Last Weekend was The Disneyland Tinker Bell 10k and 1/2 Marathon Weekend. Not normally something I would take interest in. But this post was shared and drew quite a bit of attention.
What was especially interesting about this is that someone was actually able to pick up someone’s original bib. This wasn’t someone making a copy, or using a prior year’s bib to pass off as a current bib.
This runner reported that her name was signed on the line for her bib, so this did not appear to be an accident.
After the 10k, photos did appear showing the runner that that was running with the stolen bib.
This runner was eventually identified as “Patty”. Other runners quickly checked her social media and made some other interesting findings.
She was not registered for Surf City
She was not registered for The 2017 LA Marathon
She was not registered for The 2017 Pasadena Half Marathon
She was not registered for The 2016 Tinkerbell Races
Serial Bib Thief?
The biggest question is how did she manage to get an actual bib from another runner for this past weekend’s race? Does she have an inside connection, or was she able to obtain just enough information about the actual runner to convince the worker to give her the bib? One thing is for certain, procedures need to be tightened up at Run Disney. By all reports, the race did not live up to what most Disney customers had come to expect based on past events. It’s possible that the original runner has enough public information that patty was able to obtain her birthdate. That may have been enough for her to pick up the bib.
I have not been able to ascertain whether she used original bibs in the other cases. For the 2017 Tinkerbell race the chip was deactivated once the original runner went to pick up her bib.
I would recommend exercising caution when posting in groups. You should not post bibs prior to the race. Check your privacy settings. Take steps to make sure you are not an easy target for this sort of thing. The original runner was mostly just inconvenienced. It is unknown what caused her to be the target of this runner for this particular race. But, it is probably a good idea to not make things public that make you an easier target than necessary.
On Another Note
Yes, I am still focusing on Boston Qualifiers. I just have not come across anything recent that warrants an article. I examined New Jersey – there were some issues, but mostly runners that dropped from the full to the half without apparent attempt to deceive. I looked at Pittsburgh and nothing jumped out that was particularly interesting. I am looking at other races as well. Quite a bit of what I report is done without writing an article. I am not going to typically write an article on someone that may have cut a course short one time. I want to see obvious intent to deceive before I put an article out there on a specific runner.
I am writing multiple articles weekly, so there are going to be more that fall outside of what affects Boston. last year, there were times when I would go a couple of weeks or more without writing an article. So, while you are seeing more articles on other topics, I expect that you will also see more articles related to issues related to cheating to get into The Boston Marathon. My main focus still is and always will be to detect and prevent runners from running Boston that have not earned the right.
I am going through my prioritized list of 2017 Boston results and will likely have some articles soon. I am also monitoring the results for those that I have identified as questionable that have been reported. I will follow up with the B.A.A. this week for a status report. I was previously told that some runners would be removed, but that has not happened yet.
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Stealing bibs would be easy to do in many races. Lots of times they will post bib #s online or outside packet pickup to minimize waiting in line. They will post your name, bib number, age category and sex. Go early to packet pickup, find someone in your age category, get in line and say, “I’m bib 1234”, and they’ll put it out and say, “Jane doe? Here you go, good luck”, and never ask for ID.
In this case it was the organizers not following their procedures. You have to bring a signed waiver that has your name and birthday printed on it. They are supposed to check it against your ID before they issue a bib and you have to sign for it. In this case, someone signed for someone else and the ID was not verified.
Nowadays most runs I do have you sign all the waivers electronically. Some say to bring an ID at packet pickup, but they seldom check it.
RunDisney is usually a lot more careful about this and requires you to bring a physical waiver and ID. I’m truly baffled how this happened other than the thief making a fake ID to bring?
This is the first race that runDisney used temp agency instead of volunteers. I’m thinking some of these temps were not taking the “check the ID” thing very seriously. I have volunteered for runDsiney packet pick up in the past and there was always someone watching over us to make sure we checked ID.
Or maybe this woman knew or paid one of the temps and got the information she needed that way. With lots of temp people with unsteady revenue streams, who don’t know the logistics, it could be relatively easy to work the system.
RunDisney: If you know someone is running, and you can get their birthdate from Facebook, you can search for their bib number. You shouldn’t be able to pick up a bib without ID, but this year’s Tink especially was run by paid temps, not volunteers, so everyone was new.
Lots of people show their day and month of birth publicly on social media, and since race results often indicate exact age on race day, a quick search of Athlinks would allow you to get the right year of birth. Together, everything you need. And you only have to find one person who has that much info public. Social engineering would make it easy to get away without showing ID most of the time – “oh gosh, I forgot my ID. It’s back at my hotel on the other side of the resort. Do you really need me to go get it? I understand, I can go get it. Gosh, I’m going to lose two hours of my day, and all that extra time on my feet, but yeah, sure. Oh, I don’t need to? Wow, thanks!”
She uses the hashtags, “#YesIPayForThis” and “HappinessIsExpensive” to accompany her photos?! Apparently neither is accurate here.
“Yes I pay for this” is just an all around odd thing to say…guilty conscience? An awareness that folks are on to her? I doubt she is referring to the physical recovery for any of her runs.
