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RE: Frank Meza 2:53:10 at LA Marathon (70 years old) unoffical time (just finished)
The 2017 Long Beach Marathon is another interesting case. A lot of it is familiar: No missed timing mats, but no photos between around mile 5.6 (Rainbow Harbor Bike Path) and just over a half mile to the end (Ocean Boulevard). FM does not appear in the photos from the Belmont Pier Bike Path (around mile 9) and Cal State Long Beach (somewhere in miles 17-19). FM has run this race at least 7 times, but we're only looking at 2017 here...
I have always thought that the 2017 Long Beach would provide a treasure trove of evidence:
*I ran Long Beach in 2017 and finished with a respectable time (low 3).
*When I saw the results, I knew that Meza had cheated. Based on his delayed starting time and our average paces over the first 10 miles of the race, Meza should have passed me somewhere along the bike path just prior to making the left hand turn on to Ocean Blvd. By that time at Long Beach, the 3 hour marathoners have broken away from the pack. It's a small group. Experienced runners settle in and take note of who they are running with, who passes them, who they pass, etc. Meza never passed me. I'm absolutely certain of it. I know Frank Meza. I had been suspicious of his results for years. I would have noticed him go by.
*When I searched the race pictures, I noticed that he was missing from key photo points. His failure to appear in the photos back by the Pyramid is a HUGE red flag. By then, the top runners are an easy mark for the photographers. I searched the photos for all of the top runners that would have been passing that photographer at or about the same time as Meza...they all appear in multiple photos...none for Meza.
*Meza's gun time was 2:57:09 but chip time was 2:54:26. He would have had to pass some VERY accomplished runners along the way. For example, Gisele Schaaf, the #2 overall female runner. Runners like Gisele and the other sub 3 hour men that Frank supposedly passed would have remembered it. I guarantee you that if anyone had the ability to contact these runners, not one would remember Frank passing them.
Until the DQs happen, I hope the super-sleuths keep at it.
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