Entertainment

A 70-Year-Old LA Marathon Runner Has Been Disqualified For Cheating To Get An ‘Impossible’ Time

Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash

When Frank Meza, 70, hit a record-setting time back in March during the Los Angeles Marathon, people couldn’t believe it. The time, 2:53:10, was the fastest ever for a man his age. But according to the LA Times, The Los Angeles Marathon has new video evidence that shows Meza leaving the course during his record-setting performance in March.

As of now, Meza has been disqualified from the race as officials say the 70-year-old’s record time was “impossible”.

Officials with Conqur Endurance Group, which oversees and operates the LA marathon, say they reviewed footage from video cameras along the 26.2-mile race route. Footage shows Meza leaving the course for a portion of his run and reentering at another point. It was his time during that stretch was so fast that officials say was “impossible”.

“The video evidence is confirmed by a credible eyewitness report and our calculation that Dr. Meza’s actual running time for at least one 5K course segment would have had to have been faster than the current 70-74 age-group 5K world record,” officials stated. They say that his pace would have been “an impossible feat during a marathon.”

Meza, a retired physician, has denied all allegations of cheating thus far.

Meza has repeatedly denied any allegations that he might have cheated. He reiterated that again on Monday when he said he left the race course looking for a restroom. There are also some concerns from officials that say Meza was wearing his numbered bib on his hip instead of having it pinned to his shirt. This has raised concerns that Meza may have passed the bib to another runner for a part of the marathon.

But despite the accusations of cheating, Meza is standing by his performance. “I didn’t cut the course,” Meza told the LA Times.

Typically, many runners carry GPS devices that follow and confirms locations for marathons and track events. But Meza has never carried one. When asked about his record 5K pace during the marathon, he couldn’t say how he did it.

It’s significant to note that Meza didn’t enter marathons until the age of 60 and has since shown significant progress and record results after several years of running.

This has resulted in some controversy over Meza’s running times in several previous marathons. The California International Marathon in Sacramento disqualified him twice, in 2014 and 2016, for irregular splits. He was then banned, the LA Times said.

Marathon officials aren’t the only ones questioning Meza’s record time.

Credit:@falafelmywffle/Twitter

Many in the running community have frowned upon Meza’s alleged cheating noting how difficult and strenuous the sport is. On Twitter, one user wrote, “No way in hell Frank Meza ran 2:53 in the marathon. Definitely being a little superficial here, but he isn’t dressed like someone who is serious about running a 2:53 marathon.”

Meza has been better known in the LA community for giving his free time to low-cost health care as a former physician and helping local Latino students. He’s also been the lifelong runner who has been a part of the track and cross-country team at Los Angeles Loyola High as an assistant coach.

Despite all the bad press that Meza has received over the marathon time, he plans on going at it again in 2020. But this time, officials have again asked Meza to run with an observer to check his location and accurate run time.

Whatever the results are, he’s banking in on the chance to prove a lot of people wrong and again finishing the marathon in less than three hours.

“That’s my only silver lining.” Meza said.

READ: Guatemalan Mother Of Six Runs L.A. Marathon In Traditional Mayan Clothes

Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, Who Lost Leg In Afghanistan, Crosses Boston Marathon Carrying U.S. Flag

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Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, Who Lost Leg In Afghanistan, Crosses Boston Marathon Carrying U.S. Flag

jls143_ / Instagram

In 2013 the Boston Marathon was viciously attacked. When a home-made bomb went off at the finish line, three people lost their lives and 264 were injured, including 14 who needed amputations. Since then, the running of the annual marathon has become a symbol of perseverance for many, with some of the victims of the bombing returning to run again. Runners have come from all over to show their grit, determination and for many, their patriotism.

Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez a retired marine and amputee completed the Boston Marathon with a U.S. flag in hand.

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This year’s breakout Boston Marathon story of perseverance and patriotism is undoubtedly that of retired marine, Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, who lost part of his leg in 2011 after stepping on an IED while on duty in Afghanistan. Sanchez completed the 26 mile race in under 6 hours, while wearing a “Semper Fi” shirt and waving a giant U.S. flag the whole way. Whatever your politics, there’s no denying his strength and bravery, coming back to run after not being able to stand for more than three seconds at a time.

