To: Amy Hughes

Re: Open Letter to Amy Hughes - Claim of World Record for 7 Day Treadmill Run

August 2, 2017


Hello Ms. Hughes,

It has come to my recent attention that you are claiming to have set a new world record for the most miles run on a treadmill over 7 days in your September 2016 attempt at Manchester's Trafford Centre. I have been playing close attention to your very vocal social media campaign over the past few days with regards to Guinness World Records (GWR) rejecting your claim and you and your associates trying to force them to reverse their decision.

I have noticed you have a following of supporters that are helping you to obtain a large amount of press coverage, more than I've ever seen for a past campaign of this type. I have also noticed that you and your boyfriend have been posting on the Ultrarunning Community Facebook page to solicit support and get people to sign your Change.org petition to overrule the decision of Guinness. However, I see that most of the members of the Ultrarunning Community Facebook page have posted criticism and details about why your claim is invalid instead of the support I think you were expecting.

I'm not sure if you are well versed in the history of recent running events, so please allow me to list some of the runners in just the past 2 years that have laid highly dubious claims and caused great harm to the reputation of the running community:

[1] Mark Vaz - Claimed to have broken the LeJog world record by a huge margin
[2] Robert Young - Claimed to have ran 370 marathons over 1 year & attempted a world record for the run across America until stopped
[3] Kaiha Bertollini - Claimed to have broken the fastest known time for a run across the Appalachian Trail
[4] Parvaneh Moayedi - Claimed to have ran 1001 marathons
[5] KP Kelly - Claimed to have run 100 marathons in 100 days
[6] Ben Rogers - Claimed to have ran 365 marathons over 365 days
[7] Dave Reading - Claimed to be able to break the LeJog world record to Prince Harry and many others on the back of a highly dubious history of deceit

Your claim of having broken the 7-day treadmill world record by running 520 miles has invited a large amount of scrutiny because both your current world record claim, past "53 marathons in 53 days" world record claim, a demonstrable lack of elite running experience, and numerous conflicts of interest fit into the same suspicion profile that I've seen for these other runners.

Allow me to defend Guinness World Records and to detail why other runners are embracing you with so much suspicion. I will touch on 3 key points:

 

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[1] Your characterization that Guinness changed the rules on you and that your other "evidence" should overrule is fallacious. You claimed to Guinness that your independent witnesses are your boyfriend Dave Keighley, your physiotherapist, publicist, and a friend.

Guinness World Records rejected your 7-day treadmill world record claim because you used your boyfriend to record the majority of your miles and your other witnesses are not independent at all. Guinness have stated that:

"We are not disputing that Amy ran for one week - this is absolute clear to see from her evidence. It is the recording of how far she ran which we cannot accept."

"Unfortunately, the witness recording the majority of Amy's progress was not independent of her, meaning we were unable to ratify the attempt as this is an infringement of a core policy for record validation."

"All records come with a set of rules that have to be adhered to in order for us to validate record attempts, and one of these rules is the requirement for independent witnesses to be present to act as impartial extensions of Guinness World Records where our adjudicators cannot be present."

Your statements on social media and to news sites have been highly misleading, bordering on outright lies, and harms the reputation of Guinness World Records. I commend Guinness for doing a thorough review of what you have provided to them and cannot fault them in anything they have done. I don't believe the harassment from you, your boyfriend, or your other followers are warranted against Guinness for the outstanding job they have done in this situation where you are clearly in the wrong.


[2] Your other current claim to a world record of running 53 marathons in 53 days is also highly dubious and is exactly the same type of claim made by some of the other dubious runners I listed before. You did not run in any official marathons, only unrecorded and unvalidated casual runs with your associates.

This is the same type of behavior and claim that Robert Young, KP Kelly, Ben Rogers, and Parvaneh Moayedi engaged in for some of the marathons they claimed to have ran in. Yet, we have more evidence that Robert Young actually did run some of his marathons from official race results sheets than we have that you ran your casual 53 marathons. Ben Rogers also has a wealth of Strava data for some of his casual 365 marathon runs but I don't see any evidence that you recorded your runs and shared the evidence. Some of Moayedi's 1001 marathons are listed in race results sheets but we have none from your claimed 53 marathons.


[3] I also see a major issue with the conflict of interest in you seeking fame and fortune from your stunt running and soliciting motivational speaker opportunities while at the same time claiming to be doing your treadmill world record for "charity", specifically your personal 53 Foundation "charity" that you and your boyfriend Dave have set up 3 years ago and are it's trustees and effectively it's only employees.

I am also concerned about how funds donated to your foundation are being used since you have no independently audited financial records filed with the UK Charity Commission.

If your treadmill world record was done for the purpose of raising funds and awareness for your foundation, then it has already done it's job whether you actually broke the record or not. But if the primary reason for such a immense amount of harassment of Guinness is because you are seeking fame and fortune for yourself, then you should make that clear.

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As you can see, there are major and valid concerns about why your claims have been viewed with so much suspicion in the running community. I am open to receiving a reply from you addressing each of the points I have stated and whether you will consider calling off your harassment of Guinness World Records.


Looking forward to your reply,
Andy Tavin / The Scam Watcheroo