Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Digital Doping

  If you haven't noticed lately the sport of running has been tainted with cheaters. You have Rita Jeptoo being caught using performance enhancing drugs. There is also the story of Mike Rossi the 47 yr old father who lied about qualifying for Boston. Then there is the always famous rumor mill of Kilian Jornet and his attachments to known doping doctors.

  For most of us that aren't pros and will never win a major race the closest thing we have to glory is Strava. You know the site where men and women with something to prove can go out and grab segments and KOM or QOM's. The place where the average runner or cyclist can have a little slice of glory and bragging rights.

  Well now every single segment, KOM or QOM can be called into question thanks to digital manipulation of your GPS Files. Thats right there is a website that will allow you to manipulate your data and upload it to any social tracking site. If done right no one would even question your rise to local fame. Yes you have to actually run the segments but with the help of this site you can take a 8:00 mile pace and make it a 6:30 pace. Is there that one segment you keep losing to the guy by like a few seconds? Well shoot just crank your speed up a few % and the segment is yours and without having to even stretch after.

  I tried this with a couple runs and found the results astonishing. I laughed like a school girl who just ran across her crush in the hallway and he said hi to me. I then felt that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach like the day I found out Santa Clause was a lie. I immediately deleted the modified runs and began to hit every media outlet I could to express what I had found.

  I thought I was being a hero but at the same time I knew outing this would put me directly in the cross hairs. Anything I run and post from here on out would be called into question. By reporting this I would never look at social media sharing the same and I am sure people will do the same when I post my runs. Yet its out there and before Strava says they have safeguards to catch it, they don't.

  I never listed the name of the site but Im sure its only a Google search away. I know that deep down everything has changed because if I know about this Im sure theres a whole lot more who do too and have no problem lying their way to the top of leaderboards.

Digital doping is real and it is hear, God save us all!!!