Boston Bib Copying Traced To Marathon Sponsor and Local Charity

Reebok Employees Ran With Copied Charity Bibs in The 2016 and 2017 Boston Marathons

More information is now available regarding the article posted on Monday regarding the group or runners that ran with copied bibs. I have information going back to 2016 regarding some of the same runners that either ran with copied bibs or had their bibs copied.

I cannot say with certainty what the level of involvement is for those whose bibs were copied. It does appear through connections on Social Media and running photos that all of these runners are at the very least loosely associated with each other. In a couple cases runners posted bibs on Social media and their bibs were copied. ALL of the runners in this article whose bibs were copied are linked through Facebook. At least two of the runners whose bibs were copied are seen directly associating with runners wearing copied bibs. So it would seem that at least SOME of those whose bibs were copied may have been involved in this less than innocently.

Everyone that has been identified is being reported to the B.A.A.

The 2016 Boston Marathon

 

 

Looking at just 2016, you have a total of 7 runners that are involved in this bib copying scheme. You have the 3 original bib owners and 4 runners that ran with the copied versions.

Mark Porter and Sean Campbell were removed from the 2016 Boston results. I downloaded the 2016 results immediately following the race, and there is nothing suspicious about their times. The only conclusion I can come to is that they were disqualified for the copying of bibs. I have reached out to the B.A.A. to see if they could proved clarification to the rule. Specifically I asked if anyone would be automatically disqualified for someone using a copy of their bib, or if they would only be disqualified if the B.A.A. believes that they are involved. With Photoshop, etc..it would be entirely possible for someone to generate a fake bib without ever having access to the original.

The official BAA policy reads as follows:

“The B.A.A. asks participants not to post close-up pictures of their bib number on social media before the race to avoid fraudulent bib duplication. If an athlete is found to have duplicated a bib number, or if his/her bib number has been duplicated by another party, the athlete will be subject to disqualification.”

If the B.A.A. enforces this strictly, it means anyone that posts their bib on social media prior to the race could be disqualified. I do not know the particular circumstances related to these 2 runners for 2016. As you will see below, there were also issues regarding their bibs in 2017.

 

The 2017 Boston Marathon

I originally wrote about these runners on Monday.  Since then, the bib #s of the first girl and the male runner have been identified. You may also recognize the runner with bib # 26404  as the individual that ran with Sean Campbell’s copied bib in 2016. There is more that links these runners to those whose bibs were copied in 2016. See the below chart.

 

 

 

What is as of yet unknown is how the bibs were copied. Sean and Matthew did post their bibs on Facebook prior to the race.  Sean was also removed from the 2016 Boston results. If he was indeed removed due to bib copying, why would he post a copy of his bib online?

The runners whose bibs were copied are all connected via Facebook. Through these connections, they are also connected to the same charity. The charity is not an official B.A.A. charity partner, but the charity seems to be a common point of contact that ties these people together.

 

 

All the runners above (photo from 2016 Boston Marathon) are wearing “Battle At The Bay” shirts. This is an event associated with a local Boston cancer charity. Mark Porter is running with Kevin and Katie. It should be known that Mark is a cancer survivor and it is reported that he has raised over $500,000 for the fight against cancer. This photo is provided to show the link between those whose bibs were copied and those that received the copied bibs.

Mark and Sean (The disqualified runners from 2016) are both listed as contacts on The Battle At The Bay Facebook page.

I cannot determine exactly which runner or runners are responsible for copying of the bibs. What I do know is that all of those whose bibs were copied are connected directly to Facebook and there is some connection between the runners who received the copied bibs as shown in the above photo. Additionally I was able to find the following to photos posted by the bib owners prior to the race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do find it interesting that a year after being disqualified (presumably for his bib being copied), that Sean posted his bib prior to the race. I would have believed that the B.A.A. would have notified him as to why his result was removed after 2016. But, I don’t have specific details regarding that particular situation.

Reebok

The runners pictured above all work for Reebok. One is a Director, and another is a Sr. Manager. Reebok is owned by Adidas. Adidas is the official footwear and apparel sponsor for The Boston Marathon. The 3 females above (Monica, Lindsay and Kim) all had copied bibs, and Kevin has the bib belonging to Mark Porter. In 2016 Kevin ran with a copied bib, and was accompanied by Mark in all of the photos. Katie, who was seen in the pictures with Kevin and Mark in 2016 is a former Reebok employee.

Concluding Thoughts

I reached out to a number of the parties identified in this article. Last Sunday I reached out to Monica, Lindsay and Kim via Facebook messenger. I know that sometimes those messages get missed, or go unseen for a long period of time. But none of them replied, and Monica and Lindsay blocked me from their social media .

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I reached out to most of the runners whose bibs were copied in the same way. Again, I received no reply. I also sent a message directly to the charity. I can see they read the message – but so far they have not replied.

I want to make clear, that I can see that the Battle at The Bay and The Fighting Chance Foundation do great work. I was hoping to have a clear picture of how these bibs got copied in 2016 and 2017 prior to posting this update so that the focus could be on the correct individuals. I tried to lay out the facts as objectively as possible, and hope that the whole truth comes out in regards to all of those involved in this bib copying scheme.

As far as naming the individuals: I felt I needed to report this story. The runners whose bibs were copied were going to be identifiable to anyone. I didn’t feel I could report on this clearly without using the bib #s and the photos. I felt that it would not be appropriate to have those whose bibs were copied public (I don’t know which of those runners were aware of the copying with 100% certainty) while protecting the runners that actually used those bibs to run a race for which they didn’t legitimately enter.

 

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Categories
Bib CopyingBib Forgery
110 Comments on this post.
  • PJ
    4 May 2017 at 11:02 am

    Great work! Thanks for the follow-up!

