Robert Young, or Marathon Man, is currently attempting to break the record for fastest crossing of the USA on foot. (His website:
I went out to to run a few miles with him since I thought he would be lonely running at 1:00 am in the middle of nowhere Kansas, and I thought it would be cool to be a part of something big like this. Below is my account of realizing this guy is faking it:
I wanted to run for a couple miles with the guy running across America, since I saw he was coming very near Lebo. I saw he was within 10 miles of Lebo, so I got in my car to find exactly how far away he was. I started driving west on old highway 50 from Lebo, and eventually passed an RV going east with an American flag on the back corner of the vehicle. I recognized that as the runner's RV, but I did not see anyone running. I thought the runner might have another support vehicle further back, so I kept driving. After a couple of miles, I checked his live tracking, and saw that the runner was indeed east of me. I took a screenshot of where the map said he was, then drove down the road. When I got close to the RV, I started filming, and still did not see a runner. They did not have hazard lights until I got somewhat close behind them. I decided to get out of my car at the next intersection to stand on the south side of the RV to get a better view. The next intersection was a main road, so I turned toward Lebo, and parked a block down the road. I ran back to old highway 50 and started going toward the RV. I didn't want them to stop before I got to them, so I ran up next to a house, and watched as the RV drove by with no runner in sight. I also took a screenshot of the map and took a video of the RV driving by. After it drove by, I ran into the highway, turned on my headlamp to strobe mode, and started running behind the RV. It was driving running speed, so I was making progress, but they saw my light and stopped. Someone got out of the passenger side of the RV, but when I got closer they got back in, and the RV drove off too fast for me to follow on foot. I ran back to my car, then drove to the highway. By that time, the RV had returned to the intersection of Fauna road and old highway 50. Someone was standing outside the RV, but I just drove past it heading east. I parked on the south side of the next intersection, and again, waited for the RV to pass. While waiting, I looked at the live tracking, and saw where the RV had driven away, and then come back, so I took a screenshot of that. I waited in my car for a few more minutes, and as the RV approached, I took another screenshot, and then another video* as the RV drove by once again without anyone running beside it.
*note: I turned my camera from vertical to horizontal around the two minute mark, so you have to turn your head 90 degrees to the left to see the RV driving by (or understand it is driving from bottom of the screen to the top).
All of the screenshots and the first two videos are shared in Google Drive at:
Unfortunately, they donâ€™t show my location in relation to Robâ€™s, but I think I have location services turned on with my phone, so someone should have access to that data. The final video, I am having trouble sharing it any other way than Google Photos, so that link is:
I realize it is dark, so the videos donâ€™t show a whole lot, but here are some points to consider.
1) The highway he was running on has no shoulder, so he likely would have been running in front of the RV in order to use its lights, and to keep safe from cars. Cars behind would see the RV and avoid it, while cars in front would see him in the headlights, as well as the RV. Rob does not appear in the headlights of any of my videos. If he did choose to run in the grass on the side of the road, I expect he would use a headlamp or flashlight, but again, there is no sign of a light other than those on the RV. The first video shows he was not running behind the RV, or in the oncoming traffic lane.
2) In my first video, you can also see the hazard lights of the RV turn on as I drive up from behind. It seems like support vehicles usually drive with their hazard lights on the whole time, but it makes sense that this group wouldnâ€™t if they are trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
3) Also, see his recent blog post where Nancy Bennett attempted to run with him at night, and we unable to see him until the vehicle stopped (allowing him to exit the vehicle). It would be interesting to get her input on her experience compared to mine. The blog explains that Rob was just on the other side of the RV, but my multiple attempts allowed me to see all sides of the RV to ensure I did not just miss him on the other side (unless he is running circles around the RV).
I am convinced that Robert is not completing all of the distance on foot, and I understand my screenshots and videos cannot definitively prove it, but I think it at least warrants a very close inspection of his attempt if he is to be awarded recognition for this. Maybe other people have an experience and/or evidence that also indicates he is not running the whole distance.