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Friday, August 17, 2012

Kip Litton article in New Yorker magazine Monday July 30th



"My article about him in The New Yorker will be published Monday (July 30), in the issue dated August 6, 2012. It will also be available on our website (www.newyorker.com), but behind a paywall accessible only to subscribers.

It speaks for itself." - Mark Singer
Read more: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=3863010&page=217#ixzz222N9keaw



ARTICLE PREVIEW FROM NEWYORKER.COM
"In 'Marathon Man' (p. 40), Mark Singer investigates the strange controversy surrounding Kip Litton, a small-town dentist who has allegedly repeatedly cheated in marathons. “Since the early nineties, technology has made it possible to clock runners with precision and to track them at measured intervals,” Singer writes, but Litton, who was on a self-professed mission to complete marathons in under three hours in all fifty states, appears to have exploited the running community’s faith in those systems to fraudulently win, or place in, various races. Litton has “become a consuming object of contempt” in the running community, much of which has played out in the blogosphere...."

22 comments:

  1. I'm not a marathon runner, don't know Kip Litton, and just finished reading the New Yorker article and some of the entries on this blog. I am close to the same age as Litton, and if I could run a 3:20-ish marathon, as apparently he can, I would never stop bragging about it. Even that time (I assume) would put him in the top 20% or so of runners in his age group. So it is fascinating (and sad) why he cheats to pretend to do a sub-3:00 race. And heck, by this time if he had actually ran those races, he might by now have actually gotten pretty close to 3:00.

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  2. Now that the article has been written, I have put up a post on my blog of about Kip. When looking at the photos on Brightroom of Kip at the 2009 Manchester Marathon, a strange photo came up under Kip's name. Was it someone making fun of Kip's pose or could this be him at the start? different clothes and even a visible 1/2 marathon number. I am not sure if anyone noticed this before: http://recoveryourstride.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-mysterious-marathons-of-kip-litton.html

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  3. I may have just found Litton masquerading in this runners forum. Search for "jennifer9073" on this page http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/training/marathon-race-training/kip-litton-article-new-yorker-magazine-monday-july-30th/.1

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  4. I have just read the New Yorker account of the Kip Litton saga, and as a retired masters marathon runner I was amazed at how he could pull off such an elaborate illusion. It reminds me of the "crop circles" hoax a few years ago. I think that turned out to be groups of hoaxers around the world with a strange sense of humor and too much time on their hands. Could "Kip Litton" be a cover for a group of marathon busters?

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    Replies
    1. No, "Kip Litton" was not a cover for anyone except Kip himself.

      Kip cheated in every single race identified here, and likely many other races not yet discovered.

      The man exists. He looks exactly like the man cheating in each race. Those pictures are posted throughout this website - go to the map and click on the dots for the details.

      I have become familiar with Kip Litton's method of deception. Reading your post carefully, I would guess you are Kip. As to be expected, you continue the deception.
      "As a retired master marathon runner..." - hmmm, fits Kip. (fail to mention the retirement was FORCED).
      "I was amazed a how he could pull off such an elaborate illusion" - admiring your own work?
      "Could Kip Litton be a cover for a group of marathon busters?" - you know the answer to this. Of couse not. But you post this to try to create a plausible explanation or create doubt in someone's mind that doesn't understand just how overwhelming the evidence is against Kip.

      It is a sad, pathetic fact that Kip cheated so often. And got busted. Every single one of his races is in question. It is certainly possible that he NEVER ran a complete race. In the Flint newspaper article, he admitted that in high school he would cut the prescibed run workout when his coach wasn't within sight. So, we know that Kip/you have been cutting corners most of his life.

      It must really irk you that so many have caught onto your deception. It's not only obvious, but pathetic.

      Delete
  5. Funny story. I was on the same floor as him in Mary Markley dorm in college. Later I delivered the Ann Arbor News and he was a subscriber. He declared bankruptcy and one of the many unpaid bills was for his subscription to the paper.

