Charity Co-Founder Responds To Boston Bib Copying Article

Mark Porter, one of the men behind The Battle At The Bay Event, and the cancer charity that it supports, responded to my article regarding the copying and swapping...

Mark Porter, one of the men behind The Battle At The Bay Event, and the cancer charity that it supports, responded to my article regarding the copying and swapping of bibs.  I will first post and respond to his reply that he posted in the comments section of the initial article. I did get a chance to speak with Mark yesterday afternoon and again yesterday evening. I will share my impressions from those conversations as well.

 

Mark’s Initial Response

Mark posted the below comment on my previous article on Friday morning after he sent the following message directly to me via Facebook messenger.

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!

_______________________________________________________________________

 

2016 Boston Marathon

I read Mark’s comment a number of times before speaking to him, and I’ve seen the reaction from my readers. I don’t think the initial response came across well. In speaking with Mark, while not wavering from the basic message of his reply, he seemed to acknowledge and own up to what they did. He seemed accepting of any personal criticism while at the same time very protective of the others that were involved and of any perceived ties to the charity.

Mark and the original bib owners had legitimately obtained charity bibs that were obtained through the B.A.A. charity program. They raised money for this charity, and ran wearing their Battle At The Bay shirts in 2016. They made a very poor decision in making copies of some of these bibs so their friends could run. For this, Mark was disqualified from the 2016 Marathon as was Sean Campbell. Mark says that the BAA did contact them to let them know that someone had copied the bibs, but he was unaware of the disqualification.

Mark is the only one of those involved that would speak with me. For that I give him credit. I get the feeling that he is trying to shoulder the blame for this to protect the others. I again give him credit for that, but at the same time, those that wore the copied bibs need to take responsibility for their role in this.

In talking to Mark, I believe that this charity is everything to him.  It doesn’t matter to him if he takes all the blame for the bib copying, as long as the charity does not suffer as a result. I researched all I could on the charities, and read the articles about Mark. Nothing would lead me to believe that there are any issues with the charity itself or the work they’ve done. This is all about the 2016 and 2017 Boston Marathons and the improper copying and swapping of bibs.

Do I completely believe that the runners that wore the bibs wanted to do anything more than to run the race? Were they really there to support Christian?  I truly don’t know. And, it doesn’t really matter. They may have got swept up in a moment and decided they wanted to run the race. Mark owns the decision to provide them with copied bibs so they could experience Boston with him. All parties are culpable. Mark should have known better. The employees of Reebok certainly should have known better.

I personally have a way bigger issue with the copying for 2017….

 

2017 Boston Marathon

If the 2016 act was truly spur of the moment, I can envision how that may have come to pass. I do not in any way condone the behavior, but I can see it happening that way.

Mark did admit to me that not all of the original owners of the bibs were aware that copies were made. In protecting his friends he did not share who was aware and who was not.

I  asked Mark directly if he felt pressured to provide bibs to his friends at Reebok. He did say that he felt an internal pressure to provide copies when he was asked to provide bibsHe felt that he did it last year and that he could not say ‘No’.

None of the Reebok employees have reached out to me. I reached out to the three women that ran the 2017 marathon with copied bibs, and two blocked me on social media. So I have to lump them all together as being equally responsible in this.  Kevin is the only runner that I am aware of from Reebok that ran both years. Katie is no longer employed by Reebok and ran with her owned charity bib in 2017 after using one of the copied bibs in 2016.  For 2017 , if they wanted to support or honor Christian or the fight for cancer, they had plenty of time to hook up with an official charity and raise money for the cause. Instead, they asked for copied bibs for 2017.

Whether  or not they intended to pressure Mark  into complying with the request for copied bibs, just by their association with Reebok -who has donated equipment for Battle at The Bay, there would have been pressure to provide them with the bibs they wanted.

It is just my opinion that the runners wearing the copied bibs just wanted to run the race, and took advantage of a situation to do so. Again, I have not spoken to any of the Reebok employees, so unfortunately I have to make my opinion without being able to hear from them directly.

