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RE: Robert Young fakes run across America
I've been following stories like this one on the Internet for about 10 years. Based on what I've read from both sides, I can tell you EXACTLY what is going on and EXACTLY how this will play out. Mark my words.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR
Robert has, in my opinion, absolutely NOT run 100% of this journey. If I had to guess, however, he has run about 90-95% of it -- and him and his team have justified it to themselves that somehow this isn't cheating. Here's why:
In his most recent video explaining his "GPS verification system", Rob stated that if he ever forgets to turn on his watch, even for a 10th of a mile, he immediately turns its on because he wants to ensure he has tracked 3,000 miles TOTAL to break this record. He said that if he makes it across the country in record time and his total GPS miles fall short of 3,000, he won't consider it a true record.
Think about that for a second. The way Robert is looking at this record isn't literally running from one side of the country to the other -- it's simply running 3,000 miles AND making it from one side of the USA to the other. That's a big difference. Through that twisted thinking, van rides can somehow become justified. Why would he think this way? It could be a number of ways he's justifying it to himself:
"Runners 40 years ago didn't have GPS watches - they probably cut the course too!"
"I have tens of thousands of people who are inspired by what I'm doing. I can't let them down, and cutting just a LITTLE bit of the course isn't going to harm anyone."
"Runner x who broke this record only covered 3,000 miles, so that's all I have to cover on foot -- I can ride the rest."
I actually do believe that Robert has run a great deal of the distance so far, because there have been cameras and independent journalists on hand. It's the lack of 24/7 coverage that would have allowed Rob to coast in the van for a bit while no one else was watching.
HOW THIS IS GOING TO END
Robert is not going to finish this run, and no actual GPS data will ever surface (just more screenshots). The data would show gaps in his actual running, as van GPS data would be obviously inconsistent, bumping up and down from 15 mph to 5 mph. Robert and his team are smart enough to recognize this, so they will NEVER give the LRC the data to point that out.
Robert is probably a genuinely good guy in person, hence the outpouring of support in response to the cheating allegations. The guys in his van likely feel justified if they are cheating, too ("This is for charity! Who cares if he needs to ride in the van for an hour?") Really, the justifications they can make to themselves are no different than those of dopers: "I gotta feed my family, man!"
So this whole thing is going to end in a battle of speculation vs. personal support. It will never be "officially" resolved, although ultimately Robert will come out of the other side with a very tarnished image.
Robert and his team have had plenty of time to produce the raw GPS data corroborating his run. They haven't done so, instead choosing to bombard his fans with unverifiable evidence and anecdotal accounts. All of this speculation could have been avoided with a simple link to the data. Because it hasn't yet surfaced, I guarantee it never will.
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