  • Melissa Marowelli
    4 May 2017 at 11:40 am

    Blocking you is pretty much a huge indicator of guilt. If you didn’t do anything wrong, why would you feel the need to block. Glad you outed these bib copiers.

  • Sara
    4 May 2017 at 11:50 am

    Is there some way that BAA could put a hologram or foil or a watermark like some currency has to avoid being copied?

    • Anya
      4 May 2017 at 1:27 pm

      I know the Peachtree Road Race has done this for years, you’d think the Boston Athletic Association could do it too

  • Rob
    4 May 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I guess this is the sort of thing you do when you have too much time on your hands? Bib forgery is seemingly being equated (judging from your virtual manhunt and relentless pursuit, which also indicates the lack of real contribution you make to society through meaningful work) to that whole bombing thing that happened…find a hobby dude.

    • Robert F
      4 May 2017 at 2:26 pm

      How would you feel if you trained hard to qualify/run the marathon and your bib was copied and used by others?

      • Rob
        5 May 2017 at 12:54 pm

        I’d feel great after finishing the run…not sure that the bib copiers did anything to impeded those that trained unless there is evidence otherwise.

        • Kim Keisler
          5 May 2017 at 1:39 pm

          No, they did not impede anyone else’s race. But they are thieves. Period. There is a price for admission to run this race: earn it or raise $ for charity. They did neither. I’m sure they are regretting this decision because THIS price, being outed on social media, is certainly higher than any race fee.

    • TL
      4 May 2017 at 2:28 pm

      He does have a hobby – identifying liars/cheaters that lie/cheat their way into and through races such as the Boston Marathon. It’s interesting that you would attack Derek, as you are certainly in the minority. And to reference “that whole bombing thing” is amazingly insensitive and shows what little substance there is behind your comment.

      • Rob
        5 May 2017 at 1:12 pm

        I’m referencing a true crime, copying a bib pales in comparison…seems you missed the point which doesn’t surprise me. And of course I’m in the minority if you’re using this group as the sample, I have common sense.

        • Ben
          5 May 2017 at 3:23 pm

          Oh, I forgot that because there are “true crimes” taking place we shouldn’t bother looking at the smaller ones. That must be why we don’t prosecute people for shoplifting when there are crimes like arson and murder being committed.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theft_of_services

        • Anya
          5 May 2017 at 6:23 pm

          Bro, we pay taxes to pay law enforcement, district attorneys, judges, and other agencies to investigate true crimes. The fact that you so vehemently identify with fraud and theft, says all anyone needs to know about your trolling. Must hit too close to home, others being outed as people of questionable to low morals. That’s up to you to change, marathon investigation can’t help you if you feel a certain way reading about people being outed 💁🏼

        • Show Me the Money
          8 May 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Rob, you must be the life of every party you attend!

    • Show Me the Money
      4 May 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Rob you’re a fool. While Derek didn’t start this to do a free service, his real motive is to get paid by the BAA to find cheats, he does provide a great service to the running community!

      • Anya
        5 May 2017 at 6:27 pm

        That guy is a cheater at something obviously, because someone who truly DGAF about “wasting time reading about non important investigations” moves TF on. People who stick around and play this game he’s playing, have a vested interest in shutting this down, or they get off wasting time on something they don’t care about and also arguing with people who are total strangers online. Either way, Rob sure sounds like a great time…

    • Albert Shank
      4 May 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Um…DERP that IS his hobby. Bonehead.

      • Rob
        5 May 2017 at 1:03 pm

        sweet hobby…maybe he can graduate to mall security one day or even better call out the elderly at retirement communities for calling out bingo when they didn’t win, sky’s the limit folks 🙂

        • Anya
          5 May 2017 at 6:31 pm

          Much witty, so fun. You need to move on, you don’t think this venture is fruitful, and your opinion is important to exactly you in this instance, so do the healthy thing and move on. Try focusing on something you do care about, whatever that may be. We get it, you want this site shut down for your reasons, channel this energy for censoring speech of marathon investigation into something else.

          • Rob
            5 May 2017 at 6:38 pm

            So you’re saying my energy is wasted here? Seems like that’s the point of my argument regarding this site….I don’t see anyone else giving up.

    • Sue
      4 May 2017 at 3:52 pm

      People bust their buts to qualify for or raise thousands of dollars to get a bib….much respect to those that do to copy and run is classless and disrespectful to everyone that did it the right way…. would it be ok if random people jumped into the Olympic pool because they could swim too??? No you train you get picked and you compete!!! There are consequences for those that don’t and public humiliation is part of it… if no one mentioned that the rules were broken how could things get fixed?

      • Rob
        5 May 2017 at 1:06 pm

        olympics and a marathon for basically anyone that has money to donate is like a comparison between apples and oranges, I’ll give you another shot to think up a better argument sweetie

        • Kim Keisler
          5 May 2017 at 1:51 pm

          I’ll give it a shot. You pay for admission into a movie theatre. You pay for admission into an amusement park. You pay for admission into a concert. You pay for admission into a race. Does it physically hurt other attendees to these events when someone sneaks in? No. But doesn’t make it right. They did not pay for the services provided by the race. They stole them. That makes them theives and should be labeled and treated as such. Your turn, Sweetie 🙂

          • Rob
            5 May 2017 at 6:43 pm

            Kim you have a higher IQ than most on this site, congrats. But based on your logic I expect to see you put up a website dedicated to blasting those nasty teenagers that sneak into movies and theme parks, hope to see you on patrol this weekend at the local theater 🙂

        • JimmyJo
          23 May 2017 at 3:25 pm

          Rob,
          Doesnt surprise me that somebody from the Boston area is sticking up for cheating … Big Papi, Brady, Belichek, Manny, and maybe we can add Rob to this list when he fesses up

    • Nicole
      4 May 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Rob, why are you even here?