I will repeat that everyone that was knowingly involved is responsible. No one should get a pass. Although, I personally have more of an issue with those from Reebok. From the outside, it appears that they used their relationship  for their own personal benefit. If they were running for Christian, any mention of that fact was absent from the social media posts regarding the race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Conclusion

Everyone will have their own opinions regarding this story. I am simply presenting mine.  I will not waver on my opinion regarding the copying of the bibs. I question the motives of the Reebok employees in wanting to run the race. I however do not question the legitimacy of the charity. I did what I could to at least look up the filings. I personally am satisfied that there is nothing raising a red flag regarding their charitable work. This is not a Wish Runner situation.

If you are considering supporting any charity, you should do your own due diligence. I am simply stating that after doing my own research and talking to Mark through text and personal conversation, that I don’t see any evidence that would cause me to doubt the work being done through Let’s Fight Cancer, and The Battle At The Bay event.

 

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Categories
2017 Boston Marathon
72 Comments on this post.
  • Terry
    9 May 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Is he serious with this explanation? Boston has qualifying standards. It is the Holy Grail of marathons for this reason. Many people, including me, have qualified to run Boston after many months of training, sacrifice, and dedication. Many others work to raise money via legitimate charities sanctioned by the BAA. To me, his explanation is akin to saying it’s okay to steal another person’s car because had they not, they would be late for work and lose money. What? What they did was wrong. No excuses. Apologize, move on, and never do it again anywhere.

  • Ben Starr
    9 May 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Am I understanding correctly that the BAA provided a number this year to a runner/charity who had been disqualified last year?

    • Tim.
      9 May 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Ben, that appears to be the case. Derek, that’s something to ask the BAA if accurate.

    • Mike
      10 May 2017 at 4:14 am

      My understanding is that they didn’t know until last month about last year’s copying. So they only just recently DQd them for 2016 within the past couple of weeks. That’s how they got a 2017 bunch, they hadn’t been busted for 2016 yet.

  • vince
    9 May 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Awesome job sir. I agree with all that you wrote. The runners should all return the Boston Marathon medals since they earned the medals in this manner since only 1 medal was mentioned given to the family.

  • Michelle
    9 May 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Yeah, that had very little (if anything) to do with Christian and a whole lot to do with being pompous azzes. Every single one of them knew better.

  • Scam_Watcheroo
    9 May 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, that Mark Porter is pretty despicable for trying to use cancer of a boy to justify intentional cheating at Boston for 2 consecutive years.

  • vanessa
    9 May 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you Derek you are amazing, the copying of bibs is THEFT from the race organizers and the rest of us who pay and qualify. So I guess this group thinks stealing for a charity is an excuse, they should try that in court.

  • dude
    9 May 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Even if you buy the 2016 story, which is a steaming pile to begin with, 2017 is just straight out stealing. Their actions are unquestionably dragging the memory of this poor kid and the charity down to their level. How they don’t come completely clean at this point is beyond me. The longer this floats around the more disservice they do to the family and the kid’s memory. Of course, it’s rather clear the kid is just cover.

  • Daniele
    9 May 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Way to go. Using cancer to justify cheating for two consecutive years. What a bunch of bs.

  • Show Me the Money
    9 May 2017 at 2:00 pm

    What he doesn’t understand is that by admitting he copied the bibs, he hurts his charity! Would you donate any money to that charity after reading this? While the charity maybe legit, I would never donate money to somebody who cheated! They didn’t do it for Christian, they did it for themselves!

  • Tim.
    9 May 2017 at 2:07 pm

    good for him to talk with you. But, Mark, just apologize, ask for leniency with the BAA, and stop being defensive and protective: Why is it that all of these transgressors do not understand the argument presented in Derek’s work in addition to the majority of comments? YOU CAN NOT MAKE UP YOUR OWN RULES and copy bibs! Simple. Simple. That is clear. Stop conflating the issues: For arguments sake, your actions alone have raised the specter of doubt on all legitimate charities and in the long run will hurt in future fundraising for all things. If you cant understand why, than you are truly not concerned with the greater good that all BAA charities do for the community.

    As far as Reebok is concerned (and these creeps who still have not owned up to their theft) I’m appalled: Mark gets a pass to a slight degree (which doesn’t excuse it, though) since he seems singularly minded (as per Derek’s characterization herein) to raise money for a worthy cause, we presume and hope. These women and man stole, they didn’t give anything back to the race, community and charity by donating anything. They didn’t even bother to mention Mark’s charity anywhere. Still completely repulsive. At least give Mark’s charity a few dollars; Dont use your supposed connections to coerce a charitable organization. Really. Get over yourself: I know being SR, VP of Bull at Reebok means something to you when you look in the mirror but it really means nothing in the real world. Make it right: all of the bib forgers should pay up: $5000 each. You don’t get a pass from me but at least it shows you understand something in the world.