Not when another hashtag is “I need a Go Fund Me account”.
Just one more person thinking they’re too smart by half. Busted.
“#INeedAGoFundMeAcct” is she serious?!?
Good eye, Kevin, didn’t even read the hashtags at first.
This happened to me in LA in 2016 (different runner). Someone clearly went and picked up my bib with deliberate intent. How do I know? You had to go to the VIP section, it wasn’t in the usual place. I wrote about it here http://bit.ly/1UETFqK
It’s pretty violating to do this, not to mention, just a dick move.
Maybe Derek should look into this person too, if they did it to you, you can bet you’re not the only one. I’m sorry it happened to you, that really sucks.
As someone who got his first BQ at Pittsburgh a week and a half ago, I appreciate your efforts to catch course cutters and other cheaters who cause the BQ cut off time to be lowered. I have a 2:38 cushion so I’m hoping I’ll be ok come Boston registration in September. I did some of my own sleuthing for Pittsburgh and it looks like every BQ seemed legit in terms of hitting all of timing mats with matching paces. I found one person who missed a split at a section of the course that could be easily cut but his paces seemed to be pretty consistent before and afterwards.
Can you explain why I shouldn’t post my bub before the race?
Makes it more likely someone will use your bib to make a copy.
If you want to post a “flat you” picture, I’ve seen some posted by friends where they placed another piece of gear (e.g. a flip belt) across the bib number to obscure it.
The picture she used for the surf city race is not even hers… https://instagram.com/p/BQJB4xDlhaG/
Wow!!! You’re right!
Yeah, the logistics at runDisney races are actually quite good, and I am yet to encounter a tighter operation elsewhere. You do have to show ID to get your bib.
That being said, human beings are involved, and people do get good at the short con. That’s basically what this gal is: a con artist.
Interestingly, Her sister ALSO says she ran the Tinkerbell half and she isn’t registered either!!! Is this a family thing?
Super Hero half marathon as well.
I have participated in several runDisney events. It wouldn’t be that hard to get a copy of a waiver that wasn’t yours. I did not participate in Tink this year, and I can’t speak to the temp agency employees running the show instead of volunteers, but – They might’ve had to call in a lead if she gave them a sob story (I lost my wallet and I don’t have a driver’s license to show you!!!) What I’d like to know is if she got her bonus medal. In the past several challenges, to get the bonus medal, you have to go to a table where your bib number is verified. They take pictures of the runners at bib pick-up and check to see that the person getting the challenge medal is the person who picked up the bib, that they finished the 10K and that they finished the half marathon. They could have flagged her bib to prevent her from collecting the challenge medal. But I don’t know what else they would’ve done at that point. If they did that much.
Are her posts on Instagram or Twitter?
The posts displayed above are from Instagram and it looks like her profile has been removed.
Looks like ALL of her social media have disappeared; Google hits come up “page not found.” I wonder if Derek reached out to her, and, rather than “come clean,” she just deleted her accounts. In any case, actually signing for someone else’s VIP bib takes a special kind of brass orbs.
amazing job by the Facebook group to catch this girl who stole this bib. We had a closed “tinker bell run” page with over 1500 members. please not this race cost $330 that is why she talked about needing a go fund me page and of course, she had to pay for her costume !!
I think it is important to add- the Facebook groups uncovering this (because it was posted in a million pages) need to be very careful about harassment. Yes, what the runner did was completely wrong. However, contacting friends, employers, etc. may get you into terrible trouble with the law, and *GASP* you might lose your Facebook account…
I recently did the runDisney Darkside Challenge in Florida. At the start of the 10k the guys on stage asked corral “a” if it was anyone’s first 10k. There were at least 20-30 hands that went up. How are you in corral “a” if you never qualified? Same thing I saw on the morning of the Princess 1/2. There was a lady in corral “b” which had qualifying 10k times of 45-50 minutes. I don’t mean to judge but this woman probably couldn’t complete a mile faster than 12 mins. I am certain she had someone run a qualifier for her. I just don’t understand why people cheat like this.
RunDisney does not ask for qualifying time for the 10k, only the Half Marathon and up. My understanding is that the 10k corrals are assigned on first-come, first-serve basis. This means that people who ran the previous year’s race gets the earlier corrals.
Let’s not forget that money talks. It would be easy to give a volunteer $20 as a thank you for giving a bib without proper ID! I’ve never seen it happen, but come on. Most volunteers, that I’ve seen at races, are HS kids trying to earn their volunteer hours. They are more concerned about checking their FB or IG accounts and getting the hell out of there, instead of following procedure.
> It would be easy to give a volunteer
Starting at the 2017 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, runDisney changed from a volunteer army to temps recruited through a service and paid $13 per hour.
As if those working for a temp agency wouldn’t take $20 “tip.”
It’s easy to steal identify if the bad person has a nerve to betray friends. Suppose the bad person is a member of a moderate size of run club, many members signed up for a race. Run clubs often compile lists of runners who signed up for the race way before the race day. Now the bad guy picks one from the list and know the name, DOB, bib. Easy!
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