    • Tim.
      4 May 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Let me guess: “Rob” is either Monica, Lindsay, Kim or or Kevin or one of their “friends” Hey, Rob? tough guy. Post your real name.

    • Sassy
      4 May 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Only one equating this to the bombing is *you*. Funny how that works. P.S. Sounds like *you* have too much time on your hands. What have *you* done that is meaningful, other than take potshots as those who do?

    • FT
      4 May 2017 at 6:27 pm

      @Rob. You think this is all a waste of time and yet you read the article and take the time to post a comment. I think you may be confused….

      • Rob
        5 May 2017 at 1:09 pm

        its a very one sided site, just playing devil’s advocate my friend…not nearly as confused as most of those commenting, which might I add, probably didn’t run or donate to the marathon. It sounds like the pot calling the kettle black…and just because you didn’t run doesn’t mean you can’t donate if you feel so strongly about giving back.

        • Ross woodward
          9 May 2017 at 5:16 pm

          Rob,

          These guys are stealing from the Boston Marathon, which is itself a Non-Profit that supports charities in the local area to Boston. The cinema or theme park analogy doesn’t really have that, unless your cinema operator is a charity supporting local communities.

          The fact that some of them work for the sponsor is frankly appalling and they should all be sackedif Reebok has anything about them.

          • Rob
            11 May 2017 at 11:19 am

            So you’re saying by running in public streets, they should be fired from their jobs? The fact that their employer is a sponsor and probably donates more than any single donor should actually give their employees the option to participate in the race if you ask me. Example being…my employer spends a certain amount of money with a particular venue/charity/brand/etc. and my fellow employees are granted certain perks with those venues/charities/brands/etc. I would think the right play would be to persuade more employees from these big companies to participate, all be it by the proper means…but perhaps at a discounted rate. Sounds like win / win to me.

          • JimmyJo
            23 May 2017 at 3:26 pm

            They should be fired from their jobs because they circumvented rules while representing their company.

    • Debbie Pearson
      4 May 2017 at 9:51 pm

      You are obviously not a runner.

    • Ann
      8 May 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hey there Rob. I sure hope one of these individuals who forged a bib never has a medical emergency while running the Boston Marathon. EMS/Fire/Race Volunteers should not have to play Clue in order to properly identify a runner because he or she is cheater. Never mind the whole unethical/cheating part of it, but it’s things like that which make the acts of forgery or bib banditing so bad. Since you brought up the bombing in your original comment, imagine the ensuing chaos during a tragedy like that and how much that multiplies when victims are misidentified or cannot be identified because of bib forgery.

      • Rob
        10 May 2017 at 11:43 am

        This might be the worst argument i’ve read to date regarding the incident. I’m sure in the real world accident victims of any kind are labeled w/ name and birthdate for EMS and first responders right? Try again.

  • Printer
    4 May 2017 at 12:05 pm

    B.A.A. needs to add bib number matching wrist bands at check in. No entry to the athlete’s village on race day or a finisher medal without one.

    • AndrewFS
      4 May 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Wouldn’t these also be easy to fake?

      • Craig
        4 May 2017 at 12:22 pm

        Not if it’s chipped.

      • Anya
        4 May 2017 at 1:30 pm

        They do this for Ironman races, and I know the mere fact of the gear involved negates bib copying, but I’m pretty sure it also negates bib transfers. They differ year to year, the bracelets, by font/color/etc. BAA should probably think about the WTC (or whoever owns ironman now) model for prevention of fraud and theft.

        • AndrewFS
          5 May 2017 at 7:11 am

          Do any ironman races get close to the number of participants are the major marathons like Boston?

          I’m not trying to be negative, it would be great if a simple solution can stop those with fake bibs lining up on the start line, but I’m a little sceptical that a wrist band will work. In my experience, getting into corrals at the start of a busy race is a huge logistical operation already for organisers – who barely have time to effectively check that people are lining up in the correct corrals based on their timing. An additional verification check for volunteers may just not be feasible.

          • Printer
            5 May 2017 at 10:02 am

            I’m not saying that adding a matching # wrist band is foolproof, but it does add another hoop for the miscreants to jump thru. if I was the BAA, I would add the number matching wrist band and instruct the volunteers at the athlete’s village (start) and medal tables (finish) to make people show their wrist band. The volunteers don’t have to look at it closely unless there is reason to doubt the integrity of the athlete.

  • Urban B
    4 May 2017 at 12:10 pm

    It seems that an event as big as this could add a bit more design interest and variation from year to year, making it more secure, and a better souvenir to boot.

  • AG
    4 May 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Great work Derek! I would be interested in a statement from Reebok. A company that sponsors Spartan and Ragnar races and talks about community and ‘We are better together’ should in my mind hold their employees to higher standards when it comes to fairness. Copying bibs is not an accident and hurts the whole community and can’t be in the spirit of a great brand like Reebok.

  • Grumpy
    4 May 2017 at 1:10 pm

    LOL – – now the matching shoes make sense! All ultimately employees of a race sponsor? Wow.

  • Anya
    4 May 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I legit cannot even keep this sh*t straight. It is mind boggling the lengths these lowlifes will go to. I cannot help but hope that they get some serious repercussions for their behavior by their employers. Why is this type of straight up fraud and theft just laughed off by these people. It is fraud and theft. They deserve the shame and much more

  • Robert F
    4 May 2017 at 2:01 pm

    We don’t know the whole story. It could be that the runners paid the charity for the bibs and presumed they were legit, or that there were duped in some other way. Derek continues to do his due diligence and uncover the story. Those of us who merely comment should not make conclusions until the entire story is revealed.