  • Matt W
    9 May 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Ummm, aren’t there plenty of other marathons that don’t have registration limits and qualification requirements? Why not just legitimately run one of those? And then give him your medal?

    • Tim.
      9 May 2017 at 2:20 pm

      well put.

      • Caleb
        10 May 2017 at 12:11 pm

        That was my first thought too! Run a different race. It’s not like the Boston Marathon was special to the dying boy. I’m not buying anything other than selfish reasons. Should be a lifetime ban from Boston and all the medals should be returned.

  • Myrdin Thompson
    9 May 2017 at 2:20 pm

    BAAs own rules about bib copying are very specific and clear-if a runner’s bib is copied that runner is disqualified-even if it happens that the original owner of the bib doesn’t know it was copied. In this instance you have runners who purposefully duplicated their bibs in order to allow their friends to participate in the marathon. BAA must disqualify those runners. Furthermore, since all of this group have been identified-by their own use of social media-and as this is a repeat offense, BAA should ban them from any further participation in the marathon and all local charities should be made aware of this so these runners can not attempt to run for charity as perhaps a way to seek a loophole to this ban. As for the Reebok employees (both current and former) while we have yet to see a statement about this-their actions have harmed the reputation of the company for which they are associated and for Reebok to not take action would make many assume that they believe these actions to be acceptable-which they most clearly are not.

    I hope there will be additional follow up in regards to disqualification, banning, and such, or any response from BAA and Reebok since nothing seems to be happening at this time.

  • Show Me the Money
    9 May 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I’m just trying to think of a way he copied the bibs without the real bib owner knowing.

    Say he went to the expo with a friend to pick up a bib. He could have taken a pic of his friend’s bib at the Expo, went home photoshopped it and made copies.

    He could have found pics of the bib on social media

    • Tim
      9 May 2017 at 3:01 pm

      The BAA has a policy (for this exact reason) of not posting your bib on social media.

      • Show Me the Money
        9 May 2017 at 4:38 pm

        As others mentioned that policy is listed on page 8 of the runner’s handbook! And there is no penalty for posting a picture of the bib on social media before the marathon!

    • Chris
      9 May 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Pretty sure Boston requires you to show up to pick up your bib … it’s not like other races where you can have someone pick it up for you.

  • John
    9 May 2017 at 2:25 pm

    so basically: don’t train, dont qualify, steal, take a medal, and then be proud of this on social media?. Seriously, all charities should be very concerned about this hard headed guy’s and the Reebok employee’s actions. Sorry, he really doesn’t understand how detrimental his actions are to honest charitable organizations. Basically, give cheaters a road map to avoid donating: I truly hope the BAA seeks restitution and is better equipped to prevent this next year. I think and hope they get the damage this does.

  • JT
    9 May 2017 at 2:53 pm

    You can run any marathon legitimately to raise money. Anyone who would donate money in the first place, would have donated whether or not the person ran the race or not. So don’t get sidetracked here and go back to the root of the problem…they broke the rules and cheated…period!

  • Ann
    9 May 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Personally, I attended the Battle at the Bay this year, and donated money. Since this article posted last week, the Battle at the Bay Facebook page has been taken down, which I find incredibly disturbing. I also had a few friends fight in the Battle, and I know how hard they worked to get money donated for the cause.

    Derek – my question is: what happened to all the money raised at Battle at the Bay? If these runners copied bibs, and were not required to raise money for charity, who did the money go to? Most attendees were under the assumption that the money was going towards those runners so they could legally obtain bibs through the BAA. I believe in your last article, you mentioned that the BAA did not recognize Battle at the Bay as one of their charities.

    I just want peace of mind that all that money that was raised this year, and past years was, in fact, donating to fighting cancer, and is not in the pocket of Mark Porter and Sean Campbell.

    • derek murphy
      9 May 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I don’t believe that The Battle at the bay was ever raised for bibs. That money goes directly to the primary charity, is my understanding. If you know otherwise, please message me.