In a video from The Boston Herald, Sanchez commented on his journey from not being able to stand, to running 26 miles.

Credit: Boston Herald / Youtube

“I wanted to not only recognize veterans and stuff, but everyone that thinks that they’re unable to do something. I couldn’t stand up for more than three seconds or walk more than two feet, and I fought my way for four, five years, just to be able to walk farther, be able to lift my body up. And I kept on pushing it. Mentally and spiritually I was good, so I wanted to push it even further and do the marathon.”

There were tons of images of Sanchez running with his flag on social media.

According to an interview with Runner’s World, the flag he ran with was given to him by his patrol unit as he recovered. The flag has positive messages written on it in marker. Of the flag, Sanchez told Runner’s World “I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it.” He then went on to say: “One day I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me and I was motivated.”

The crowds were all about it, cheering him on loudly while he pushed forward.

He looked strong from start to finish.

But no image was as powerful as seeing him actually cross the finish line, with the crowd cheering and his flag waving.

A fellow runner offered to help, but Sanchez was strong on his own.

If you’re not crying yet, put on your seatbelt and grab some tissues. He ran with his wife, who recorded and cheered him on the whole way, hugging him at the end.

As beautiful as it all is, according to his Instagram account, it was a long and difficult road and inspiration was only the beginning.

♠I HAVE BEEN SCARED AND FUCKING TERRIFIED OF THIS BOSTON MARATHON. IM AFRAID OF FAILURE AND LOSS AND TO LET EVERYONE DOWN, BUT THROUGH THE LOVE AND SUPPORT. I’M REMINDED THAT IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING THE BIGGEST , STRONGEST OR FASTEST PERSON. ITS ABOUT NEVER FUCKING GIVING UP. NEVER FUCKING QUITING. NEVER FUCKING SURRENDERING. IT’S ABOUT FIGHTING BACK WHEN LIFE PUSHES YOU AROUND. YOU FUCKING PUSH BACK AND PUSH BACK FUCKING HARD. IT’S ABOUT BEING FUCKING RESILIENT, KEEPING THE MOTHER FUCKING DRIVE ALIVE AND PUSHING THE LIMITS OF FUCKING POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK IT’S ALL ABOUT!!!!! ________________________________________________ #FUCKIT #FUCKSHITUP #SEMPERFI #DRIVE #DESIRE #MOTIVATE #INSPIRE #NEVERGIVEUP #NEVERSURRENDER #BERESILIENT #FITSPIRATION #FITFAM #AFFLICTIONSPORT #AFFLICTION #FIGHTHARD #LIVEFREE #LIVEFAST #LOVEHARD

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

According to him, it all started with fear, but an immense sense of hard work and determination has brought him all the way to where he is today.

Sanchez went on to work amazingly hard and used his Instagram account to inspire others with his journey, amassing over 30k followers along the way.

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

 The man is a beast.

After the marathon, Sanchez took to Instagram, to drive the inspirational point home.

“Just wanted to let you know this is not about me. It’s about what this represent(s). It’s for you all to see how we all impact each other for a greater good.”

Hang on while I go find a gym to sign up for and hug my mom. No, you’re crying.

[H/T] Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan runs Boston Marathon with American flag

READ: This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen

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This 81-Year-Old Abuela Just Gave Us Serious #GrownUpGoals

Entertainment

This 81-Year-Old Abuela Just Gave Us Serious #GrownUpGoals

Credit: Caleb Kerr / El Paso Times / Cosmopolitan

Who signs up for the Beer Mile where you have to drink a lot of beer while running a mile?  81-year-old Elvira  Montes from El Paso, that’s who!

It’s actually her second time running the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships, but she didn’t enjoy the first time because “I’m not a big beer drinker,” Montes said. “I like beer when the weather is real hot and there’s nothing else to drink. I’m really a scotch drinker, Chivas if it’s available. If it was scotch we were drinking instead of beer, I would have run a lot faster.” There’s an idea.

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