    • kescia
      4 May 2017 at 3:58 pm

      People will continue to speculate as long as the contacted individuals and entities involved refuse to speak in their own defense.

    • Sassy
      4 May 2017 at 4:26 pm

      The fact that they blocked him on social media seems to me like they knew what was what. If you innocently ran this, wouldn’t your reaction be more like “I had no idea; they told me it was real” rather than that?

    • Bill B
      4 May 2017 at 11:16 pm

      How unlucky can you get? Tricked into running with a fake bib 2 years in a row.

      • Robert F
        7 May 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Yeah, you got me there!

  • jahl
    4 May 2017 at 3:45 pm

    It appears Battle at the Bay’s Twitter and Facebook pages have both been taken down.

    • Duane Douglas
      4 May 2017 at 5:38 pm

      There are many fake charities out there.
      Derek, by whom is it reported that “Mark is a cancer survivor and it is reported that he has raised over $500,000 for the fight against cancer…”

      Charity Navigator is a 501c3 that exists to audit charities to verify them as legitimate charities and to rate them for effectiveness and faithful use of donor dollars.
      We hear in the news here about some “charities” that were fraudulent from inception. SO if someone is willing to cheat their way into something with as little lasting value as the Boston Marathon, what does that say about other aspects of their integrity?

  • Tim.
    4 May 2017 at 4:26 pm

    It’s clear the BAA needs to contact Adidas and Reebok immediately. I guess the pressure from the running community and the words boycott may influence them to take action.

  • Anne
    4 May 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I must admit that when first coming across this website I really liked it and I totally agree that organizations are not doing enough against cheaters or verification of race results.
    This work is certainly highly appreciated and i thought of donating.
    But honetly: the lack of commensurability by publishing names and having people pilloried really annoys me. Yes, cheating and bib forgery is wrong and should be reported (in this case to the BAA). It would then be their decision to take action or demand compensation. Deliberately creating shitstorms against the involved people serves what purpose? I can easely imagine how this negatively influences their lives more than appropriate. How would you like if someone could read all your mistakes by googeling your name?
    As much as I appreciate the work by this site and agree that cheating must have consequences, i really do not like how these things are handeled.

    • TL
      4 May 2017 at 8:36 pm

      These people aren’t making mistakes. They are intentionally cheating their way into the Boston Marathon and know exactly what they are doing. On top of that, they are basking in the glory of being Boston Marathon runners by taking medals and putting themselves on social media. They are shining the light on themselves. As far as I’m concerned they are reaping what they’ve sown.

      And how is this negatively influencing their lives more than what would be appropriate? The information is on this blog site and there are a few dozen comments. If there is a reaction beyond that, then it is merely a natural reaction to their cheating coming to light.

      • Anne
        5 May 2017 at 5:09 am

        I perfectly agree that if somebody publicly claims an achievement that they never earned it is perfectly fine to prove them wrong publicly. Like (probably) the guy from Germany did. Who is by the way still in the results.
        However, what happens then: their claims may be removed, results are corrected, they get banned from the race, people who thought they were true know the truth and maybe some other consequences happen. Totally agreed and maybe they even apologize.
        But should in the future really anybody googleing their name (even those they never claimed their fake achievement to) find out about it? I don’t think so and at some point even they should have the opportunity to carry on.

        Also, this report here is about bib copying.

        • TL
          5 May 2017 at 8:35 am

          I hear what you’re saying, but bib copying, bib muling, course cutting, etc. – it’s all cheating and lying and there should be consequences. Also, Derek in most, if not all, cases initially does not name names and blurs out bib numbers to protect the identity of the offenders. If he contacts them and they continue to deny the plain truth, then a full report might come out as in this case. The extent of the consequences are debatable, but there should be consequences. And in cases like this, the cover-up is worse than the offense.

        • j
          5 May 2017 at 1:41 pm

          That’s something to take up with Google. Let’s say I get a DWI and it’s in the local paper. It will probably come up whenever someone Googles my name. I don’t see how this is ay different. It’s not about shaming, it’s about dissuading others from trying this in the future. I don’t really care about bib forgers either way, but they do put an undue burden on race directors and staff.

      • Anne
        5 May 2017 at 5:24 am

        By the way: I recently ran one of the biggest half marathons and ended up in the top 100 and top 10 of age group. The winner of my age group missed both the 10 and 15 km split and the pacing was plainly impossible. I reported her to the race officials and from their reply it seems pretty obvious that there are no automatic checks of the results in place. However, they replied that they verified it and disqualified her. Some days later, i found out that I had actually moved up 3 places. So much for the amount of cheating probably going on…
        So, saying it again: I really appreciate the work done by this site, but disagree with the things mentioned in my other comments.

    • kescia
      5 May 2017 at 4:05 pm

      If you don’t flaunt your “mistakes” on social media there’d be nothing to google. Sorry, I just don’t have a problem with shaming people who should be ashamed.

    • Clax
      6 May 2017 at 10:24 pm

      I agree with you 100%, Anne. I find bib copying disrespectful, but I am not comfortable with Derek revealing names and places of employment. They should be banned from future races, sure, but I’d hate to think that someone could get fired for this.

    • Rob
      10 May 2017 at 11:48 am

      Finally someone with a level head…people will lose their jobs over what this website is doing, families will be put through unnecessary stress, etc. Call them out, ban them from competing in the future in any associated events and move on. The most laughable part is Derek thinks these people should be answering to him?!? I hope everyone bashing here is either a charity worker, nun, priest, or monk otherwise throwing stones is asking for trouble, Karma sucks.

  • Frederick Cross
    4 May 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Because Reebock and Addidas condone cheating, I pledge not to purchase their shoes or merchandise. I ask all honest runners take the same pledge.