  • Robert F
    9 May 2017 at 2:55 pm

    $500,000 is such a nice round number. Which two hospitals got the $300k? Is the charity a 501c3? Did they file Form 990 last year? I’m just wondering if anyone’s following the money.

    • Kelly Christine
      9 May 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Neither “let’s fight cancer” nor “battle st the bay” can be found on charity navigator dot org which brings up some flags for me. I won’t donate to a charity that doesn’t have a rating on there.

      • Robert F
        9 May 2017 at 6:23 pm

        If you google the two names, there’s an article no southbostontoday.com which says the charity is called “Apt Fighting Chance Foundation”. I think that’s the fourth name of the charity.

        • michael
          9 May 2017 at 9:01 pm

          Happy to Help Foundation Inc. is a charitable organization registered in MA. This can be verified with the IRS website search tool. The Let’s Stop Cancer website redirects to H2H’s website. Mark was listed as cofounder on the H2H website before, though his bio has been removed. I used the wayback machine and his bio was previously included.

          I could not find Let’s Stop Cancer in the IRS database.

          Sean Campbell also ran in the 2014 and 2015 Boston Marathon for Let’s Stop Cancer.

          • CMartinez
            10 May 2017 at 6:36 pm

            The Mass Attorney General website has the 990 for Let’s Stop Cancer. The most recent shows money received since Sept 2013 is just over $106,000 and not all of it has been paid out, so ….
            Website is http://www.charities.ago.state.ma.us

          • derek murphy
            10 May 2017 at 9:46 pm

            so, they have a cash balance on hand. You can see that in the filings as well. It’s dangerous to make assumptions. I’m going to shut off comments. If anyone has anything factually relevant, please email me directly. derek@marathoninvestigation.com

  • Steph
    9 May 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I am disgusted with everyone involved with this scam and hope they are all banned from ever running Boston again. They do not possess the spirit of The Boston marathon or have a runner’s heart. Charity Runners are s huge part of the Boston marathon. I raised $7300 for Team261Fearless. What they have gotten away with is deplorable. They literally make me sick. No excuse they give is acceptable! There are plenty of charties, including mine that they could have joined to obtain a legal bib…..but raising the money & training is hard ass work. They are cowards & cheats!

  • Annie
    9 May 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Could have “honored” him at a marathon that didn’t require stealing entries, twice. And now you’re exploiting his death as a defense? Terrible.

  • Mike
    9 May 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Was there 1 picture, or social media post, back in 2016, mentioning this sick child’s name indicating they did it for him. 1 photo presenting him with the medal? There are plenty of them smiling and running. Call me a cynical, but I think he was full of shit in 2016, and even more so today. No doubt he has a worthwhile charity, but the reason he gave you for 2016 is BS.

  • Mr T
    9 May 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Instead of supporting Derek. Maybe support Cancer research instead. I will be donating $$ in Derek’s name.

    • derek murphy
      9 May 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Please do. This is the first thing you’ve posted that I could get behind.

  • Tee
    9 May 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I’m imagining this guy standing on a table yelling, “Cancer Sucks! BOSTON BIBS FOR EVERYONE!” Wth? This guy suffers from delusions of grandeur! I say that to keep from calling him a complete idiot. Which I will not! Because people who battle cancer are never idiots. They are survivors! Just for fighting/beating the big C, they get a lifetime pass on all transgressions. He did it in the name of charity. They ALL did it in the name of charity! Actually, wait…no…these people are the very reason why the heart of charity is continuously questioned. He is the answer to the question, “Are charity organizations really serving others, but not without serving themselves?” No Mark, you don’t get a high five for “good intentions,” just in case someone else out there believes your BS. You certainly believe your own! When you were called out, that was your chance, to erase it all, to stand on the table and yell, “I F%*^’d UP! I’m sorry.” But noooo..you sugarcoat BS @ serve it to us on a golden spoon. Well, there’s always a redo. Mr. Murphy has called you on your BS again. You were the only one to respond, which means something is there. Here’s your chance. Grab a bullhorn and get on that table! Bad judgement is something we’ve all had.

  • EasyE
    9 May 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Using a child who died of cancer as an excuse for cheating makes it even more despicable in my opinion.

