London’s Run Dem Crew Member Used Founder’s Bib To Run 2016 New York City Marathon


After writing about the NYC Running “Crews”, I received a number of tips regarding other running groups that appear to have flaunted the rules. I continue to run those down. I felt like this was a good time to re-set the first case of ‘institutionalized’ cheating.

Run Dem Crew –  London, UK



I received this tip after posting the article on The Bridge Runners. Above are runners pictured from the 2016 NYC Marathon. The runner on the left is wearing bib #48395. Bib #48395 belonged to Charles Williams – AKA “Daddy Dark”.  Williams is the founder of Run Dem Crew. He is seen pictured here with none other than Richard Branson.


As founder of “Run Dem Crew” it sets a poor precedent to allow your bib to be used in NYC (Or anywhere). Thousands of runners miss out on running The New York City Marathon every year. When runners  break the rules by banditing or using other’s bibs, that limits the capacity for races. If there were no bandits or bib swappers, races could accept more legitimate runners. But, they have to account for a certain percentage of illegal entries when assessing their registration limits.

The Bridge Runners

It does not seem that the indiscretion relating to NYC 2016 is as brazen or as widespresd as The Bridge Runners, a NYC Running ‘crew’ that unapologetically copies bibs for NYC races. If you try to criticize them, you are branded a “runnerd”.

“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to sell a kidney to run our city.”

You can run the city for free any time. But, putting on a race costs money. They pay to close the streets. They pay for security. They pay for the right to hold the event. You can run anywhere else you want to that day, but you feel so entitled that you take for free what thousands of others paid for. You did not earn that right. If you are so anti-establishment, then put on your own event the same day.

They feel since the race did not run out of Gatorade or Medals, that they are justified in taking the race entry and all the support that goes with it for free. Should I be allowed to just walk into a concert because there are empty seats or go into a restaurant and take food just because they have plenty?

They actually compared what they are doing (Copying bibs to run in races they have not paid for) to what Kathrine Switzer went through at Boston. Katherine actually PAID for her entry.

Wild Mountain Runners Club


You can read the entire article if you haven’t. To summarize, one member of the club ran with these three runners’ bibs in three different races to qualify them for Boston ’16. This was discovered during my review of the 2016 Boston marathon results.


Very shortly after posting the original article, the club shut down their Facebook page. Over 1 year later, it is still down. I do not know if this club is still organized. I have seen photos of runners wearing Wild Mountain singlets. I even spotted Jesse Gallito – the runner that ran qualifying times for three other members in race photos from the 2016 L.A Marathon. (Was not used for Boston this time around).


Coming Up

This week, I will also re-visit the topic of ‘shaming’. More and more frequently, I am finding that when I (or others) post FACTS, people think they can just yell ‘hater’ or claim ‘shaming’ instead of responding to the facts. I will discuss this relating to a couple  very specific instances.

Also with all of the up front work I did prior to Boston 2017, I am having to dig deeper to find more obvious cases of cheaters that got into the race. That is a good thing. But as I dig deeper, I will find more cases and bring them to light.


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  1. I searched for running clubs in my area. I found a few and those with a website, I didn’t bother going to any social media pages, did not have a code of conduct! While those clubs may not think it is needed, I think it is very much needed! Think about the bad publicity if Derek finds one of the club’s members cheated!!

    At the very least I hope this leads to more legitimate runner clubs to have a code of conduct for their clubs!

    But, I find it disgusting that there is a need for a code of conduct!

  2. Gotta love the lame old #Hater defense for illegal and immoral activities. The world is full of #TotesHaterz according to the low morals fringe out there.

  3. I would presume that Run Dem Crew, Charles Williams – AKA “Daddy Dark” have been permanently banned from all future NYRR and NYC Marathon races? is this the case? Also, someone should ask Mary Wittenberg for a comment assuming Branson or Virgin have an official association with Run Dem Crew. Would she condone bib swapping, forging at all Virgin races? And does anybody notice a trend in Derek’s work?: Ethically challenged running groups like Rum Dem Crew, Bridgerunners being supported by corporate interests like Nike and possibly Virgin. And let’s not forget the Reebok crew of thiefs who copied the charity bibs! derek, it would be interesting to get a comment from any of those companies. (assuming Virgin is associated or if branson just had the bad luck to be in the picture)

  4. Until which time that races either press criminal charges against these types of activities or take these people to small claims court to recoup race fees, it will not stop. Would be interesting and not that hard to take someone to small claims with evidence of their social media bragging etc and photos of them on course. Perhaps if a few were made examples, it would lessen. Personally, it doesn’t bother me (I don’t condone it). It really concerns the business of the race and its the races’ problem to solve if they care to.

  5. It’s absolutely stupid for a race to not let someone transfer or defer to a following year after spending so much money.

    People get hurt, and things happen. If Charlie’s bib was given to someone else, so be it.

    It’s a spot on the course that would have been absent. Him not running it doesn’t allow more chances for anyone else to get on the course.

    I think you’re picking a little too far deep into run crew shaming.

    • Each race director has their own reasons for their registration transfer/defer policies, but below is the one from the race I’m running tomorrow. It was clear when we signed up, so it is hard to argue. (Also, others have previously pointed out that you can buy “race insurance” if you really think you might get injured or have financial issues if you can’t race.)

      Registration is now closed as we are sold out. 275 entries were accepted, and there is NO WAIT LIST. ALL ENTRIES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE AND CANNOT BE ROLLED TO NEXT YEAR.

      Why are there no transfers or rollovers and no wait list? We plan to have about 210 runners on race day. We take 275 entries because each year we have at least 60 people who register but then, unfortunately, find they are unable to run. That brings us down to our goal of 210 runners. If we let runners transfer their numbers to others, we will not get down to our number. If we take only 210 entries, instead of 275, and maintain a wait list, we would need to raise entry fees significantly to cover the race expenses. And if we let runners transfer their entry to the following year, it would give us financial troubles for the following year and make fewer entries available, so we don’t do “rollovers.”

      Why are entry fees non-refundable? Most races have this policy for the same reason. Our race budget, and our donations to the charities we support, are based on 275 entry fees. If we were to refund 60 or more entry fees to those who register but do not run, we would have to greatly increase the entry fees in order to meet our budget. That is what races do when they give refunds or transfers. We do not want to increase our entry fees for those who run in order to give refunds to those who do not run.

      Please be understanding and don’t ask for a refund, transfer or rollover if you are one of those who finds yourself unable to run. It happens to all of us who race at one time or another.

  6. Charles Williams – AKA “Daddy Dark”

    Jesse Gallito

    Double Letter Cheater Identification Protocol still rings true

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