‘Patriot Runner’ and The Banditing Controversy at Boston


Since the Boston Marathon, I have been receiving a steady stream of emails. Included in these were emails from runners that found photos of others using forged bibs when they logged into marathofoto.com to review their pictures.

I posted an article on Monday regarding bib forgeries that originally included a short story on the runner pictured below. He came to my attention through a couple of tips when runners noticed him in an article on Patriots.com. That article has since been removed.


The bib he was wearing was assigned to a different runner. He is not in the 2016 results. The bib was a fake.

The full bib # is 23145. He is the only runner showing in photos with that bib #. The real runner was registered, but did not run the race. There are 16 photos of  ‘Patriots Guy’, all of them within the last mile of the race.

He is adamant that he ran the entire race in the helmet. He boasted of completing 6 Boston Marathons on his public Instagram account. He unabashedly admits that he has started in the final wave each of the past 6 years and has run as a bandit. The tradition of banditing at Boston is long, but they have cracked down after the 2013 bombings.

Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave McGillivray, wrote this piece for Runner’s World prior to the 2014 race. He gives numerous examples of why banditing is an issue. I recommend everyone that considers banditing a race read the article.

Why Banditing is Wrong

This runner was in Boston for 2013. According to the runner and corroborated by the timing of the below photo, he was receiving his medal when the bombs went off. He is pictured carrying an American Flag, which he says he carried for the entirety of the race.

After my original post, and after the original Patriots.com article was taken down, the runner was trying to get a hold of me. He saw a Facebook post being critical of him and messaged numerous people in attempts to get in touch. (email would have worked fine)

I will not post the entire conversation. He did go so far as to offer to personally deliver the medals to me in a similar manner to what he posted on Instagram. (Since modified, and then removed)

Below is the part of our conversation where he reveals the issues he has with the BAA.He also put up a picture on Instagram (since removed) with photos of 3 of the people that criticized him. At least one was a runner that was in Boston last Monday. The people that are angered are not just ‘keyboard warriors’. They are runners. They respect the race. They respect that the B.A.A. owns the race and sets the rules as they feel appropriate.

He says that he runs for his city, not the BAA. He has an issue with the charity program.

According to this morning’s Boston Herald, $16 Million was raised through the charity program in 2016. The article also estimates that the race pumps $189 Million into the Boston economy. I think the BAA does quite well for the City of Boston.

I don’t doubt that he is passionate for his city, and I would have welcomed a civil conversation regarding the policy on banditing and the issues he has with the charity program. I offered the opportunity for him to make a formal statement, and he declined. The offer still stands.

Because people enjoyed watching him run in costume, it doesn’t make it OK. The spectators would have enjoyed watching him just as much if he were wearing a bib he earned by raising money for his community.
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  1. I ran for charity (Dana-Farber) in 2013. The fundraising minimums was $4000+ for most charities. So his facts are wrong on that front. Personally, I don't care if people bandit. But just don't make a phony bib or take a medal.

  2. So. He is making being a thief into self defined activism. It's pretty simple: Option 1: Run a qualifying time and pay the race entry fees. Option 2: Sign up to run for a designated charity, raise the money. There is not an option of forging a bib, running the race and enjoying the benefits because of your love of the city. Guy is a loser and a thief, plain and simple.

  3. Honestly guys, calm down. What harm has this guy caused you? Zero. There are far greater injustices happening every day, in every town/city/state in our country. Far greater causes to get spun up about.

  4. So much wrong with this person. Consider these two statements in the instagram post.

    "we do it because of the baa making crazy qualifying times and increasing
    the prices of charity bibs…"

    "the fact is you couldn't do what I do…"

    The real fact is that "patriot runner" can't do what the thousands of legitimate entrants do. He can't run fast enough to earn a qualifying spot, and he can't fundraise enough to earn a charity spot. He sees something he wants, thinks the price is too high, so he just takes it anyway.

    In the grand scheme of things, he doesn't harm anyone directly, and each additional bandit only makes things marginally worse for everyone else. But what I find galling is this guy's lack of shame and his claim that he deserves anything other than contempt for this. He brags about running the Boston Marathon without telling anyone that he couldn't get in legitimately. He runs for the attention, and then tries to say that the attention he gets makes his cause noble and shows that he's doing something "for the city." F this self-absorbed clown and anyone who defends him.

