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RE: Frank Meza 2:53:10 at LA Marathon (70 years old) unoffical time (just finished)
I think Meza has changed or refined his tactics over the past year or so. His splits from recent races look very plausible (except for the fact that he's running them at 70 years old). He doesn't have any more missed timing mats, and the changes in pace are not nearly as wild.
However, it is too late. The earlier results clearly point to cheating (or, to give him the benefit of the doubt, they at least demand an explanation). And if he was cheating before, he wouldn't have suddenly decided that, funnily enough, I think I can actually do this legitimately! He has just gotten better at cheating, is my guess.
What is his modus operandi? I don't know. It's worth keeping in mind that it hasn't necessarily been the same the whole time. I'm guessing it involves an accomplice runner who takes his bib for portions of the race while Meza finds other means of transport to take him to a rendezvous point. The accomplice keeps the bib concealed from the view of cameras, but still triggers the timing mats.
Obviously, he's a halfway decent runner for his age - maybe even pretty good. 3:30 marathon ability, or something like that, would be pretty danged great for age 70, but it wouldn't get him a world's best. But he's enough of a runner that you can't just eyeball him and say "no way in hell" (like w/Rosie Ruiz).
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