  • Anne
    4 May 2017 at 5:37 pm

    @Frederick: very funny. That makes as much sense as saying that honest runners should not run Boston because people have cheated there and got away with it.
    But following the same logic as in your post they should not run it anyway as it is sponsored by companies that condone cheating.

  • Debbie Pearson
    4 May 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Have you contacted Reebok in regards of their employees using the copied bibs? With Adidas being the sponsor of the race, I think they should know about it.

  • mark porter
    5 May 2017 at 9:23 am

    Derek, I would like to address your article yesterday about our marathon experience. Did I copy a marathon number? YES. Did I do it to cheat or to hurt anybody? NO! What I did was the following;

    I am an 11 year cancer survivor who had decided, with the help of friends, to help those less fortunate than ourselves. With those same friends we have raised in excess of $500K for families and their needs during this battle of their lives. The first $300k was for two local hospitals here in Massachusetts, and then seeing the direct need in the family life of those fighting cancer, we started our own charity to help families in their darkest hours with non medical expenses such as; rent, mortgage, car payments, child care, car repair and other essentials things that don’t just stop happening when you are battling cancer. I myself have been there and I know what it feels like, it’s a horrible time.

    Having said that, last year we had the fortune to meet a young man, Christian, who was 13 years old and battling Stage 4 cancer himself. We had a 50/50 raffle at our charity event in which we raised $3.5k. We went to see this young boy after one of his final chemotherapy treatments in order to give him and his mother the donation from this raffle. I asked a few friends from to come so he could see who and what total strangers were doing to help his fight. It was a very emotional experience where a lot of tears were shed and it was also three days before the 2016 marathon. After meeting Christian and seeing his strength, “the cheats” you have called into question, expressed the desire to run the marathon in honor of this amazingly brave 13 year old warrior. He never had time to train for chemotherapy, so they said that they shouldn’t have time to train for a marathon. To help them honor Christian, I made a copy of my number and we ran the race alongside each other for Christian. After the race, we cheats, again visited this young man and presented him with the 2016 Marathon medal. Christian was smiling, happy and was very thrilled with the medal we gave him. This was one of the greatest feelings we have ever had.

    July 2016, Christian’s cancer relapsed and he passed in August of 2016. As you can imagine, it was an emotional experience for all involved.

    At this year’s charity event we honored his memory by sponsoring the event in his memory. With his family in attendance, it was an emotional experience and his mother spoke to what impact we, the cheats, had while he was battling cancer. As I’m sure you can understand, we have become close to the family again it was an emotional experience for everyone involved. We all wanted to run the race in his honor and again, race number were made so that we could do our part in bringing some joy to the heart of a mother who has just lost her son and to honor our friend Christian. Having complete strangers remember him in this way was way more important than copying a marathon number. None of these two episodes were planned. They were decided in a tearful, emotional moment which may seem wrong to some people but to me was the right choice. This is not some elaborate scheme to cheat anyone or anything. We ran because a young boy’s strength inspired us.

    Derek, the wrong thing done for the right reason is sometimes acceptable.

    I do understand that you wrote your article for the right reason but what the article has done is hurt both the integrity of our charity and our ability to help families in their darkest hour.

    Those names you have called out as “cheats” are people that are trying to help impact lives positively. They are not in this for themselves, nor are they in this for financial gain. They are trying to help those in need, not cheat, as you have classified them. What we have done was outside of the rules, yes. We helped a family in need and will continue with this work, but most importantly, we made a little boy’s life a bit brighter before he passed. For this, we are quite PROUD!

    • AndrewFS
      5 May 2017 at 9:50 am

      Mark,

      You should not be proud. Here is why:

      In forging bibs in multiple years, you have stolen from the event organisers and from the legitimate event participants. It’s fair to assume that during your illegal entries to the Boston marathon, you have consumed some of the food and drink, as well as taking up space and volunteers time, which was earmarked for those who paid their entry. You have then capped this by taking a medal.

      Do you think you are the only person who runs for a worthwhile cause, or knows of personal tragedy? What if everyone who has a relative battling a horrible disease was to do what you do? Major events would be swamped with illegal entries.

      Your reasoning betrays a certain arrogance on your part – you think your cause is more worthwhile than anyone else’s, and that the rules ought not to apply because you have decided it is so. Holding events like the world marathon majors are a huge undertaking, requiring meticulous planning, and people with your attitude jeopardise the smooth running of these events.

      I know people who have arrived at water stations/ feed stations and even the finish line to find there were not enough items left for them – people like you contribute to this problem.

      You should not be proud, your acts tarnish the good work the charities do which you are associated with.

      Signed – a legitimate marathon runner who feels he should pay for events.

      • derek murphy
        5 May 2017 at 9:57 am

        This is a tricky topic. And I struggled with the article when I saw the charity connection. Yes, they can be proud for helping families. No I don’t think copying the bibs so others could join them was the way to do that. I will attempt to address all of this in my follow up article planned for early next week.

        • Tom
          5 May 2017 at 4:12 pm

          Nothing tricky about this, he’s using some kid’s tragic situation as an excuse to justify forging entries. The Boston Marathon has appropriate channels for legitimate charities, and they make a tremendous number of official exceptions for a variety of local-interest communities and causes. All of those would have involved work, honesty, integrity, and possibly a little money. Copying a bib does nothing to honor anybody, but it is self-serving. As a legit qualified runner in the race who had a terrible day out there I don’t actually care one way or the other about people running the race illegally, but trying to claim it was somehow honorable or in any way a shade of gray is absurd.