  5. I've seen that picture. That picture wasn't taken during the marathon. The photo with the flag on the site – according to the photographer was taken near the finish line shortly before the bombs went off. Not that I'm motivated to defend him – but I don't take that post as evidence that he didn't run 26.2 in 2013.

  6. That photo taken in Longwood Medical area in the Fenway, not on the marathon course. He's heading inbound and is about 1.5 miles from the finish. It's looks like April due to the blossoms and predates the bike lane that was put in later in 2013. Perhaps he went out and staged it for his twisted ego soon after the bombings.

  7. I think the point is that banditing is no longer ok with the BAA or most participants. Prior to the bombings bandits just took off after the last wave and local code dictated they didn't take a medal. Now bandits counterfeit bibs and enjoy the benefits of paid runners, including medals. The race has become security theater and unknown people on course with fake bibs adds to the overhead. Runners are now delayed loading the corrals with multiple security/bib checks and due to people like this we could possible endure longer delays if they get to the point where they have to scan everyone's bib chip.

  8. I believe he can't keep his lies straight. Here he states "I bandit the 2013 race too" but his recent Instagram pic says"when I ran from my front door down to the marathon finish line 16 miles away after the bombings in 2013 a stranger appreciated my #patriotism and #civicpride for the city of #boston searched me out and sent me this pic."

    It is not possible for both of these statements to be true. If he was banditing the race in 2013 he would have been on the race course, not in his home. It could be possible that he typically drives into town later in the day to jump into the last wave, in the last miles. In this scenario he would have been home when the bombs went off.

    He never would have gotten near the finish line. I was three blocks away when the bombs when off. It was a very confusing time. People who were not directly impacted were struggling to either find their way home, to their hotels, or find alternate lodging because most of Back Bay was quarantined off from the public. The last thing the city needed was people coming in from the suburbs to rubberneck.

  9. And yet you are not fighting those injustices. You're posting on a message board. Why aren't you getting spun up about those injustices?

  10. I saw this guy on the course somewhere in the Newton hills. I noticed him when he gave a bunch of grief to a tired runner in front of me who dropped the football when this "patriot runner" threw it at him. Everyone around me was in a white bib with a few red bibs who had fallen off pace, except him. This guy most definitely did not start in the back of the race over an hour behind wave 2 and run all 26.2 miles, unless he is faster than the elites… Also, same for 2013, he finished before the bombs, but started in the back of the race with the other bandits? Not buying it.

  11. He also ran like this in a 5k on his Instagram and…woops…no result for JACK there either! What a colossal tool.

  12. Precisely! My friends who were yellow bibs in 2013 did NOT finish. They were stopped either at mile 26 or shortly before that.

    Another witness say him jump in on the course in Newton, near the medical tent. I highly doubt he started… the volunteers are LOOKING at the bib and his bib had 2011 on it w/ a completely looking bib (the top portion of the bib was not like that for any of the bibs from red to blue).

  13. Most cheaters do it for external purposes… a HIGH desire for acceptance by strangers, seeking likes on social media, articles in the paper, etc. Cheaters lack a conscience between knowing right from wrong, ignore the rules, and have disregard for others who do follow rules and do right (psychopathic tendencies). Cheaters tend to be on the attack, rather than accountable. And since he's done this 6 times, he will probably continue such behavior until BAA has instilled a check-mark in to Athlete's Village and fully secured the course from course jumpers.

    Why fellow racers and Boston Marathoners are upset is because 1) they follow the rules and work their asses off not just to qualify, but to qualify FAST ENOUGH to get accepted 2) they spend 12 weeks of intense training to show up and slay the course 3) and spend thousands of dollars to make a dream come true traveling to Boston.

    If this cheater wants to run for his city, then pick a different race! Boston Marathon and it's legitimate racers do not respect such fools yearning for desperate attention and stealing (bibs, aid stations, medals, etc).

    PS The fake bib he was wearing this year said "2011" on it.

  14. What if I told you that you could get "spun up" about the greater injustices in the world and STILL be concerned about butthole race bandits?

    And if you don't care about race cheaters in the first place, the fuck you doing on this website? Go outside or something.

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