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  6. Thanks for writing this fascinating story. It makes me wonder what is going on in Kip Litton's brain. Does his kid really have CF? I am a climber who uses online forums for communicating with climbers in US and China. Earlier this year, a user in North Carolina was found to lie about his climbing experience on www.rockclimbing.com. Also, we found a guy posed as an accomplished climber on a Chinese website (bbs.rockbeer.org). Then a little bit detective work revealed that he lied about his climbing experience in a few other forums, too. But Kip Litton's case is way more sophisticated than the two cases I knew. The two climbers quietly disappeared within days. But Litton just refused to quit his game and used various handles to drag it on and on. What a story!

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  7. Fascinating story. Pathetic individual. Lets hope he has the balls to enter himself into upcoming races.

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    1. No balls. This guy is spineless and weasel-like. When confronted, he slinks away and hides. Lies, and deception is his M.O. Then pathetically tries to create more aliases and post in his defense.

      "Pathetic individual" is absolutely correct.

      Delete
  8. Thank you, Mark Singer! I've been waiting for the mainstream media to out this cheater (I just expected it to be Runner's World or Running Times)! Great article!

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  9. Very well-written and interesting!

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  10. Was this one missed: las Vegas half 2008. Chip time 1:21 w an almost 5 minutes chip-gun differential. I could not find photos online after cursory look. Course loops back on itself -use your imagination. Perhaps Nevada deserves a dot!

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  11. Also check out Dallas white rock half 2008. Time 1:25, 5 minute differential AND no 10 mile split recorded. Sound familiar. More oddities are out there.

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  12. I also do not run, but I have read almost every article in the New Yorker for the last 20 years. (They may be related.:)

    The Kip Litton article does make you wonder what is real at all. Is any of this real? Is this all a really complicated ruse - some kind of new internet New Yorker performance art, a la the article in the same issue about the art of Tino Sehgal? (In which case this would not be "performance" art, but perhaps "computer-based interactive, written, and mostly, unprovable" or, in short, just, "the internet" art.)

    Assuming it is not a ruse, it does make you wonder about a lot of things. Like - why - and - what else is not true? Does Kip really have a wife and kids? And one tragically ill? Was faking race times - as is claimed - all for the possibility of having money donated to the site? How much, really, was "donated" to him? Why not use his real times - if he had any - or put up average times if he was just faking the running too?

    In the end, two things really stood out from the article. First, the clothing change mid-race. It's so bizarre, surely it's the key. Perhaps he has an accomplice that runs part of the race - but why couldn't they figure out to match their clothing? It's so weird; it must explain how he faked his times, somehow. Otherwise - as he claims - he is running world-class times AND stopping to change his clothing on the way.

    And second, how sad it is - on it's face - to claim to know that it is wrong to cheat because you served on your professional group's ethics board. You can claim to know that because you served on that board - otherwise you would not know that? Really?

    The fact that the ethics-board service itself was made-up, as well, is just the capper.

    Unless, again, of course, this is just a big, elaborate ruse, there is no Kip Litton, and Tino made me think this much about what is real, how to trick recreational races, and the ethics of cheating. What if it raised money for charity? Oh but, what if it doesn't go to charity? Oh, but, he does have a very sick child at home? Oh, you Tino. Now this is art.

    Maybe I *should* take up running.

    - Kristin in New Mexico

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  13. Kristin, Kip does really have a wife named Lisa and kids. And yes One of them has cystic fibrosis. Pretty sure the New Yorker independently fact checks everything a ton prior to publication

    And Kip's wife I think her name is Lisa Litton, she is an attorney in Michigan.

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  14. I feel bad for the runners who trained hard and really did run fast marathon times, but got beat out by him for a medal. I still see him listed as first in his age group and overall second place winner in the 2009 New Mexico Marathon.

    And why, if he really has a child with CF and set up a site to collect donations, have there not apparently been any donations to the CF Foundation?

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    Replies
    1. New Mexico was at 5000-6000ft altitude. The course may have been downhill, but considering that altitude, it's hard to believe he'd go sub 3 there.

