|Gia Alvarez – banned from all future B.A.A. events
According to popular blogger Gia Alvarez, (RUNgiaRUN) , she has been banned from running in all future BAA (Boston Athletic Association) races. Gia qualified for 2015 Boston marathon by running 3:32:50 at the Chicago marathon in 2013. She also qualified for Boston in 2014 (did not run) with a 3:32:40 time in the 2013 LA marathon. Gia was pregnant during Boston 2015 and could not run the race. She says she gave the bib to a friend. Her friend ran a time of 3:22:41 while wearing Gia’s bib.
The following excerpts are from her blog where she made this announcement. I left out the portions that got into her personal life to focus on the the points that are relevant, and why she was (deservedly) banned.
While she admits that she gave her bib away – she really had no choice. She publicly posted that she did not run the race in 2015. And she seems to be taking responsibility, but I am left with the impression that she still considers herself the victim in this. The comments that she has allowed on her blog are mostly supportive.
Gia I am so so sorry that this happened to you! It makes me mad that someone reported you. It’s not like you qualified for someone else! I don’t think what you did is wrong at all! It might have broken the rules, but with races like Boston being almost impossible for anyone to get into these days, I think it’s fair that you did that! I’ve run on other people’s bibs and I’ve given my bibs away. Who doesn’t?!
Oh Gia. I’m so so sorry. I can’t imagine the heartbreak over this and not being able to run Boston. You’re right – it’s doesn’t seem like a big deal at all and most of us have transferred a bib or been a recipient at one point in time. At the same time, I can’t believe someone reported you! Sending a big hug to you!
The tone of the comments are troubling – Not everyone swaps bibs. It is against the rules for a variety of reasons. When you sign up for a race, you need to abide by the rules – and that includes not giving or selling your bib to another runner. However I can almost empathize if someone who naively thought it was no big deal to give the bib to a friend finds themselves banned for no other reason. Gia was openly posting on her blog about NOT running Boston 2015 – so she was not initially trying to pass that result off as her own.
There is, however, one crucial piece of information that Gia left out of her blog article.
This is where Gia loses any benefit of the doubt. Gia knowingly and intentionally applied for a bib using a time that was not her own.
This is where Gia’s supporters should start to question her. Gia is not an innocent victim of a bib swap policy. She did not qualify to run Boston this year, and never should have entered.
Gia, the reason you are not running Boston this year, is because you did not qualify to run Boston this year. The reason that you will never run Boston is because you attempted to cheat to gain entry. This was not a ‘mistake’ and it will not be forgiven by the BAA.