No Shortage of Bib Forgeries at Boston ’16


I have received a number of reports on Boston bib forgeries. I wrote one article on a runner that forged a charity bib of a runner that ran for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team.

I have since received additional reports. I have spoken to and messaged a few of the runners. They were all upset that someone would do this to gain entry. They all trained hard, and some of the runners raised money for charity to earn the right to run in Boston.

“New England Patriot” Runner Used Forged Bib

I have chosen to remove this portion of the story. The runner openly admits that he banditted the race. 

Greta Shomper’s Bib Copied by Two Runners

Greta contacted me Sunday night. 2 Different Runners besides Greta ran with her bib. She asked for my help in identifying the thieves. Greta’s story also was featured on CBS Boston. Boston Marathon Runners Furious Their Bibs Were Stolen.
Greta Shomper

Greta Imposter #1
Greta Imposter #2

And Another One…

Leslie Stelpflug emailed me on Saturday night asking for help. She checked her photos to find photos of a male runner wearing her bib #.

Not Leslie Stelpflug

Runner Recycles Old Bib to Run in 2016

When Cheryl Asselin checked her photos on she had 51 photos, about 2 times what most other runners had available. That is because half of them were another runner. 
After some investigation, she determined that the runner recycled her 2015 bib . 
Boston 2015
Boston 2016

Additionally, it was determined that she ran the 2014 marathon using a bib obtained from another runner. This runner has been identified. The information has been communicated to the BAA.

If anyone knows the unknown runners that copied Greta’s and Leslie’s bibs, please contact the BAA with the information. These runners stole a spot in the marathon. They got their medals, they utilized the volunteers, but they did not earn their spot, or pay for the privilege. 

Do not post names in the comments section – those posts will be removed. The best resolution is to identify them, and report them to the BAA.


  1. I'm curious — why no names and what's the BAA likely to do? I suppose if someone is wrongly named, that could be a big problem… The BAA, though — these people have no interest in entering the Boston Marathon legitimately, so a lifetime ban from entering legitimately isn't going to do anything.

  2. First of all, I don't know the names of most of these runners. I named the Patriots guy that made himself public. The one other runner has been identified and reported. I don't think posting her name adds anything to this story. I included that story mainly to show the method of using an old bib.

  3. I passed the Patriot guy somewhere before the Newton fire station… Not sure where he joined the race, but it was hard to miss him!

    Also, Greta's bib shows corral 7, whereas the imposters have corral 5…. Interesting.

  4. If someone wants to find the name of this runner it isn't hard, you just posted that she had that bid number (presumably legitimately) in 2015. She will be in the results.

  5. "imposters have corral 5…." Less chance of being seen in the same corral by the real owner but they didn't allow for other incriminating factors. It's the world of internet folks.

  6. You'll likely delete this, but what I love is an article talking about ethics, using photos that are obviously proofs with the copyright still on them.

  7. I just caught one in my official race photos on Boylston… overweight, overpronating walking SOB w/ an obvious fake bib…. he pinned the bottom half UP to hide the actual fake/re-used bib from some other race. Let me know if you want a copy of my photo. I have posted it on the BM and BAA fb pages.

  8. Greta was in my corral, legitimately corral 7 for bibs that start w/ "14"…. imposter #2 is running w/ a bunch of yellow bibs, probably an hour slower than white bibs….

  9. On the subject of banditing, it is my understanding that as recently as 1996, at the celebratory running of the 100th Boston Marathon, there was even a finisher's chute that was labeled "bandits" and that the BAA had a long history of winking at the practice, despite having an official policy against it. A friend of mine who ran that year told me about the bandit chute. I also was told by my sister, a non-runner and long time resident of Boston that banditing was a common practice among the locals. Back then, she told me "everybody does iit". It was another way to join the Patriot's Day celebration. I suspect there were some that jumped in for fun that were likely not even very well trained. I even recall that a certain presidential candidate claimed that he ran Boston but fact checkers could not find him in any results. It crossed my mind that perhaps he did run as a bandit, given the attitudes back then. All that has changed with the growth of Boston and all the other reasons for maintaining the prestige of the event. As it should be.

  10. I think the bombings changed everything. Having unregistered runners on the course is more of a security risk than anything else. While in the past bandits were an accepted part of the race, that is no longer the case. There was a day we could walk to the gate at the airport to see our family off on a trip or not have to take our shoes off at security, but we are living in a whole new world now.

  11. It's called "Fair Use". The proofs have watermarks to deter people from making their own copies to frame, rather than buying them from the photographer. If you don't mind the marks, it don't matter.

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