Hey no worries. Sorry to sound like a [email protected] when I replied. I'm fascinated by this case, too. And I want to state very clearly that I don't think outsiderunner is a cheat or a liar. I agree with the post above noting his consistency throughout the thread, his hardheadedness.
I was the first responder to OP and followed this thread very closely for the first c.25 pages then trailed off. I appreciate your map posting and analysis, as the thing that interests me the most right now is how he ended up going off course. I think you're correct--he likely lost 2 minutes or so, depending on how quickly the women were able to direct him back to the trail. But it's just so strange--the failing watch, the wrong turn, the women who knew how to direct him back. I accept what OP says happened yet I'm really curious how this came to pass.
As to what he could potentially run, that's a separate topic and one that's opened up many cans of worms. I have said that had he trained smarter for NYC he would have broken 3:00 there probably fairly easily. I think with careful following of a plan and smarter training and tapering he likely could run 2:55 or maybe even faster. But I have always hated those claims popular on Letsrun that someone's 3:05 time is "worth" 2:5X because of this, that, and the other thing. OP is a 3:02 marathoner. Let's hope he reads carefully, trains smart, and gets to be a 2:55 guy in fall 2017. I think he has the potential to do it but he's not there yet.
Oh and as to the trail run I agree--he ran far better than I thought he would. 3:05 as a best result sounds about right.
My fault. Sorry to be unclear. I was just making two points...neither of which was meant to answer how he managed to make a wrong turn:
1) The road he turned onto looks absolutely nothing like a rail trail. Not that he is lying...it's only to point out that it's even harder to understand how he went off course when you see what road he ended up on.
2) He could have only lost ~2 minutes since he added
I brushed over the entire thread but got the impression that some felt he could have broken 3:02 or even 3:00...when, in fact, it is virtually certain...based on exactly what said...that he would not have broken 3:05. I thought it would be helpful to quantify exactly how far off course he actually went.
Sorry if I am repeating something that was already covered.