          • Anya
            5 May 2017 at 6:55 pm

            EXACTLY!!! His cavalier attitude is disgusting. I can only imply that he wouldn’t raise or donate money if not running the marathon. Why do you have to cheat the do good work? Why is this justified in his mind? Mark Porter, any reputation tarnished to your charity is the direct result of your perpetuated fraud, so that’s the price you charged the families who would benefit from your charity. If you truly cared about integrity, which is all a charity has gong for it, you wouldn’t have acted shady and with low integrity in fraudulently running these races. Don’t gaslight us into saying your charity was disparaged because we found out about your fraud you committed in the name of said charity

      • AKET827
        5 May 2017 at 10:10 am

        Well said, AndrewFS. Thank you.

        My sweet and wonderful grandmother died from a very long and painful bout with cancer. She was also the world’s biggest fan of the Miami Dolphins, so I think I’m going to run out on the field and join the line-up during the next game. You know, to honor her and all that she meant to me. When I’m hauled away by security, I’ll know that I was in the right, because my heart said so. Hey, the wrong thing done for the right reason is sometimes acceptable. I’m sure the cops will agree!

      • Tim.
        5 May 2017 at 3:24 pm

        Couldn’t agree more with your response, AndrewFS. (and others on here) And shame on you, Mark Potter. Sorry, not falling for the trap. You’re using the memory and suffering of this poor boy to conflate an issue and castigate the many people on here and elsewhere who are singularly tired of the cheating, course cutting, and bib mule-ing, etc. at marathons to gain entry to the Boston Marathon. It’s as simple as that. People are outraged at that! Derek’s work is based on that and that alone and he should hold his head high. But instead let’s poor fuel on the fire and attempt to mute the critics by making them feel guilty for their reaction. Again, let’s excuse the transgression because YOU have your own set of rules. Anyway and most important, my condolences to this boy’s family.

        I too would like to see the accounting records and paperwork of this organization. Mark, I hope you haven’t opened up a can or worms that you didn’t want opened. And if you truly gave ALL of the money (and I mean ALL, 100 percent) of the money raised to charity, then good. Go away and come back as a recognized charity like ALL the others who are doing the work of saints.

    • derek murphy
      5 May 2017 at 9:51 am

      Thanks for the response Mark. Per our messenger conversation, I will be in touch. The intent was not to disparage the work of the charity. But unfortunately the two things are intermingled.

      I will work on a follow up article as discussed.

      • Saddened
        8 May 2017 at 2:07 pm

        In a followup article it would be interesting to hear:
        1. An apology rather than a defiance shrouded in grief that sounds a lot like stolen honor
        2. How many medals did each runner give to the child? What prevented Porter from running and giving his medal anyway, the copying sounds like it was for his posse.
        3. Why does a reebok product performance staffer need to use a copied bib?

        This just seems like another facet of the same thing: people wanting to run Boston that either have not paid, trained, earned, or planned to do so and conciously decide to evade and break the rules. It seems the underlying principle is that they all have an excuse and rationale that claims no harm no foul. If everyone decided the speeding and traffic light laws could be circumvented just for them good grief.

        Sad really as this is not people stealing for food or rent. Not that such theft is okay either. Basically it is a stolen valor thing people wanting to say they ran Boston or did it for charity and the rules are there for schmucks.

        The excuses just seem to flow but at the end of the day it all comes back to the a bit of narcissism.

    • AndrewFS
      5 May 2017 at 9:57 am

      Just to add – I think the most offensive thing in your response is that you somehow blame Derek for hurting the integrity of your charity. It is your actions which have damaged the integrity, and blaming others is quite frankly unbelievable.

      • Anya
        5 May 2017 at 7:00 pm

        All the praise hands. It takes a real humble person to blame “the media” for exposing his fraud and tarnishing his brand. The hubris is stifling from this group. Arrogance and exploitation will get you nowhere Mr Porter

    • TL
      5 May 2017 at 10:06 am

      Mark – I applaud your posting and providing the details of what happened. That said, I generally agree with the comments of Andrew. My hope is that clarifying the situation will ultimately bring positive attention to your charity and integrity to Boston Marathon participation. I look forward to Derek’s follow up article.

    • Sherry
      5 May 2017 at 10:08 am

      “The wrong thing done for the right reason is sometimes acceptable.”

      No. No, it is not.

      That’s equivalent to a bank robber telling the judge, “Yes, I know I robbed a bank…but I was doing it to help others.”

      It’s still WRONG. It’s still STEALING. It’s still CHEATING. If you want to impact lives “positively”, then do it the right way, through the right channels, and don’t sacrifice your integrity.

    • Printer
      5 May 2017 at 10:14 am

      Mark,

      Can you please point us to the financial accounting statements for your charitable endeavors? Also, bib copying is stealing. You stole an entry into the Boston Marathon. Do you have anything else to declare at this time?

      • Reg
        5 May 2017 at 10:17 am

        Oh I get it. Your charity work is more important than mine and everyone elses. It is so important that you can operate outside of the parameters of the rules. Your story about your illness and helping others in need is unfortunately not unique, and your hubris in thinking that it is and that the ends (YOUR charity) justify the means (cheating) is lousy. There is so much positive in your charity work (and I am assuming much here given that you would make such an underhanded decision) that I can’t believe that you would risk disparaging it by this action. This was a really selfish and stupid move.

      • Sam
        5 May 2017 at 10:29 am

        The funny thing is if this was before 2013 it would’ve been applauded or even wrote up in the local newspapers in a positive manner. There were always bandit runners doing this kind of stuff, it was part of what made Boston so much fun and part of the local community, why people around here enjoy marathon Monday so much and stayed out cheering people who were running 5-6 hr marathons. People around here loved this kind of stuff. Then the decision was made to close to the course due to the bombing and the only way to do stuff like this was to make fake numbers.

        These people are not cheating, they did not get chipped time, they did not take a number away from a qualifier, they are not published in the results. The only wrong thing they did was take the medal at the end. The bandits in the olden days did not take medals, because they did not have a number on.

