‘Most Inspiring Trainer’ Finalist Ran with Another Runner’s Bib in 2017, Exaggerated Proximity to Bombings in 2013


Katie Dolaher claims 2017 as her 7th Boston Marathon. She is not in the official results. She did not qualify or raise money. She ran with another’s bib.


The original owner signed up as a charity runner. Katie ran with her bib. Normally, I would not write about a charity runner giving an original bib to another runner. She was already reported to the BAA by someone.

America’s Most Inspiring Trainer Finalist

In 2016, Katie was nominated and named a finalist for America’s Most Inspiring Trainer. The award was presented by wellandgood.com and Reebok. Katie received some media attention as a result. Her status is prominently on display on her social media.

Boston WCVB.com – Boston Native Among Most Inspiring Trainers – click to watch


In the news story run on WCVB.com, Katie states:

“I was feet away from the finish line when the bombs went off”



She states on Instagram and in other interviews that she was turning onto Boylston when the bombs went off. The turn to Boylston is 4 blocks from the finish:


Dolaher, who has run the Boston Marathon seven times, said she was turning onto Boylston Street in 2013 when the first bomb went off. When the sound of the second explosion sent runners streaming back toward her, Dolaher said she broke down in the middle of the street.

-Boston Herald.com


I looked at her results to find her approximate location at 2:49:43 PM on April 15th 2013.










According to the splits, and after confirming her placement relative to other runners in earlier race photos,  she was somewhere between 35k and 40k mats at the times the bombs went off near the finish. She would have likely been about 2-1/2 miles from the finish line at the time of the explosions. Nowhere near the finish line or the turn to Boylston Street.

I do understand that sometimes media can exaggerate or misrepresent a statement, but Katie made no public attempt to correct the statement that she was a bombing ‘survivor’.

By all accounts her family was near the finish line at the time of the blasts as they were awaiting her arrival at the finish.  But Katie was probably about 20 minutes away. I do not doubt that this was tramautizing for everyone in Boston that day.

However, she was recorded saying that she was ‘feet away from the finish line’ during her interview, and multiple times recounted that she was turning on Boylston at the time of the bombings. The turn at Boylston would have put her 4 blocks away from the finish.  Again, according to the results, she was miles away at the time of the explosions.

I reached out to her  to ask her if she would like to clarify her statements. I have not received a reply.


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  1. One of her instagram posts fully acknowledges that it was not her bib and rather she was “chosen” to run with it because the original fundraiser had been “recently diagnosed”. Upon doing a little digging myself on that number from the bib assignments it does appear that the original owner DID raise funds for the Bruins Foundation and did indeed fall on some very hard health times.

    While I don’t condone the swap, or her entire persona that is so dependent on social media impressions, or her “woe is me so close to tragedy” story from 2013, for the sake of the original owner you may want to tread a little lighter this go.

  2. Wow, reebok just keeps popping up being associated with cheaters. They need to vet their employees, “charity” associations, and contest participants a wee bit better…

  3. amazing. she’s just another one of these social media Instagram, YouTube hacks who are so desperate to be famous like the Fort Lauderdale 1/2 cheat: I’ve said it once, I will say it again: she should be banned from all the Marathon Majors races, as well. I would like to see the 6 races band together to have reciprocal and across the board expulsion from all of their events. cheat/steal bibs at one, you are banned at all.

    • Steve, you have know idea about Katie. Please check the facts. She was not a cheat in anyway. She inspires people everyday. This world is full of people who want to bring others down instead of lifting people up.

      • Perhaps if she had responded to him like a grown up he could hear her side of the story. But she didn’t. Either way, she clearly lied, and she clearly ran using a bib that did not belong to her.

        • Actually you have no idea. Ask Derek, she has been in contact. And the bib was given to her by a friend that was diagnosed with a terrible illness at the time of the marathon. She ran her bib over the finish line for her. Again, people are completely venomous these days.

          • Yes she contacted me after I posted the article. She advised how she obtained the bib. I NEVER said it was stolen. I said I did not know because she didn’t respond to that specific question which I sent 24 hours before posting. She did not address Boston 2013.

            She didn’t just pop on the course to run the bib over the finish line. She ran the entire marathon unregistered. As I said to her, a charity runner giving runner their bib doesn’t generally warrant an article. And I wasn’t the one that reported her. I was more concerned about 2013 and the story put out on social media and in interviews relating to the contest.

          • Breana, it’s commendable you come here to fight for her. Do you condone the insinuations to being an almost victim of a terrible tragedy that happened about a mile away? She intimates she was right there. Why would she do that? Because true victims got coverage and attention she wants? That’s pretty vile.

            She could have responded to Derek in the 24 hours before he went live but ignored it, only to come forward now that she’s getting all the attention she so very much craved. I’ll never understand why humans like her risk so much for attention, likes, and validation through internet strangers. Her lying and cheating paid off for her, she’s running famous for the next little bit. You should be happy for her, that was her goal right? Likes and attention.