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    2. "And why, if he really has a child with CF and set up a site to collect donations, have there not apparently been any donations to the CF Foundation?"

      THIS is a key question. I wish this point was made more public, so anyone who did donate would be aware of their donation(s) not making it to CF. If someone did donate, they need to contact the authorities.

      Delete
  15. Kip has many confirmed marathon times between 2:49- 2:55. Most of the accusations come in races with times between 2:55 - 3:00. I don't believe there is anyone in the world who would cheat to post times that are 5-10 mins SLOWER than they have already run. He also has well over 100 races listed on Athlinks. I don't believe it is possible for anyone to have successfully cheated in this many races. There are just plain too many holes in these accusations. I think this writer may be a little nutty.

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    1. Wrong. Kip Litton has ZERO confirmed marathon times. At all.

      Let me repeat that - Kip has zero confirmed times. All marathons, halfs, 10ks, 5ks, relays are ALL in doubt. He has been busted cheating in so many, that only a fool (or Kip, who you probably are) would assume anything was legitimate.

      The ones between 2:49-2:55 are most likely all fraudulent.

      The facts are, Kip cheated repeatedly. He was caught, and disqualified from many races. The evidence shows he most likely cheated at several others that he hasn't YET been disqualified from.

      Kip had several opportunities to run verified races after getting busted. He ran ZERO. Therefore, every... single... race... of his is in doubt. It is safest at this point to assume that his proven M.O. was used at every race.

      All we know for SURE is that 1) Kip is capable of jogging with slow walkers/joggers at the start, anywhere from 10:00-16:00 pace; 2) Kip is capable of changing clothes and shoes in the middle of a race; 3) Kip is capable of walking short distances to cross a finish line; and 4) Kip prefers to lie & deceive his way out of tight spots... hoping that he gets away with it... but once he is pinned down and busted he hides.

      There is zero verifiable evidence that Kip ever ran a sub 3 marathon. Heck, there is zero evidence that Kip ever ran a COMPLETE marathon, regardless of the time. He may have, but at this point it is certainly possible that he never did. When given an opportunity to prove anything, Kip never showed up.

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    2. You print a lot, but say very little. Or at least very little that is accurate. With your rants you reveal just how far off you are on your facts. For those of us that have known, or worked or lived with Kip for many years it is instantaneously easy to see how far off you are. He ran for over 10 years surrounded by lots of others in training and in races. Many of us can confirm he ran his paces in these races. Not one person in 100's of races has ever claimed they have seen him cheat. You are delusional if you think anyone could fake these runs and races for 10 years without any detection. His race times are just as verifiable as any other runner in any race. He has also run races with pace groups from start to finish (not possible to cheat). Just because you have not been present here for the last 15 years doesn't mean it didn't happen.

      He ran A 2:52 at the 2010 Boston Marathon (the most closely scrutinized & hardest race to cheat) surrounded by thousands of runners, had numerous photos and crossed all 10 timing mats without any discrepancies. If he cheated, they would have dq'd him. He hasn't changed clothes- he's just removed outer layers. He does not avoid talking about any of this to anyone- he remains very approachable.

      Donations were all legit- they were made under the donor's names. Not one person has ever complained about donating to his cause. People here know this whole cheating thing is crap. He continues to be one of the most popular and respected professionals in the area. All the Littons are great people of character and fun to be around. Our families just spent a couple days at the lake with them. Come visit us and talk to those in the know and you will quickly realize you have been severely mislead by a couple of haters. Haters gonna hate. Don't be that- life's too short.

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    3. Then Why the hell did Kip Litton (supposedly) run a 2:52 wearing a black sweatsuit and then take it off and change hats? Why do the two hats have a different logo on them during that 2:52 marathon? They didn't disqualify him basically because he is a hobbyjogger, and sadly race directors turn a blind eye to that kind of stuff.
      Everyone I've talked to in Michigan thinks he's a cheat. But I sometimes see posts like this (likely from Kip's family or reputation dot com).

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