“I Will Run Boston For You” Bib Buyer is Revealed

Runner advertising on Marathonguide.com to "accommodate any time" revealed identities of past years' bib sellers.

“I Will Run Boston For You”

I mentioned this classified in an article I posted about bibs wanted and bibs for sale from marathonguide and Craigslist. I responded to this ad posing as a potential buyer. I said that I was injured and unable to use my bib.

 

I quickly received a reply:

Hey, I’m sorry to hear about your injury! That’s devistating. I hope it’s something that you can heal from quickly. I would put you into contact wth the ppl I have run for in the past, but somehow I don’t think they want to be named. The last official marathon I ran in my own name was in 2014. I tend to do it just for myself at this point. What age group are you in and what time do you need to qualify.  If you are unsure we can meet up and discuss any and everything to make sure you are comfortable with me taking the bib. I’m open and honest and will def make it easy. I work in Boston so I can meet up quick. Let me know if you’d like to proceed or have more questions. Thanks, joe

 

 

 

After I asked for some proof that he was capable of running a BQ time, he still was protecting the identities of the other bib sellers. He provided a link to the last marathon he ran legitimately.  He ran Boston 2014 using a charity bib. He ran the race in 3:34:53.

I persisted in requesting some evidence that he has carried another runner’s bib and can run a Boston qualifying time (I said that I required a time under 3:10:00). He was unable to find his bib for 2016, but eventually sent me this photo of a bib from The 2015 Boston Marathon.

 

He didn’t want to name the runner – but this was even better. Evidence that he physically had the bib. The time for this runner was 3:22:51 – not a Boston Qualifying time. I didn’t expect to find photos – surely he was hiding the bib. But, I was incorrect. There were plenty of photos of Joe unashamedly wearing bib # 676.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bib was registered to a runner named Anthony. I decided to check Anthony’s race history. He ran the 2014 Boston Marathon in 4:49:04. Here’s the photo of “Anthony” from 2014.

 

Turns out Anthony ran qualifying times for Boston 2014 and 2015 during two different races in 2013. Anthony sold his bib to the woman pictured above for 2014 and to Joseph for 2015. The identity of the buyer pictured above is unknown.

Joseph was advertising to run Boston based on his ability to run a qualifying time. So far, I had not seen evidence of this ability, so I insisted that he give me the information for 2016. He had thought he ran just under 3:10:00. After some back and forth, he gave me the first name of the runner . He didn’t want to give the full name. But he gave me the first name and age of the runner. Only, the information didn’t match up. The only runner that fit the criteria ran her own race. He thought he may be confused on the last name.

I asked him for more details, here was his response:

Def not a charity bib. Second wave, I can’t remember coral position. I won’t be in the photos as I was covering it due to running for a woman and didn’t want her to stand out in the pics.

 

 

So I went about checking all the runners with the first name he gave me that weren’t running with charity bibs. Finally I came across this runner –  not with a time of 3:10:00, but with a time closer to 4:00:00. He confirmed that this is him in the photos. Obviously he didn’t cover her bib as he claimed.

 

 

Yup, that’s me! I must have shaved for the next marathon. Which would have been a couple months later. Wtf! I apologize for being thick-headed. That also means my 3:10 was at the next one as well. I suck! I’m sorry I didn’t even realize that.

 

 

 

 

The 2015 Bib Seller

I reached out to the runner that sold the bib to Joe for Boston ’16.  She did say her intent in selling to this runner was not to qualify for The 2017 Boston Marathon. Her intent, she says was primarily to recoup the cost of the bib and not have her bib go to waste.  She was unable to tun due to injury.  I don’t feel that excuses the behavior. There are reasons the rules on banditing and unauthorized bib transfers are in place.
Boston R.D. Dave McGillvrey  wrote this Runner’s World article about banditing. His last two points apply equally to bib buying and selling as they do to bandits.

  • Most importantly, we don’t know who these people are so they can pose a security risk, especially with the heightened security measures at road races.
  • And, by the way, it just isn’t fair for all those who earned the right to be there who have trained hard, entered on time, and who may have raised a lot of money for a worthwhile cause. These bandits didn’t officially enter and they didn’t pay the entry fee like everyone else did. The race cost money to pay for all these services, including police along the course to secure the roads so the runners can run on them, provide port-o-johns and medical supplies and the list goes on and on. Bandits didn’t pay for any of this.