  • Brice
    9 May 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Did they all take medals at the end? Did they think that the marathon organizers order up extra medals? There are runners who, most likely, left without a medal but hopefully got them later. They plan on a specific amount of runners so when they have people show up who are not counted, someone suffers. Runners work hard to get into the marathon only to have others just show up. Good reason? Maybe. Were there other ways to honor the young man? Surely but they chose to do it dishonorably.

  • Scot newport
    9 May 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Great detective work and way to fight this type of cheating. All I can say is all involved in this scam are truly revolting scum we took advantage of another’s suffering to profit for themselves by illegally entering the race. Even their social media post boasts of mockery #Teamnotraining.

    They won’t come forward because they are cowards and cheats. Karma has a way of catching up to people.

  • Jimmy McGill
    9 May 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Stealing in support of charity is still stealing.

    Registration, outside of the fundraising requirement for charity runners, is around $185, right? This is equivalent to each of them going to the local Wal-Mart and stealing $185 worth of stuff to give to a family dealing with cancer. Doesn’t make it right. Nor does the fact that they raised a very awesome and commendable amount of money outside of their theft of services from the BAA.

    • Running Momma
      10 May 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Only if you live in the USA, for overseas runners we pay US$250

  • Scam_Watcheroo
    9 May 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Derek, can you link to the Charity Navigator page for Mark Porter’s charity. I would like to take a look.

    • Ryan
      9 May 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I’d also be curious what charity he’s referring to. GuideStar doesn’t seem to list Let’s Stop Cancer Now as a charitable organization. If you Google “Let’s Stop Cancer Now,” there’s virtually nothing about it online. If it’s A Fighting Chance Foundation, which is mentioned in a previous post, GuideStar lists a now-defunct website and says “This organization’s exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.” (It’s at https://www.guidestar.org/profile/57-1208377.)

  • GP3
    9 May 2017 at 4:44 pm

    If the employees from Reebok made the copies of legit bibs from the charity, didn’t they really steal $3500 each from the charity? Isn’t it a felony to steal an object with a value greater than $500? If the charity made the copies of the bibs, what happened to the money that the reebok employees paid?

  • Robin Long
    9 May 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Excellent investigative journalism Derek. The cheaters ought to be ashamed. They could have done it legitimately like so many others who ran for charity and followed procedures.

  • Kevin W Grierson
    9 May 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Have you directed an inquiry to Reebok’s corporate headquarters? Can’t believe they’d be happy this is going on.

    • Monica
      9 May 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Agree. Boycott Reebok.

  • Librarian/ Marathon Runner
    9 May 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Digging further, it appears Let’s Stop Cancer is incorporated in Massachusetts (Federal Tax ID (FEIN): 46-3724011). http://www.charities.ago.state.ma.us/charities/index.asp? If you search by name, you can find its IRS 990 form. It’s still not a charity I’d consider, but it’s not completely made up.

  • Jennifer
    9 May 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I can’t believe he pulled the cancer sympathy card to justify this.
    This is unacceptable.

  • R^2
    9 May 2017 at 5:55 pm

    My best friends daughter got her leukemia diagnosis almost exactly one year ago. She gets a different colored bead for every part of the treatment and the string is a few meters long now and there’s a long way to go. This friday I’ll be attending the funeral of my beloved uncle who died two weeks ago due to a fast growing cancer tumor in the brain.

    The idea of defiling the ongoing struggle of the 2-yo and her family and my uncles memory by using them to justify me gaining access to a place in a race I want to run? Unthinkable.

    I will run my first marathon next year (still struggling to get my 10k below 45 but I’m close at getting my half-marathon below 1h 40m and I’m getting used to those longer runs now). I will do it in a cancer awareness t-shirt and the medal will look so worthless next to the string of beads which represent chemo, sepsis treatment, blood transfusions, etc conquered by the 2-yo little fighter.

    Cancerpatients and their families are something to honor, not something to justify me getting what I desire. Especially not in a manner that defiles their struggle.

  • Monica
    9 May 2017 at 6:39 pm

    So he threw a 13-year old cancer sufferer under the bus to cover for his theft. SHAME on him. And the folks who wore the bibs in 2017? How much money did they raise for the charity? Answer: it doesn’t matter. They stole services that other people legitimately paid for. This man’s hubris is shameful.

  • Colin
    9 May 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Wow that’s a lot of money to go through a dishonest person’s fingers…

    • Running Momma
      9 May 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Funny @Colin I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if the charity is registered and has accounts?

