'Official' Guide to Cheating at Races

Right .... Never done it but have thought about this a lot. Temptation you see.

Ever run a race and thought 'this one has a nifty short cut, just pop in that field for a pee and ...' or 'why bother doing 2 loops when one will suffice' ? Ever spotted someone popping out from behind a bridge and thought 'you don't look too sweaty my son' ?

Well .... How about a compendium of how and where best to cheat. You know, you have bet your mates in the pub that you can do a 1:20 half marathon but the best you have ever achieved is 1:50. You need to get your 'result' recorded so you can win a free night on the lash but you don't want to get caught ...... so you consult a nifty little thread on Runners World Forums which handily contains all the best cheats.

A bit like typing 'idkfa' when playing Doom.

Rosie Ruiz need not apply. We are looking for real Kwality Cheats ;-)


  • I'll kick things off

    Llanelli Waterside 1/2

    Method: Chip timing, but no mats at the two turns. Run slowly to mile 2, sit down, tie your laces or have a pee in a bush. In a few minutes the runners come back from the turn, which is at about 3.5 miles and you just nonchalantly join back in, going the other way of course. Can be repeated at mile 10.

    Gain: 4.5 miles

    Dishonesty factor: 7/10

    Kruff Cardiff 10k

    Method: At the start, just walk really slow. No need to run or anything. Just tag along with the walkers right at the back. When you come to the entrance to the park, which should be about mile 1 the marshals will have lost patience and will send you off as if you have re-entered the park at about mile 4. Time to start running, only 2.2 miles to go !

    Gain: 3 Miles

    Dishonesty Factor: 3/10

  • Just to underline the point, this is all in the best possible taste.

  • Lake Vyrnwy

    Method - After about 2 miles, just walk through the trees, swim the width of the lake and hey presto you are instantly at mile 11.

    Gain - 9 Miles

    Dishonesty Factor - 7/10

    Stupidity Margin - 92%
  • Morning

    oh yes
    some good ones avaialable
    cardiff mara(now defunct)-but a good 2 loper with a bit around the barrage you can cut off-seen people do it

    Wolvo mara, a 2 looper with 3 loops around west park, which you could leave out

    Abingdon mara-old course-turn right instead of left at 18 miles and youve only a mile to go to the end

  • I suppose it would have been easy enough to cheat with the Inverness Half Marathon at the roundabout as you go out of Inverness towards Foyers instead of going up the hill and doing a 6 mile loop you could just go into the bushes and wait for the leaders to come back and tag on behind them. You could also cut out about 2 miles by crossing the first bridge rather than going all the way to the end and crossing the other bridge.

  • Monring Hipps, HC.

    Ponty Reverse 10

    Hide in an industrial estate at the start. When the runners re-pass the start at mile 4 just hop back in. Then at mile 5.5 duck under the railway bridge, wait a bit then hop back in again with under 2 miles to go. A bit of grandstanding with a sprint finish would be nice.

  • morning Alex

    the thing is, no-one wwould believe me if i posted a superb marathon time;)
  • LOL Alex
    I shall print this out before is gets kazzed.
    ponty 10 on there.....is that not due? :)

    Merthyr 10k
    I can knock 4 miles off? Plus no hiding as such or marshalls to avoid!

  • Lol ! Indeed.

    I have noticed things when running some races, and I reckon I have spotted quite a few on the FLM who I reckon have not run the full Monty. You know, everyone on the last mile is sweating and sort of desperate looking and someone trots past at break neck speed looking like they have just popped out for a quick 800m.
  • Llanelli Waterside 1/2 also works for lanelli 10k

    Me and boff have a suspect for that alex.
    (not you BTW!)

    Thinking about.....swansea tri, short cut the bike route in sketty?
  • FLM

    Method: Not sure how the chip timing would work but that may be the least of your worries! Jump off Tower Bridge just before half way, next thing you know you've only 3 and a half miles to go

    Gain: 9+ miles

    Dishonesty factor: 8/10

    Getaway with it likelihood: 0/10
  • Roding Valley Half

    There's one small loop and then two larger ones. Usually the leaders lap the main field while they are still on their first large lap so it would be quite easy to just follow them in and forget the second.
  • guess you couild brirbe a lap counter at some of the looped ultras too
  • I belive this is cheating hipps not corrupting our sport ;)
  • pure semantics taff!!!!!!!

    anyway-its alll academic

    Can you imagine me doing a sub 4 hour marathon?

    falls on floor laffing

  • I think to cheat convincingly at the FLM would take quite a bit of planning. You will need to know where all the mats are, work out routes that will save you time whist still taking you across the mats and a list of when you should cross each mat for a desired finish time. Possibly a mate on a scooter to ferry you between them would be handy.
  • You could of course get some nice male speedy runner to run the race for you and they would get you a great time on the official results.
  • Scooter, FLM?


    Runners when feeling a bit tired hitch a lift from the bike filming on the route.

  • You could use heelies (those trainers with the wheel in the heel) and just get towed along.
  • E.C.N.E.C.N. ✭✭✭
    a couple of weekends ago, i compleated the blackpool,"great" north west half marathon.

    now this was not me talking this, but my 7 year old daughter, when i was explaining that the goal was to finish it without walking and hopefully within 1:50.

    she said " dad, car'nt i go on my bike with your number so you can finish it sooner"

    i laughed, but at 10 miles when the blister kicked in, i wished i had taken her up on the offer.

    but the question will be....... would this constitute cheating?
  • University of Bristol half Marathon 2004.
    Two lap course that had no marshalls to speak of on the Downs. loads of people cut off a big corner. I didn't because it also meant missing a water station, which had loads left over
  • It's an old one but get your identical twin to do half the race for you.

    I bet there's a few runners who are inventive when it comes to their age if they think they could grab a veteran prize.
  • Swim stage of tri.

    Don diving tank and lurk under the water as 1st few swimmers pass over popout and swim last 100m to transition.

    Just a thought :)
  • Denmead 10k, nip into the Chairmakers carpark, over the fence, sit in bushes and wait until the leaders go passed.
    Advantages :- miss out nasty nasty hill and long not too steep windy hill

    Gain roughly 5k

    I always miss the obvious!
    Sit in pub drinking beer and wait until leader go passed then climb over the fence and rejoin race
  • Any Race[/b}

    Give your race number to your speedy friend.

    Mrs W had an e-mail from a friend congratulating her on going sub-2 at a half recently. She had to confess that it wasn't her.
  • Barking Park 5k - just trot across the out and back bit by the boating lake, saves about 300m at least.

    Prague Half Mara - loads of out and back bits and no timing chip pads I can remember. You could save a couple of miles here at least.
  • If you're a fastish man but not quite good enough to win anything why not drag up and claim a female prize? This also works when the lifeboat places are being dished out on sinking ships.
  • "If you're a fastish man"

    ... or, indeed, a fetishist man.

    Coming back to the tri, I have a half formed idea for the bike stage involving a photo-voltaic suit (wearable solar array), contacts via cleats, and a small brushless motor in the wheel hub. Now all I need to do is figure out how to avoid leaving behind a tell-tale trail of electrocuted fish.
  • May work for IM with changing tents?
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