 

 

While I am not naming her here, I will make the B.A.A. aware of everyone involved. It is up to them to make a decision on what actions to take.
Joseph or ‘J’ as he posted in his classified, first came to my attention after he advertised last year. His story was included in a Runner’s World article about my efforts to identify Boston cheaters. It would seem that he advertises the ability to run BQ times to lower the price he pays. Despite his claims of being able to run any time needed, he has yet to achieve a documented Boston Qualifying time for himself or anyone else while running Boston.

 

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Categories
Bib Selling
9 Comments on this post.

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  • Amber
    3 April 2017 at 9:36 am

    Did anyone else find the irony when he referred to himself as “honest”?

    Leave a Reply
  • Art
    3 April 2017 at 10:51 am

    Personally, I find the 2015 bib seller worse than “J”. If she only entered Boston to get a bib to sell (even if she qualified), then she denied someone else, a “fringe qualifier” if you will, a shot at entry because they just missed the cutoff time. If she needs the money that badly, she should get a job and earn it. Her elitist attitude because she is one of the “good runners” in the “Boston running community” and she knows “Dave McGillvrey personally” makes me ill. One would think that a Boston local would have more respect for the race than she does, but one would be wrong! It’s funny how she can be so adamantly opposed to one form of cheating at Boston (bib “selling to qualify yourself”) and be totally OK with another form of cheating (selling your Boston bib). When did selective morality become a “thing”? SMH

    Leave a Reply
  • marty king
    3 April 2017 at 11:47 am

    “Birds of Feather flock together”……The thought that people in her “Boston running community” don’t have a problem selling a Bib shouts from the roof-tops that all of them have a problem with ethics and sports. Getting to Boston is a dream for a few dedicated runners, to qualify by honestly running a qualifying time is to be celebrated, knowing that people are using “short-cuts” diminishes the reputation of the BAA and the history of Boston….and I am sure Boston Strong agrees with me!

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  • ivo biancucci
    3 April 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Wasn’t running Boston on your own merits something every runner thought about at one time or another? Just like a peewee hockey player thinking about scoring the winning goal for the Stanley Cup? Having these bib mules is totally wrong do think the the person being the mule and the person they are running for should be disqualified from ever running Boston or a BQ qualifying race. I ran Buffalo my first Marathon in 6:14:30 damn proud of every minute and second it took me to finish.

    ivo

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  • Frank
    3 April 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Please, Please give Dave McGillvrey her name: What an ass she is! (and a liar based on the ad she responded to) The arrogance is astounding and I would be disappointed to find out that this is truly the sentiments of the “Boston Running Community.” Maybe one in the “community,” I suspect.

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  • Jenn
    4 April 2017 at 1:12 am

    I believe that the qualified runner should be able to contact Boston and have the bib transferred to someone running fur a good cause in last minute injury pullouts
    I’m hoping to do this since I just got injured and found a man w brain cancer that missed wild by 39 seconds because this year the times were so fast
    Every circumstance is different but I would go mine legit

    Leave a Reply
    • Jay
      4 April 2017 at 11:42 am

      What you believe Jenn is meaningless. Follow the rules of the race or don’t enter the race.

      Leave a Reply
    • J
      4 April 2017 at 3:58 pm

      That sounds great in theory, but creates so many loopholes, and won’t really solve any issues. Firstly, what’s the criteria for “running for a good cause.” Do potential bib buyers have to submit an essay to the BAA to determine who has the biggest sob story. This also doesn’t free up spots for “almost made it” runners. For example, I only plan on running Boston once. However after that, if I’m allowed to sell or transfer my bib to a friend, I will most definitely register with any subsequent BQs I get. This will just lead to harder qualifying standards as everyone who has a BQ, but doesn’t plan to run it, will do the same. So instead of 2 minutes under the standard, you’ll have to run 15 minutes faster. Just buy registration insurance if getting injured is a big concern of yours; It will cover your travel expenses too. I can see a case being made for being able to donate your spot, not your bib/corral, to a charity runner who has raised enough money. I think it just comes down to people accepting that running Boston isn’t for everyone. Ironically, if they did away with the qualifying standard, interest in running it would drop dramatically.

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      • Ray
        5 April 2017 at 11:52 am

        “Ironically, if they did away with the qualifying standard, interest in running it would drop dramatically.”

        It would probably drop dramatically among “people who are obnoxious enough to wear their Boston jacket around town 365 days a year and who tell everyone within earshot that they ran Boston” but would probably increase dramatically among “people who want to run a historic marathon without being around the first group of people”.

        See also: interest in NYC, London, Berlin, Chicago

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