        The shaming and calling for people’s job on the site, even saying they should be shot (on facebook) is really over the top, when truthfully, this has been part of the tradition of Boston.

        • Sam
          5 May 2017 at 10:36 am
          • TL
            5 May 2017 at 12:34 pm

            This type of thing is different from the present situation though. In the article that you posted, other than distracting security to get onto the course, there wasn’t an effort to lie/cheat/steal his way into the marathon – nowhere near the present situation anyway. In fact, what he did was pretty clear from the beginning. Would he be celebrated today? Maybe, maybe not, but times are different now.

          • Sean McDonald
            5 May 2017 at 3:42 pm

            The banditing that used to go on is far different from photocopying a charity bib. He tarnished his charity, his own illness & the memory of this little boy when he did this.

        • Ben
          6 May 2017 at 6:10 pm

          Sam – you might not be aware that charity minimums have been raised to $7500 generally which is a big number and makes finding participants for these charities much more difficult than in the past. What this crew is doing is pulling the rug out from all the legit charities who are operating within the guidelines established by John Hancock and the BAA.

          • Sam
            8 May 2017 at 9:28 am

            As far as I know the minimum is 5k, at least that is what it says on the BAA website. What I think is happening is a lot of charities have viewed increase interest in the race to raise minimums for their particular charity. Since I have donated to folks in the past, I get tons of spam from the charities stating that the BAA minimum is 5k but to run for charity xyz you must commit to raise a bigger number, be it 7.5k or something else.

            The other thing if you look at these applications to run for a charity the first questions is about your experience fund raising, who you will ask for money and how you will do it, not why you want to run for this particular charity, why does this have meaning to you. Ultimately, they are using the Boston Marathon as a money grab. Yes they are doing good work and most of the money is going to a good causes, but I don’t think a few people copying bibs to run as bandits are stepping all over charities. The is strictly the charities seeing the demand go up, so their are raising the entry point for running and putting higher limits have made less runners want to run for them.

            My argument is that bandits have always been part of the tradition of Boston, something that has made the marathon fun over the years and that since the bombing it feels move corporate every year. Plus, the shaming that is going on and trying to get people fired and lives ruined really is over the top.

        • T
          9 May 2017 at 2:14 pm

          It’s interesting that you point to the bombing as a point of reference. What if a terrorist received a copied bin? It’s theft. And it’s a security problem.

    • Myrdin Thompson
      5 May 2017 at 11:00 am

      Mr. Porter,

      No. It is your actions, and those of your associates, that have damaged your charity’s reputation, not the reporting of your actions. As someone who runs to honor the memory of a loved one who has passed away from an illness, and have raised funds for charity while doing so, what you and your group have done was not right in any way shape or form. You could have recruited other Boston Marathon runners to perhaps wear tee-shirts with this young man’s name on them, had these friends host a cheer station in support of legitimate runners, to just name a few other options. You should not be proud of your actions, for what it says to those around you is that cheating is an accepted form of response when faced with adversity. It is not, nor ever will be. Furthermore your choices have consequences-the damage to your reputation, to your charity, and potentially the loss of a job for those associated with you, and those organizations they are affiliated with-as well as possibly being banned from future BAA events should have been acknowledged as the end result of this action.

      I suspect you believe that by listing the amount of donations you have raised over the years and by sharing this young man’s story you would be granted a “pass” by those who have responded to this article and greater still the community in which you live, work, and solicit donations from. While I am deeply sympathetic to this young man’s family as they must be dealing with a terrible loss-you have, perhaps unintentionally, further exploited that pain as an excuse for your behavior.

      And for that you should be deeply ashamed.

      • S
        5 May 2017 at 11:42 am

        I’m at a loss as to how running this marathon – by stealing and entry – honored Christian. You did not raise awareness. You did not raise money for research. You just gave yourself a rationale for stealing an entry. If you honor him, do something that actually helps the family or others suffering from cancer. Running with forged bibs does nothing by honor your own ego.

      • S
        5 May 2017 at 11:49 am

        Sorry Myrdin, that was a reply for Porter, not you.

    • Ray
      5 May 2017 at 11:45 am

      “After meeting Christian and seeing his strength, “the cheats” you have called into question, expressed the desire to run the marathon in honor of this amazingly brave 13 year old warrior.”

      Mr. Porter, we aren’t idiots. There are literally thousands of marathons out there. The Cheats did not want to run a marathon in honor of this young boy — they could have done that anywhere, any time. What The Cheats wanted to do was run Boston. This was for them, not this young boy. They are in it for themselves.

      • Don Tobi
        7 May 2017 at 2:51 pm

        This!

    • Karen
      5 May 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Mr. Porter –
      I could not disagree more, and nor do I think that you understand the Boston marathon. I don’t think that any one can convince you otherwise; you have convinced yourself that the stealing you did was acceptable – and you say that you are proud. That just leads me to question your ethics, your charity. You are the only person that has hurt your charity.

      You could have started a local 5k to bring attention to your cause – but you took a short cut – you lied to the people that gave you money. You can still help people – just don’t hurt others in doing so.

    • R
      5 May 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Pick another marathon? You know there are several other marathons that welcome charity runners raising money for whatever charity they want? Of course, you would still need to pay for a bib…..

      Why Boston? Pick any other marathon – but still pay for a bib! Or arrange with the race directors to perhaps arrange for donated bibs?

      The article did not hurt your charity’s integrity – YOU did. There are so many other ways to honour someone other than copying a bib

    • mm
      5 May 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Tricky situation. I think the problem you will face is that If you are doing things for the right reason then there should not be a need to do things outside the rules. The story you describe should be compelling enough to work with the BAA or other charities to do the good deed inside the framework of the rules. Doing the right thing the wrong way creates problems like you are dealing with now. The BAA validates their charity partners to insure they follow certain guidelines. When you work outside those rules there really is no way to validate what you are doing. Hopefully this gets squared away and this allows you to work within the approved programs.

