We’ve all heard stories of people going a bit crazy after a race and loading their arms up with the “free” post-race food that’s supposed to be for the runners. I’ve seen people walking away with boxes of muffins or bagels, and if there’s donuts, it’s pretty much an impossibility that there will be any left for the last runners.
And of course, it’s not just the runners who do it. Spectators are just as guilty, and let’s call it what it is – it’s theft. After your race, you get one of everything that the race is handing out. If the nice volunteer tells you “Hey, we have a TON of bananas, and you’re near the end, so take an extra one if you want,” by all means, go for it. You say your kid is there with you and didn’t run but wants a post race cookie? Well that’s fine, the kid can totally have a post race cookie – if you give him yours. Okay, maybe you can have a cookie if there are a ton left.
A story that made the rounds yesterday was about how a “mob” of people stole water from the runners during the London Marathon. Allegedly, it happened right after the elites came through and suddenly people showed up loading up carts and bags with case upon case of water.
What?! That is ridiculous!
But let’s do a little more research. This story all came out thanks to a video.
In this video, you can see thousands of water bottles along the side of the road. Those aren’t from the elites.
And if you see the runners coming past, well, they are few and far between. And those certainly aren’t the runners right behind the elites.
Finally, the guy filming says something about how “the last coach has come past so the marathon runners are on their own,” and you can see a bus in the background, which I interpret to mean that we’re down to stragglers.
So… were these people supposed to be taking water? It seems entirely possible that they were told by a volunteer that the leftovers were available. Did it feel a bit greedy to see people loading up cases like that? Sure, but I’m not sure that it’s the horrible deed so many people seem to be claiming it was.