP because our course returns to the start line at the 3.2 mile mark going in the opposite direction and we need to get that done fast so that the wheelchairs aren't hindered. The wheelchairs are back in about 7 minutes (they get a 3:00 head start) so our window to work is extremely short. Any stragglers that force me to keep the mats down even an extra 10 seconds make my job harder so I notice them. Anyone who crossed the mats 4:34 after the gun would have been well behind everyone else and would have stood out as a lone runner on that Youtube video. And that literally would have been the last second to get a chip activated before we unplug the boxes and load them to move to the finish.

The 2nd thing I don't understand is how he would have gotten around our course to hit the mats. We have a mat at mile 10, which is on Pine St about 1 mile south of the start line. We have a mat at mile 13.1, which is in Oakledge Park about 2.75 miles south of the start line via road or 2.25 miles south of the start line via bikepath. And we have a mat at mile 20 on Staniford Rd, which is about 2.75 miles north of the start line via road. You can also get from 13.1 to 20 via the bikepath (~6 miles). But you can't get from 13.1 to 20 via the bikepath on raceday. The bikepath is closed and we have police to enforce "runners only with bibs" on the bikepath. I can see getting to 10 and 13.1 at the appropriate times. You could easily hide your bib and take a bike or get a ride to near those spots. It's getting from 13.1 to 20, even in 47 minutes, that is a problem. With road closures if one were to use a car you couldn't get within 1/3 mile of Oakledge Park and get that car back out again. And then you'd have a major traffic jam halfway to Staniford (bikes would deal with the same traffic jam).

His 6:11 splits the last 10k was probably the most suspicious piece of data. But that section has a big downhill at mile 21.5 and then last 4.5 miles is deadflat on the lakeside bikepath. The course profile on shows some climbs in the last 10k but I run out there all the time and I can tell you there aren't any hills at all.

In the end despite everything we didn't have what we needed to DQ him."

Read more:


UPDATE 9/28/12
Received an email from tipster w/ photo of KL at start of 2010 Vermont City Marathon (a suspicious performance on the interactive race map).
Recall Vermont City was a race where race staff were suspicious of the performance, but did not feel that they had enough evidence for the DQ (see note from the Technical Director of 2010 Vermont City Marathon)
START photo

FINISH photo - NOTE that the sign says 2:53, but he actually "ran" 2:49 because of the absurd chip/gun differential
  • Bib Covered
  • Changed shorts
  • Took 4 minutes, 34 seconds to cross the starting line yet finished 41st overall in a race with 2895 finishers
  • Results can be found here:
  • Split the first 10 miles in 63:21 (6:20/mile). Would be difficult if not impossible to do starting 4 minutes, 34 seconds after the gun went off. Tons of people in the way -
  • Expect to see Kip at about 6 minutes into the video. Does it look like he could run 6:20/mile through all those people? Email tipster believes you can see him at 6:17-6:18 if you look closely:
  • Split the final 10K in 38:23 (6:11/mi pace).

Kip's SPLITS Broken Down
-10 miles in 1:03:21 (6:20/mi)
-10 miles to 13.1 miles in 20:01 (6:27/mi)
-13.1 miles to 20 miles in 47:17 (6:51/mi)
-20 miles to 26.2 miles in 38:23 (6:11/mi)

Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 19:14:38 +0000
From: ---------------
Subject: found pic of KL at start of VT marathon
fyi I browsed through 25000 photos so far and I found Kip at the start of the VT City Marathon, 2010.

Here are the photos of him if you search by bib number

If you go to the event home and select photo browser

put in the options 
start with photo 24817 and show 48 then hit go

Look at the photo 5 rows down in the 1st (left) column.  There is KL with the same hat, shades on the hat, same watch, different shorts, and a blue shirt over his red singlet and of course his bib is not visible, presumable under the blue shirt.  Note this pic seems to be near the back of the pack crossing the start line.

I will browse through the pics again looking for him with the blue shirt on.  I did not see any pics of him in the red singlet on the stretches of the race through the city streets where I saw other competitors multiple times from multiple angles.

Not sure how interesting this pic is, all it shows is he did cross the start line which is nothing new.  It is consistent with his MO where he starts at the back of the pack with his bib obscured.


Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 20:28:43 +0000
From: ---------------
Subject: KL in start of VT marathon video

Hello again.  Based on the picture I found of KL at the start of VT city 2010 I looked at the youtube video on your blog.  I think you can see KL in the video.  A person wearing an outfit that looks identical to the pic mentioned below can be seen starting at 6:17-6:18 in the video.  He comes around the corner and runs down the right hand side of the crowd as we view the video.  This is consistent with the picture of found of KL near the start as it is taken from the right hand side as the runners are coming toward the photographer.

