Fitness tracker data and photos helped to expose marathon cheat


Fitness tracker data has helped to reveal out a prominent food blogger who cheated by running a half-marathon.

Digital detective work revealed Jane Seo had missed out 1.5 miles of the 13.1-mile course of the Fort Lauderdale race.

It also revealed that she tried to cover up the misinterpretation with the help of data gathered from riding a bike around the course.

After the marathon cheat was revealed, Mr. Seo apologized on her Instagram page, claiming she was an “idiot”.

Watching time

Ms. Seo, who regularly posts blogs about the food for the Huffington Post, has been disqualified for cheating. If her time of 1 hour 21 minutes had stood, she would have come second out of the 4,000 runners that took part.

The study related to race data was conducted by Derek Murphy, a business analyst, who runs the Marathon Investigation website that seeks to expose racing cheats. In his study, Mr. Murphy said his intuitions had been awakened because Ms. Seo had run the second half of the marathon considerably faster than the first six miles.

Also, Ms. Seo along with her finishing medal revealed that she had worn a GPS watch to keep track of her progress throughout the course. Mr. Murphy bought a copy of the photo, and when he zoomed the photo it was found that she had run only 11.65 miles.

Mr. Murphy also studied the data Ms. Seo had posted to the fitness tracking site Strava later on the day of the race. At first, Ms. Seo claimed this vindicated her claim to have accomplished the course.

But Mr. Murphy noticed that the data had been submitted hours after the race and the nature of the data recommended it had been generated by riding a bike. When Mr. Murphy confronted Ms. Seo with his results, she posted an apology to her Instagram account. In it, she said she had made a “worst choice” and due to her actions she was “humiliated”.

Ms. Seo has now removed her Instagram account.