    • Sean McDonald
      5 May 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Nobody enjoys a good scam more than me. If this page knew how I got into Chicago they would lynch me in a public square. That being said, you did cheat. You got caught. You got outed. I would find it hard to believe that this little boy could care less if you ran Boston or sponsored a little league team.

    • Alex
      5 May 2017 at 4:01 pm

      You hurt Christian’s memory by copying bibs and illegally allowing others to run under one bib. You further tarnished his memory by trying to use a sob story of how good your charity is to somehow justify doing this for multiple years. And no where for the past two years did you or the others running publicize that you were doing this in his honor. Therefore I see you as someone who is just trying to save their own skin.

    • HP
      5 May 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Why the Boston Marathon? If the real sentiment was to show solidarity to young Christian, I am sure there was another marathon or race that you could’ve all run legally (even on short notice) and presented that medal. Would doing that have somehow diminished this experience for all those involved? Would this have been less than the ‘greatest feelings we have ever had’? Would young Christian’s memory be any less cherished by running a different race?

    • Anya
      5 May 2017 at 6:50 pm

      so you’re special? We have a brother assisted push team where I live, who have tried to get a charity entry into Boston, but there are only so many sports and their turn has not come up yet. The wait, instead of CHEATING their way in. Your story is a really humble and brave one for Christian, and as succinctly as can be said with all respect for this young man who passed, you do his memory no honor cheating and flaunting your cheating, using him as your rationale. Do what other charities do, petition to become a recognized charity with BAA and run legally, or raise $$$ for a legitimate charity bib and match the donations to your own charity.

      It’s vile you would use a cancer victim as justification to your cheating. My father died of cancer, we actually direct a 5k in his home town in his memory and all proceeds go to the local community hospital as grants to families who have hardships due to cancer. We didn’t decide to bandit the most prestigious annual marathon in the world to honor him, because that’s cheating. The fact that you revel in this and gladly call yourselves cheaters because YOU feel justified in getting and doing what YOU want to and use this situation as your moral restitution… shame on you. This situation and your all’s privilege to do this is sad

      • POG
        7 May 2017 at 3:39 pm

        You succinctly said everything I feel about this situation and more. Kudos, Anya.

    • Phil Zero
      6 May 2017 at 4:15 am

      “After meeting Christian and seeing his strength, “the cheats” you have called into question, expressed the desire to run the marathon in honor of this amazingly brave 13 year old warrior. He never had time to train for chemotherapy, so they said that they shouldn’t have time to train for a marathon. To help them honor Christian, I made a copy of my number and we ran the race alongside each other for Christian”

      What a load of self-serving BS.

    • Rob
      6 May 2017 at 7:33 am

      “He never had time to train for chemotherapy, so they said that they shouldn’t have time to train for a marathon.” This makes me want to vomit.

    • Marco
      6 May 2017 at 2:55 pm

      “We did it for Christian”. This is probably the most disgusting post I’ve ever read about anything.

    • Brooke
      9 May 2017 at 4:02 pm

      “I do understand that you wrote your article for the right reason but what the article has done is hurt both the integrity of our charity and our ability to help families in their darkest hour.” No, sir, YOU DID THAT. You did that to yourself when you chose to steal bibs, blatantly and proudly. And now that you’re caught, you’re blaming the dude who caught you and not taking any responsibility for your own actions that brought you to this point. You damaged your own reputation, you damaged your own charity, and as someone who lost her mother to cancer, I have an increasingly difficult time mustering any sympathy when you use people suffering from cancer as an excuse for your deception. Disgusting.

  • duck&cover
    5 May 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Alex- I was just about to post a similar response. At least in the 2016 photo, the trio was wearing shirts that referenced a cancer “cause”. There is no mention of a cause or Christian in any of the posted 2017 photos or in the Instagram post which reads more like a personal accomplishment versus a tribute to a cancer victim. If that was my “drive” to run 26.2, Id display it proudly and honorably.

  • Kevin
    6 May 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Wow, just wow on the Reebok and Adidas connection. Really, head-shaking stuff here. Thank you for your hard work and indefatigable investigation. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Show Me the Money
    7 May 2017 at 2:33 am

    How disgusting! Trying to justify CHEATING by using a child’s health!

    If the Battle of the Bay had a silent auction and they had a shill bidder-somebody who goes around places bids just to raise the price, that would be unethical and maybe considered fraud!

    I would love to see the Boston or Mass DA investigate Battle at the Bay charity, to make sure the money raised actually go to the people who need it the most!

  • Orson
    7 May 2017 at 4:56 pm

    We can let the Reebok USA CEO know about this article via Twitter. His name is Matt O’Toole and he is in the Boston area.

  • Michelle
    7 May 2017 at 7:50 pm

    What a load of BS. No mother would want her child “honored” by a bunch of self-serving, egotistical cheats. Boo.

  • RunnerVB
    11 May 2017 at 2:44 pm

    As petty as some make this bib forgery out to be, it’s still violating the rules. Where do you draw the line? Is forging a bib all right but forging a contract or money isn’t? Or is it? Does the end justify the means? Evidently, the person behind the bib forgery thinks so. Did he even think about how the repercussions of bib forgery might tarnish the charity? Did anybody think about anything other than themselves? What about the people who went through legitimate means, like the lottery, and were denied entry? How do they feel when others can cheat and run the race? Races and all of the associated expenses are funded by entrants’ fees. When cheaters run it, they are getting all the benefits without having to drop a dime. They’re leaches and freeloaders. As they say, cheaters never prosper. Book ’em Derek

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