I find it odd in the video that he is ahead of the 2 runners in army fatigues wearing backpacks and seems to be pulling ahead of them.  In the picture of KL he is just ahead of the 2 army fatigue guys and a woman in a white sports bra.  In the video you see the woman in white bra a little behind KL and then the 2 army guys are bringing up the rear.  One other person who stands out in the video is a woman with an orange top and pink shorts with a black arm band on her left arm.  In the video she is a ways ahead of KL but she also hugs the extreme right hand side.  She can be seen in the photos, 6 pictures prior to KL.

Perhaps the photo I found was taken a little further down the course from the video and KL is starting to slow down getting ready to drop out of the pack.

end of UPDATE 9/28/12

Note Kip took 4 minutes, 34 seconds to cross the starting line.
Kip's SPLITS Broken Down
-10 miles in 1:03:21 (6:20/mi)
-10 miles to 13.1 miles in 20:01 (6:27/mi)
-13.1 miles to 20 miles in 47:17 (6:51/mi)
-20 miles to 26.2 miles in 38:23 (6:11/mi)

Congratulations to last place finishers who took less time than Kip Litton to cross the starting line all before Kip started running 6:20 pace and passing ~1000 runners in the first 10 miles of the race (1:03:21).
2733 120/133 M1624 2:06:58 2:55:48 4:39:32 6:22:35 14:36 6:26:56 Andrew Colletti 23 M 341 Greenville SC
4 minutes, 21 seconds to cross the starting line.
2734 121/133 M1624 2:04:43 4:36:42 6:24:29 14:40 6:26:58 Aaron Lattanzi 17 M 2821 East Lyme CT
2 minutes, 29 seconds to cross the starting line.
2735 226/236 F2529 2:11:42 3:00:11 4:39:43 6:22:49 14:37 6:26:58 Jessica Swartley 29 F 3429 Morrisville VT
4 minutes, 9 seconds to cross the starting line.
2736 101/107 M5559 2:22:16 3:07:02 4:39:26 6:24:03 14:39 6:27:28 Joel Littlejohn 59 M 1521 Middletown DE
3 minutes, 25 seconds to cross the starting line.
2737 1/1 F7599 2:20:26 3:08:05 4:43:18 6:29:07 14:51 6:29:37* Jeanette Cyr 75 F 654 Kensington CT
0 minutes, 30 seconds to cross the starting line.

Official Results -
Div/Tot Div 10mile Halfmar 20mile * Nettime Pace Guntime Name Age G Bib# City/state
===== ======== ===== ======= ======= ======= === ======= ===== ======= ======================== === = ==== =======================
30 2/245 M3539 1:02:40 1:22:20 2:06:34 2:49:11 6:28 2:49:13 Volker Burkowski 38 M 700 Gansevoort NY
31 12/133 M1624 1:01:29 1:21:13 2:06:55 2:49:25 6:28 2:49:25 Joseph Ver 22 M 3213 Hamburg NY
32 1/192 F4044 1:03:47 1:23:35 2:08:46 2:49:50 6:29 2:49:51# Nathalie Goyer 42 F 33 Saint-Bruno PQ
33 1/219 M4549 1:02:46 1:22:21 2:06:54 2:50:09 6:30 2:50:10 Thomas Dunn 45 M 3166 Burlington VT
34 9/186 M2529 59:25 1:19:20 2:05:21 2:50:16 6:30 2:50:17 Teage O'Connor 26 M 6 Burlington VT
35 2/219 M4549 1:02:46 1:22:24 2:07:47 2:50:24 6:30 2:50:27 Jon Schoenberg 47 M 3336 Harvard MA
36 3/219 M4549 1:04:37 1:24:55 2:10:00 2:52:15 6:35 2:52:16 Tom Thurston 46 M 2272 Waterbury VT
37 4/219 M4549 1:03:46 1:23:41 2:10:08 2:52:36 6:35 2:52:39 Joseph Clark 49 M 3207 Grantham NH
38 5/219 M4549 1:04:22 1:24:36 2:10:18 2:52:48 6:36 2:52:52 Tom Gudas 46 M 2256 Binghamton NY
39 6/219 M4549 1:03:53 1:24:26 2:10:40 2:52:56 6:36 2:52:58 Ralph Smith 49 M 877 Raleigh NC
40 10/186 M2529 1:02:43 1:22:52 2:09:11 2:53:09 6:37 2:53:19 Kevin Schutz 29 M 3396 Etna NH
41 7/219 M4549 1:03:21 1:23:22 2:10:39 2:49:02 6:27 2:53:36 Kip Litton 48 M 1609 Davison MI

How did Kip go through 10miles in 63minutes through these runners if he started 4mins 34secs after the start?