          • It is against the rules of this race to run with another person’s bib. As someone who has run dozens of races, she should know this. She has not signed a liability waiver and running with another person’s bib puts the race organizers and future races in jeopardy. What if she overheated and then sued the race? Not to mention, you don’t address the assertion that she lied about being near the finish during the bombings. She is attempting to gain attention from stealing other people’s tragedy.

          • Kind of funny how you knew he was contacted by her, before he even mentioned it. Sounds like you are her.

      • I will definitely say she has inspired me to not be so superficial as to make myself a victim or bystander to a tragedy I wasn’t anywhere near, to get #omgURsoBRAVE love from people who believe I’m a survivor of said tragedy. And also inspired me to be careful what I wish for, I might just get it.

  4. I work really hard as a personal trainer, a racer and a PERSON to be authentic. Hate women like this. Thanks again Derek for pointing out these liars and cheats.

    • Before you write something about “hating” people you should check the facts. “Hate” is a strong word and can be classified as cyber bullying.

      • Breana, with all due respect, she used a tragedy and false association to it, to her gain. The type of person who would do this, well that speaks volumes for them. She broke transfer rules, which is prohibited, and lastly flaunted it on social media. It’s narcissism that catches up with these people like her. If you’re going to be shady, stay off social media. But alas, head pats and likes are too enticing. She could be the greatest human being, but she lied, cheated, and broke rules. Unfortunately that is how people will view her, and it’s her own fault.

        • Agreed, Anya. Also, “Breanna” (a.k.a., “Katie”) isn’t going to respond to you. “breanna” making all feel guilty for Katie’s transgression is typical in those that are caught and, or those that are asked to defend the transgression. The point is, Breanna, she knew what she was doing was wrong but IS so clearly fixated on being “famous” (see her lies about being near the finish line in 2013) and building this identity, that the rules don’t matter. This has NOTHING to do with the original bib owners illness (and I do hope she’s OK) and shame on you for cheaply using that to make your argument. Also, if she had just run with a charity bib in obscurity, then I’m sure this would never had come up publicly. This has everything to do with breaking a clear rule TO add to her very, very, small celebrity status which was based on an original lie (being near the finish line in 2013). You’re digging and going down a rabbit hole with the attempt to argue back on this. If you’re her friend, put your energies into making sure Katie learns from others who also were caught: stop with the lame defense: Go and live your life but the days of “inspiring” others publicly based on lies are over.

          • Uh-oh … If “Breanna” IS Katie and using third person to defend herself, that’s stepping into Mike Rossi/LetsRun territory

            Also, Katie was safe from the Double Letter Cheater Identification Protocol [Mike Rossi, Kip Litton, Julie Miller, etc] but Breanna falls squarely in the bulls-eye

      • No one is going to classify saying someone “hates women like this” as cyber bullying.

  5. Derek, I can’t get her 2013 results to pull up on the BAA website. Did they pull her results?

    • From the main site, they pulled everyone that was unable to finish. She never made the finish line due to the bombings. You won’t find those runners in the official results.

      • Derek: then I’m a bit confused about the splits you used in the story. Your graphic shows a 40K split and an estimated finish time. So I’m assuming that she ran for 15 more minutes after the time of the first bomb until hitting the 40K mat, but then was turned around by security somewhere between 40K and the finish. Right?

  6. My wife ran the 2013 Boston Marathon at about the same pace as her. She was stopped at mile 25.

  7. People inspire others by doing things the right way! I can overlook her running Boston with somebody else’s charity bib.

    I can’t overlook the attention whore tactics where she said was was feet away from the finish line. She was in no danger when the first, and especially the second blast went off.

  8. I don’t think the bib thing is that big a deal. While she leads with “7-time Boston Marathon finisher”, I don’t think she’s getting that much more mileage going from 6 to 7, so I don’t see anything nefarious there.

    However, she is using her personal experience at the 2013 marathon to advance her appeal, and her career. She doesn’t need do embellish her proximity to the attack, so I hope she keeps it clean from now on.

    • The big deal is that she has not signed a liability waiver so she puts the race at risk. Also, what if she collapses during the race, and the race organizers look up her bib and tell the paramedics she is someone else, and provide incorrect information like known drug allergies to them?

      • What if your aunt had a penis, she would be your uncle. While I am not defending her using another person’s bib, clearly nothing happened to her while she ran the marathon. I know it is possible something could have happened to her. But, really if you had $1M and would give $10K to everybody who filled out the emergency info on the back of the bib, You would have about $9.8M!

        • Identity, liability waiver, emergency contact information, etc. is established during registration and is tied to a bib number in an electronic record. Steven Bourne isn’t talking about filling out the emergency info on the back of a bib, which I agree, not many people do. That’s the point being made here though – without accurate information (electronic or otherwise), runner safety is at risk.