  • Running Momma
    9 May 2017 at 7:45 pm

    OMG I am reading this shaking my head in disbelief. Congratulations Derek, I think you uncovered something even bigger than it originally looked.

    My inside voice is very vocal and I am trying my damnedest to keep it there. My comments in no particular order are:

    Kudos for raising the money, that is a lot for charity.

    There are many other charity runners who raise large amounts for equally deserving causes.

    He knew copying the bibs was wrong, yet me did it two years running.

    He said “Derek, the wrong thing done for the right reason is sometimes acceptable.” No, No, No it is not acceptable.

    He knew it was wrong and yet there is no sorry for doing it and he wont do it again … unless Boston ban him and his charity, this comment basically implies that he has no issues with copying bibs.

    I think it is wrong to play on the fundraising to justify what he did … is robbing a bank to give the money to a charity ok? … no it is a criminal offence.

    I seriously question his integrity.

    • Jerry
      9 May 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Having run — and completed honestly — 58 marathons and never coming close to a Boston Qualifying time (male, 40s), I am absolutely LIVID at this excuse by Mark Porter. Yes, kudos for the charitable work and helping out Christian. Why not put on a race for Christian? Maybe a 10k? But to copy multiple BAA bibs and then make the excuse (wrong thing for the right reason) is akin to justifying ANY crime. “Gosh, I robbed that bank so my kids could eat.” No. Just no. Add the connection to Reebok and it smells even worse.

      I may never run Boston and I’m OK with that. It is EARNED, not given. It is not a snowflake entitlement. It is not justified because you feel like you did something good for someone. Ban them ALL. And any charity whose work is predicated on deception and cheating will never see a dollar from me.

      To leverage the emotional toll of Chritian and his family is unforgivable. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer and yet I have never done anything deceptive or untoward, ever cognizant that what I do today reflects upon her legacy. Rather than “run Boston for mom”, I continue to train, run, and try to reach my Boston qualifying goals. I’d rather her be proud of my attempts than disappointed in my cheating.

  • Lisa
    9 May 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I don’t like the tone of this reply at all. He acts like his generosity somehow precludes him from following the rules like everyone else. Using “cheat” in a sarcastic way throughout his reply is patronizing and disrespectful. He did cheat. That makes him a cheater. As I continue to work towards regaining my own BQ level fitness and make one last attempt to qualify, I am baffled by others’ lack of respect for this event and its qualifiers.

  • Mark hellenthal
    9 May 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Cheating is cheating – he needs to be banned forever! He is a disgrace.

  • Jayna
    9 May 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I think Mark is just making excuses.
    Thank you for standing your ground and not letting him off the hook.
    As for the others, there’s no explanation. Cheating is cheating. To blame their cheating on “doing it” for a young man who passed away of cancer is disgusting.
    Mark was registered for the race and was welcome to give his medal to the boy. Why did the others need to run with copied bibs? Did they all give Christian their medals? I bet not.
    I love how you pointed out their facebooks posts with no mention of Christian whatsoever.
    I appreciate your diligence with this matter and thank you for your hard work.

  • Brian Houston
    9 May 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I whole heartedly support anything and everything that supports any charity. What I do not support are the cheats, liars and thiefs. I personally trained for 3 years to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It is the Holy Grail of marathons and to have trained and worked so hard to qualify was a huge accomplishment. I am disgusted with all of you that copied race bibs and I hope you receive the karma you deserve.

  • Erica
    9 May 2017 at 10:47 pm

    This makes me angry. My son had stage 4 lymphoma. I got swept up in momentum too, so I signed up for TnT and the San Diego Marathon. My son didn’t train for chemo either…who does? I’m sorry BS.

    I did run Boston this year, qualified and paid registration, and I ran with a friend’s daughter going into hospice on my mind. A few of us wrote her name on our bibs in her honor. No one thought to do that for Christian? All you need is a sharpie.

  • Phil Zero
    10 May 2017 at 3:58 am

    I never understood this concept of “running in the honor of…” I’ve always found this smelly but in the case of Mark and Christian that’s a puke inducing stink.

    Lance Armstrong already demonstrated that you can be a cancer survivor, involved with charity and be severely ethically challenged. I hope that Derek is right and that this charity is legitimate even if it seems to have been totally irrelevant to the 2017 marathon.

