With the Boston Marathon coming up soon, stories are coming out about people being disqualified from running the race.
For those new to the running scene (or who just don’t care), Boston is a “Big Deal” for a lot of runners. To get into Boston, you have to run a qualifying time at another marathon based on your age/gender (I would have to run a 3:40 marathon, for example), and even that’s not a guarantee because so many people qualify that your entry can be based on how much you beat the qualifying time by. (So a person my age who runs a 3:30 marathon has a better chance of getting in than a person who runs a 3:35 marathon. Neither of which I will ever do.)
You can also run Boston through charity entries, which are awesome, but you have to raise a lot of money. $5000 or more. Plus most of these charities have an entry process because so many people want to run so it’s not likely that someone rich who just wants to run Boston is going to pay $5000 and get to run.
(Of course, there are people who run on charity bibs but lie and say that they qualified and I think that’s stupid and those people should get over themselves.)
Anyway. People do a lot of crazy things to get into Boston. They cut the course in their qualifying race. They have someone else run under their bib for a qualifier. They cheat so they can get into the race.
I have zero respect for cheaters. You can be a super slow marathoner who will never qualify for Boston and I will have way more respect for you than I will ever have for someone who cheats to get in.
Most recently, a story came out where a woman (you can Google her, I’m not giving her the link) posted a sad story about how she’s not running Boston this year. She calls it a cautionary tale. In her story, because of various life events, in both 2014 and 2015, she was unable to run after qualifying for Boston. So last year, instead of letting the bib go to waste, she let a friend run under her bib.
This is NOT ALLOWED. But as she says, everyone does it (everyone does not do it), and she didn’t charge any money, so it’s not a big deal. But she got caught and now she is banned from the race. And she begs their forgiveness and hopes they will someday let her back in.
Number one, it’s against the rules. What’s the harm, you say? Well, the big issue with switching bibs is medical. If you are wearing a particular number and something happens to you, that number is used to identify you. Let’s say something terrible happens at the race and you are knocked unconscious or worse. You end up misidentified. Nothing good comes of this. When you enter a race, you often put emergency contact info in with your entry. If that’s used after you get injured and it’s not your emergency contact who gets called, that’s little help. If you’re using a stranger’s bib, it’s really no help at all.
And even if none of that happens, it’s against the rules. Rules are rules.
But let’s go to the number two.
This lady left out a big part of her story. Do you know when she qualified to run Boston in 2016? At Boston in 2015.
But wait. She didn’t run it. She had a friend running with her bib.
So not only did she give away a bib that was non-transferable, she then lied and used that finishing time to get into Boston the following year. But she doesn’t mention any of this part of the story in her so very sad blog post.
Cheaters never win, and we should have no pity for this woman. Not only did she cheat, she then attempted to lie about it to get sympathy.
No tears for you here, Gia.