Is this man a Fraud?

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14/04/2008 at 15:08

What do you think of this?


I have been visiting the start and finish of the London marathon for years. Six years ago we saw ‘Tommy the clown’ at the Red start pushing his little trolley with buckets hanging from the sides and carrying buckets collecting money from all that was generous enough to donate to his charity, he came walking across the start line nearly last. The two following years he did the same. But whilst I was watching at the finish we saw him and he finished in about four and a half hours. In 2005 & 2006 I competed in the London Marathon, in 2005 my wife saw him cross the start line nearly last, walking and again collecting money in buckets etc. I finished in just under 4½ hours, my wife saw Tommy the clown and he had finished before me. An over 65 year old carrying buckets of money and pushing a trolley. I thought this man must be fit!!


Yesterday I was not competing but was watching at the red start, guess who I saw come out second to last? Yes it was Tommy the Clown’ with buckets of money and his trolley. I took his runners number to check his finish time as this had always baffled me


He completed it this year in 5hrs 39 mins, pretty good you might say. But this is how he achieved it. Here is Tommy the clowns number from yesterday 39864, type this into the results page on Flora London Marathon website and all is explained.


IMO this man makes a mockery of what it’s all about.

14/04/2008 at 15:18

Reminds me of a similar thing that happened last year in the Berlin Marathon.  From memory there was a Mexican politician who did something along those lines. 

The organisers must take note of that.  Surely. 

14/04/2008 at 15:32
I looked but don't understand.  Help !!  I see Tommy at loads of Scottish races and always considered hinma top bloke.
14/04/2008 at 15:36

Deffo seems dodgy but can't work out how he could get from 10k to 40k in the practical sense.

What's his route and how on earth does he not get seen?

14/04/2008 at 15:36
The split times are only shown for 5K, 10K and then 40K.  Where are the other times ?
14/04/2008 at 15:37
The absence of split times basically suggests he didn't pass over the mats so he wasn't following the course!
14/04/2008 at 15:37

Marshalls can't see everyone.  There are bound to be points of the course where its easier to get back on to the course without a marshall spotting you.  Even if someone does see you, you've got to take note of the number.  Its defo possible. 

14/04/2008 at 15:39

Yes but dressed as a clown and pushing a trolley?

I can see how someone not in costume could get away with it.

14/04/2008 at 15:39

There has to be points in the course where there are big enough gaps to get on.

14/04/2008 at 15:52
Is it possible that the organisers allowed him to do it? He even had somebody else pushing the trolley this year.
14/04/2008 at 16:01
there are plenty of opportunities to "drop out" and catch the tube, and also plenty of opportunities to rejoin the race, pretending to emerge from a toilet or pub...
14/04/2008 at 16:03

Well if so I hope he didn't get a medal!

14/04/2008 at 16:05

Always the incredibly remote possibility his chip didn't register going over the mats or he was on the pavement when he passed mats?

I suppose there are points where you can pull over and go behind the crowds.  The bit between Tower Bridge and the roundabout before you enter the docks area could be a good bit - few islands there you could get over and easily cut out 7 miles, assuming or course you are subtle about it - I can't see too many spectators going "Cor blimey, Guv''re bloody well cheating - get back there or i'll give you a bleeding clip around the ear"

Or have 2 people running as yourself - use the tube to get further up the course and pass the number on to someone dressed identically. 

Did see a couple of chips lying on the road around the halfway point and in the Canary Wharf areas so some people there obviously aren't getting times.

Edited: 14/04/2008 at 16:13
14/04/2008 at 16:08

as a suggestion, try looking up Tom Armstrong for previous years, some amusing reading! especially the year he went through 10km in 1:57 and finished in 4hrs something!!!! funny how everytime he does the flm he dissapears in the middle of the race only to turn up at the end!!!

14/04/2008 at 16:14

Everybody knows clowns are evil anyway 

Be great if someone could follow him next year to find out how he does it! 

14/04/2008 at 16:15
What???! Surly not - he's pushing a trolley.. what happened to the no wheeled vehicles rule....
14/04/2008 at 16:16
Just what I was going to post Toby. He appears to have done it several times. Hopefully the money collected is going to charity but who knows.
14/04/2008 at 16:16
Maybe he flies.
14/04/2008 at 16:26

He wouldn't need to pass his number on to someone else, he'd just need to make a colour photo copy, no one would check to see if it was the correct Tyveg paper.

Working a a team they could just concentrate on the 'lucrative' crowd areas.

Edited: 14/04/2008 at 16:29
14/04/2008 at 16:31
I wonder if the organisers have been informed of the irregularities in his chip timing recorded over the years.
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