  • Jerry
    10 May 2017 at 7:46 am

    Anyone else see that Mark’s “charity” Let’s Stop Cancer (lscnow.org) actually redirects to an entirely different charity (http://www.h2hboston.org/)?

    • derek murphy
      10 May 2017 at 8:10 am

      They have changed the name of the charity. Initially they raised money and donated directly to organizations like Dana Farber. Now that they are supporting families directly, they changed the name. Keep doing due diligence, but we can’t say or insinuate the charity is fraudulent unless there is evidence to that point. I have not seen that evidence.

      • Phil Zero
        10 May 2017 at 9:32 am

        You haven’t find evidence that it is fraudulent. How about finding evidence that it is not fraudulent?

        Wouldn’t be the case that a legitimate charity would have reports, accounting, and so on? Proof that it is legitimate?

        And anyway, how many cancer charities do we need?

        • POG
          10 May 2017 at 9:41 am

          “And anyway, how many cancer charities do we need?”
          As many as people are willing to work for and donate, until cancer is eradicated. Let’s not derail the topic at hand please.

        • michael
          10 May 2017 at 8:44 pm

          The charity, Happy to Help, can be found by searching the IRS database for 501c3s.

          Different cancer charities assist in different ways. Some with research, some with specific forms of cancer, some with treatment, etc. Some individuals need financial assistance outside of treatment, some need psychological services, some need family assistance. Local organizations can help individuals in a particular community more directly than an international organization, but international organizations can provide services to underserved countries.

  • Keith D
    10 May 2017 at 9:51 am

    I think you could have started and ended the entire “debate” with your last point. They did it for this boy supposedly, yet not ONE of them posted or made a comment about him in their glory of finishing? No, it was about THEM, not him. Just as copying the bibs was.. it was about them. This is no different than robbing a bank to pay for food for my children, does that make it right? .

  • Steve
    10 May 2017 at 9:52 am

    great work. I do hope that the continued focus should be on getting restitution from the Reebok employees or Reebok itself. Frankly, Mark is a lost cause. He really doesn’t seem to get it at all and he should never/ever be associated with the Boston Marathon or BAA again. If his charity is legitimate, then put your focus elsewhere. If not, he’s got bigger problems for himself

    Clearly, though these Reebok employees (current, past) have to be forced to pay up. If not, the BAA has a lot of explaining to do to the thousands or runners and legitimate charities who have done extraordinary fundraising over the years. If they make restitution to the BAA, then I can conveniently forget who they are: If they don’t then, I would be curious and interested in finding out ways to pressure them to do so. Please keep us informed and as important how we as runners who are outraged at their behavior, can help pressure them. thanks.

  • Jonathan
    10 May 2017 at 10:19 am

    So let’s give Mark Porter the benefit of the doubt. I’ll stipulate that the charity is legitimate and his motives were pure.

    But…

    If a young boy is a huge Cub fan, and passes away from tragic illness, is it ok for a group to make copies of tickets to a Cub game and attend for free “in his honor”?
    If a young girl loves Disney, and passes away from an incurable disease, is it ok for a group of people to forge tickets to Disney World and go to the park “in her honor”?

    Outside of the issue of theft, what is the response to the countless number of people who want to run Boston for reasons just as legitimate as this group’s reasons, but did not because they followed the rules? Why is honoring the memory of Christian more important then honoring someone in just as tragic situation of a situation to the point where it’s ok to cheat and violate the rules?

    I hope Mark Porter reads this and answers those questions.

  • Maria
    10 May 2017 at 3:28 pm

    To honor Christian – they should have acted honorably, which none of these people did. Sad.
    Also, If they all ran for Christian, why did they all take a medal?
    The above pictured people should be totally ashamed of themselves. Christian would not be proud, even a kid knows what lying and cheating is.

    Do we want to teach our kids that this is OK, Mark????
    and I quote: “What we have done was outside of the rules, yes.”
    NO!!!!
    NOT OK!!!!

  • Maria
    10 May 2017 at 9:38 pm

    He seems to imply that the Reebok employees may have applied a little pressure to provide copied bibs as a quid pro quo for all the support they provided for his charity event. It doesn’t make it right but if that is the case, makes you wonder how many other benefits these people have received in the exchange for Reebok merchandise.

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