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RE: Robert Young fakes run across America
There are a lot of issues with the whole run

Day 1:

http://www.marathonmanuk.co.uk/2016/05/15/day-1-may-14-and-were-off/

This is actually two days, because it starts on 8pm on 5/13. According to the blog, he is going to go out for a run (?) before he starts running across the USA. Then he calls his crew 2.5 hours later to say, guess what, he's already started the cross-country attempt! (I guess May 13 doesn't count as one of his days, though?)



Setting off at 8pm from Huntington Pier for a ‘little run’ we, the crew, got a call at about 10:30pm to say he was a fair way along the route and the little evening run had now become the start of the World Record attempt. We were underway.

Michael and I scrambled to find him, following his tracker on the site for the next hour or so as he ran along a trail along the Santa Ana river, territory he knew well from the 2015 Race Across USA.



According to the tracker, the RV starts moving at 11:01 pm to go catch up with him. He does not have a tracker with a time stamp; the RV does. There is a separate running route shown on the tracking page, just without time stamps. Or maybe he has the tracker with time stamps and the RV doesn't? But then why do the time stamps only start at 11:01, not at 8:00 like the blog claims?

At the corner of Adams and the Santa Ana river, the two paths (RV and runner) come together. At this point the tracker must be handed off, because at 11:37 pm it starts pinging in every 12 minutes from the Santa Ana trail, which as a previous poster pointed out, the RV can't drive down. There are still two routes showing on the tracker (if you zoom in you can see two lines laid over each other), but they are both on a runner/cycling-only path.

The other obvious problem is that it is only four miles from his starting point in Huntington Beach to the junction of Adams and Santa Ana, and we know he could not have got there before 11:37 pm, which is when the tracker starts pinging in from the running path. So that produces two possible conclusions:

1. He started on his own at 8pm and covered 4 miles in 3.5 hours. It took the RV about 30 minutes to drive these same 4 miles to find him, even though they didn't have to drive slow without a runner to escort.
2. He started with the RV at 11:01 and covered 4 miles in 36 minutes.

If #1 is true, the record attempt is already screwed. If #2 is true, then the blog is lying for no apparent reason.

At 5:00 am, they stop for a 2.5 hour break in Corona. It's about 38 miles in; he's been going for either six hours or nine hours, depending on which start time you believe.

At 7:27am on 5/14 he's running on surface streets in a neighborhood. The time on the picture matches where they should be on the route:

(People who use exif more than me, did I shift the time correctly for Pacific?)

50 miles in, and he's out in the desert running with this guy:

http://www.marathonmanuk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/rob-and-coop-1024x680.jpg

I can't figure out where this picture is taken.

In Riverside, there is another split in the routes, which is not mentioned in the blog. There is reference to taking a shortcut over a hill while being accompanied on a bike:



Then we headed off to get onto the 60 Interstate Highway. On the way Rob spied a shortcut, or what looked like a short cut. Across some dunes it was difficult to say for sure if it was feesible. But off we went, with Rob keen to cut off any corners he could, knowing his planned route was much further than the minimum 2,766 miles required for the record. I accompanied Rob on my bicycle, racing ahead to see if it was manageable. It was. Just. Full of snake holes we were vigilant in case one made an appearance. The last part, climbing up to reach the 60 was the toughest.



This is the insane "shortcut" captured here:

http://www.marathonmanuk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Dunes-1024x576.jpg

(I can't figure out how to get timestamps on those last two photos. Can anyone help?)

This whole "shortcut to get onto 60" thing makes no sense. There is a ping from the tracker in the middle of the foothills between Gilman Springs road and Highway 60, in east Moreno Valley. This means that a) Young was wearing the tracker; it was not on the RV, and b) he chose to try a shortcut over a hill through snakeholes that would save maybe a half a mile. Maybe.

If it was Young wearing the tracker, then what do we make of the bizarre zigzagging and backtracking between 10:30 and 11:30 near the Mission Grove Mall? How does the tracker cover 4 miles between 10:00 and 10:12? And why is there a completely separate route shown several miles north of the tracking data?

Anyway, they get into Banning at 10pm. That's 81 miles in either 23 or 26 hours.

Unlike the Mojave desert story, I don't have a reasonable guess as to what actually happened here. I know that getting out of southern California on foot is really, really hard, and they brag in the blog about not planning at all. I have a feeling they learned pretty quickly that they were dramatically underestimating the difficulty of the whole deal, and may have cut some corners, putting Rob in the RV for some of the completely unrunnable stretches of traffic-choked streets. You can already see the justification in the blog post: "But off we went, with Rob keen to cut off any corners he could, knowing his planned route was much further than the minimum 2,766 miles required for the record."

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