A Huffington Post food blogger cheated in order to take home a silver medal at the Fort Lauderdale half marathon.
Jane Seo, a 2014 Harvard graduate, was busted after an eagle-eyed blogger noticed a discrepancy between her race tracker and the course. Seo was a veteran obstacle course racer before becoming a competitive runner. She recounted the initial struggles of her transition to jogging in a 2015 Huffington Post article.
"If you had asked me a year ago if I would do a running race of any distance—5K, 10K, or even a half marathon—I would have immediately brushed it off and said, ‘No, I hate running,'" she said.
It turned out that she did not enjoy running enough to complete the full course in Fort Lauderdale. Her fitness tracker revealed that she had shaved one and a half miles off of the 13.1-mile course. She crossed the finish line in 1:22:07 having logged just 11.65 miles—a discrepancy first noticed by MarathonInvestigation.com. She initially denied any cheating, according to the blogger, and went so far as to cycle the remaining distance to cover up her tracks.
"Jane made a series of very bad decisions. From cutting the course, denying it initially, accepting the 2nd place award, covering her tracks, and not fully owning up to it," the site said.
Seo posted an apology to her now-deleted Instagram account, admitting to cheating during the race. She blamed the cheating scandal on a physical ailment.
"I wasn't feeling well so I CUT THE COURSE and headed to the finish line," she said in a screengrab of the post captured by the Daily Mail. "I got swept away in the moment and pretended I ran the entire course, when in fact I CHEATED and should have DISQUALIFIED myself…[and] also proceeded to BIKE the course afterward with my GPS watch to cover my wrongdoings."
Marathon officials eventually disqualified her from the event after confronting her with the information. They indicated that she would be allowed to participate in future events after coming clean and apologizing for the incident.
"She is hurting. She accepts the consequences," the race's official Facebook account said. "Life is about second chances. I have moved on, and suggest the same for everyone."