      • In a sane world, there is assumption of risk. While the race itself still has a duty of care, she knowingly circumvented their rules, so her relative responsibility would approach 100%. But with a judge and jury of Bostonians? Well… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  9. you sound like you’re mad you didn’t get that recognition. I’m sure you’re an excellent trainer!

  10. My sympathies to her friend, but the obvious option would be to remove the chip and give the bib to to legit runner to carry. Her friend may have been dealing with too much at the time to think of that, but Katie certainly could have.

    As for lying about the bombing, good grief. I had a friend at about the same place. His first thought wad about his wife at finish line. You know, where the bombs were.

  11. There is a lot of sanctimony being overplayed on this one. She used a charity bib – presumably the charity was paid so in my mind there is no foul – no intent to fake a qualifying time, no bib thieving etc. Derek expressed as much already.
    All the nonsense about race safety etc is overblown here in this setting.

    What she may be guilty of is stolen valor which is disrespectful and which was rightly exposed publically as she advertised her efforts publically.

    I’m am all for exposing the blatant cheaters, especially the serial ones and unapologetic ones. But some of the holier than thou attitudes about minor fouls are a bit tiresome. Sometimes people make little transgressions in life.

    • I tend to agree. In this case, she’s simply getting burned by the public spotlight that she’s shining on herself. It’s more about the story she’s telling than using a bib that wasn’t hers.

    • We can argue about whether the liability issues are a big deal or not, but the race organizers obviously think they are, so….. Follow the rules! Wouldn’t Katie feel bad if the sick friend or the charity was kept out if future events the to her actions?

      Also, I’m prepared to give first-timers some benefit of the doubt. Katie was a 6-time Boston finisher, so she should really know better. Plus, as a personal trainer she should be well aware of the challenges of people wanting something for free. (don’t we all ask our friends for a little free advice/help in their areas of specific knowledge?)

      One other point that nobody else brought up: the race photo she is using from 2013 sure seems designed to look like she finished in 2013, which everyone pointed out she couldn’t have because they stopped people who were at her pace. Not sure where on the course that photo was taken, but it is clear to me what she wants you to assume when you see it.

  12. My question would be, who picked up the bib? Isn’t an I’d required? Second question, since the majority of the runners who didn’t get to finish, qualified for the following year, who ran in her place? Katie again?

  13. haha you guys are all sick – there are real problems going on in the world, thanks for keeping the sport honest but let’s tone it down a bit. hate is a strong word that should only be associated with those heinous attacks – not people running races. hate the sin, not the sinner. everyone take a deep breath.

    • Sounds a bit hypocritical. One person used the word “hate” – one person’s opinion – and that makes everyone on here “sick”? : )

  14. In my opponion, the Bib transfer stroy is more severe than the bombing proximity mis-information. Let me explain why.
    1. The Bib transfer: It is directly contradicting the regulations of the race. She could run with that Bib only if she got explicit confirmation from (a) the race organaizers, and (b) the donators who paid the charity. Any other scenario is a cheat, legally and morally.
    2. The Bombing story: Well, the first reaction can be “she abused the tragedy of others to attract attension”. However, even though we hate to admit it, this kind of “small twists” in the information (putting ourselves a bit closer to the main stage of the drama), are very human and very common. Have you ever heard an “urban legend”? It is always told like “my cousin…” “my brother-in-law…” etc. So how come it is not true after all? Because the teller heard it from a freind, and the teller didn’t like to say “the cousin of my freind…” – it looks far and suspicious; instead, s/he says again “*my* cousin…”. Is it a crime? no it isn’t. Is it the truth? neither. Is it human? More than we want to admit.
    I remember a freind of mine (really!) coming back from a war. He told me a heroic story as it was his regiment involved. Unfortunately, this story became very famous, with lots of details given in the media about it. So I could conclude that he arrived to that arena only a half day later, and when he did, he joined another regiment which faught 10-15 miles away. Did I understood him? I did. It was much more compelling to say “we did this and that” rather than “the other regiment did this and that”.
    So my point is, it is natural. To some extent, we all do such small twists from time to time.

    • Small “twists” (lies) I think we all understand. Your friend who completely lied about his involvement in a heroic war effort should be ashamed; there are actually Stolen Valor laws for those who go too far with such stories or fabrications of their service records.
      Ditto for this runner and her lies about being close to the Boston bombing. The truth of running in the race, hearing the bombs, being scared for your family, etc should be enough without the fabrication.
      Better example: I feel a lot of empathy for anyone who was in NYC the day the towers came down. but I’d feel pretty duped if somebody implied they were down near the towers or were evacuated from the docks, but then I found out later they were watching it all on TV from their East Side apartment uptown.

  15. Derek, what was her actual time for 2017 Boston? Also, did she genuinely ever qualify for Boston in those 7 years of running it? Just curious….

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