This is the video of the Vermont Start. Now what doesn't make sense is that Kip Litton took 4 minutes, 34 seconds to cross the starting line. He ran 2:49 net(chip) time. The leading runners wrap around the street corner about 1:25 into this video, which means he should probably be appearing at about 6:00 into the video. Kip's split for the 1st 10 miles was 1:03:20 (which is 6:20/mile). If you watch the video at 6:00, it looks like it'd be impossible to run 6:20/mile. There is just a blockade of people. 6:20/mile is a fairly quick clip and most of the runners still present at 6:00 in this video are running closer to 12:00/mile. You would expect to see someone flying by at 6:00 in the video - someone with the red Boston Marathon tank top (with a bib #1609) Litton is seen in (see picture on the left).
Kip's Splits:
10 miles in 1:03:21 (6:20/mi)
10 miles to 13.1 miles in 20:01 (6:27/mi)
13.1 miles to 20 miles in 47:17 (6:51/mi)
20 miles to 26.2 miles in 38:23 (6:11/mi)

Official Results -
Div/Tot Div 10mile Halfmar 20mile * Nettime Pace Guntime Name Age G Bib# City/state 
===== ======== ===== ======= ======= ======= === ======= ===== ======= ======================== === = ==== =======================
38 5/219 M4549 1:04:22 1:24:36 2:10:18 2:52:48 6:36 2:52:52 Tom Gudas 46 M 2256 Binghamton NY
39 6/219 M4549 1:03:53 1:24:26 2:10:40 2:52:56 6:36 2:52:58 Ralph Smith 49 M 877 Raleigh NC
40 10/186 M2529 1:02:43 1:22:52 2:09:11 2:53:09 6:37 2:53:19 Kevin Schutz 29 M 3396 Etna NH
41 7/219 M4549 1:03:21 1:23:22 2:10:39 2:49:02 6:27 2:53:36 Kip Litton 48 M 1609 Davison MI


  1. i don't understand what this means. can you give a little more explanation? right now i'm thinking he started at the very back and then ran a 2:54 marathon, why is this impossible? please explain more.

  2. you should do one for Alene Reta as well!

  3. It becomes more difficult to run fast if you're having to pick through a crowd of slower runners/walkers ahead of you. I arrived late to a huge 10K in October and got over the start mat right before it was pulled, because the 5K was about to finish there. I spent much of the race tip-toeing behind people before I could find an opening to move around them. There were runners coming back in one direction, going out on the other. This was not conducive to running a fast time, which I didn't. I was probably 2-3 minutes slower than I would've been had I started out right away in my proper place at the start line.

  4. yeah, take a look at the YouTube video on the Vermont City Marathon start. I just posted it. I believe Kip Litton should come around at 6:00 in the video. His 10 mile split was 1:03something which worked out to 6:20 min/mile. I imagine it'd be very difficult if not impossible to run 6:20 min/mile through the crowds at that point. That's why I'm really puzzled as to what's really going on here.

  5. laxcrunner, Kip was 2:49:02 net/chip, 2:53:36 gun
    big gap, lot of time to cross the starting line for someone who finished 41st out of 2895 runners.
    a number of things he did as well the race staff at Vermont described as "suspicious" but in the end didn't have enough evidence to DQ (see above). 6:20pace for 1st 10miles behind a blockade of runners (see video) seems impossible. Also, Kip's racechip covered the last 10K at 6:11 min/mile, also very suspicious (noted above) as he sped up quite a bit at mile 20, whereas most runners get pretty tired. did point out that maybe that area is fast with the downhill but still suspicious.
    KIP LITTON at vermont
    41 7/219 M4549 1:03:21 1:23:22 2:10:39 2:49:02 6:27 2:53:36 Kip Litton 48 M 1609 Davison MI

  6. This is the TC from KBVCM posting a follow up to the post above to set the record straight (from our end). I went back and reviewed my notepad from raceday and instead of 4:18 for all the starters to cross the start line this year it was 4:45. I must have been thinking of 2009 when I originally posted on letsrun. So that makes Kip's start split legit (as well as the others finishers with > 4:18 chip/gun discrepancies). My apologies for getting that wrong too many numbers in my head.

    This doesn't address any other on-course anomalies, but I figured getting any facts corrected was pertinent.

  7. I think I found KL in a photo near the start of the race. Go to event browser
    Enter 24837 where it says "start with photo" and hit "go"
    There he is in pic #60448-462-031.
    If you watch the youtube video of the start of the marathon you can see this same person come around the corner at 6:18 and run down the far right hand side. He is just ahead of a woman in a white sports bra and then 2 guys wearing army fatigues and backpacks. They can be seen in the pictures around the same time as KL.