Oiselle Doubles Down in Support of “Run Selfie Repeat” Blogger

Kelly Roberts issues apology "It Appears I Made A Mistake"

Yesterday’s article regarding Kelly Roberts and Oiselle sparked a debate on social media. It led to an apology by Kelly Roberts for banditing the races in question. Representatives of Oiselle commented as well on various platforms.

Kelly’s Apology

Kelly posted an apology on Runselfierepeat.com.  I think it is only fair to post her entire statement.

I MADE A MISTAKE

It appears that I’ve made a mistake. 

Race directors deserve the utmost respect and it appears that I’ve let some down. Banditting is a term in the running world that refers to someone who runs a race without registering. I wasn’t aware that running even a piece of a race– for example, jumping in to pace a friend for a few miles, was also against the rules. 

In San Francisco, I ran an out and back portion of a race a few times with a friend well before a race started. I didn’t know it wasn’t allowed. No officials ever asked us to leave the course and once the race started, we ran on the grass by the spectators until we found our friend who was going for a personal best. Once we found her, I ran a few miles with her to help her keep fighting. Then, I stopped to cheer with my friends for a few minutes, and then ran off into Golden Gate Park, off the course, to finish my 17 mile long run.

In Carlsbad, the exact situation was reversed. I was planning to run along the ocean and found out that a friend was running along the 101 during a race as well. I ran 10 miles with her and while I didn’t pace her, she absolutely dragged me along because I was having a really hard day. I was grateful for her company but I didn’t realize that I was making a mistake.  

I’ve reached out to the race directors to apologize and pay for my participation. I made a mistake and while my rationales don’t make it all better, it’s my hope that through my embarrassing and unfortunate mistakes, we can all learn from them. It’s never my intention to let anyone down, rather the opposite. But I’m human and unfortunately, I made a mistake. I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again. 

The running community is an incredible one. Thank you for always having my back.

 

After the initial banditing controversy during her “Run Selfie Repeat” race, I would have thought she knew better. She posted previously that she would not do that again. She referenced the strain and risk towards volunteers, race officials, and medical staff. I’m not sure how she would have felt that those issues would not exist if she were only running a portion of the race. Regardless, people will have their own opinions regarding her banditing and apology.

It was over a week ago that I contacted her regarding these two specific races. The apology and her apparent attempts to reach out to the races only came after this was made public.

Oiselle

There have been a variety of responses from Oiselle and employees of Oiselle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan is Director of Marketing at Oiselle. At one point the official Oiselle twitter account re-tweeted this which left the distinct impression that Oiselle was OK with banditing races.

 

Shortly after that, Oiselle CEO Sally Bergesen tweeted the following.

 

 

 

 

 

The classification of Kelly as a Pro Athlete led to more questions. Many felt that this characterization of Kelly was insulting to true elites. Sally responded that Kelly is a full time paid athlete – hence the classification. It is my opinion, that she is paid to blog and promote. Pro blogger, definitely. But calling her a professional athlete diminishes the term.  Sports writers and talk show hosts are not pro athletes. They work in the sports industry. Kelly works in the industry, no doubt.

With Sally’s response, there was finally a little bit of clarification regarding Kelly’s role within Oiselle. Oiselle members, who pay $100 annually for the privilege were told to stop asking about Kelly.

Sally was interviewed on MarioFraioli’s Moring Shakeout article

It is worth a read.

 

Finally, only after a solid day of backlash, and after retweeting a view that seemingly indicated that banditing is acceptable, Oiselle posted an official position against banditing.

 

 

 

The fact that this statement came over 24 hours after the initial article and after they retweeted their director of marketing defending banditing  does not give the impression that Oiselle  is truly against the practice.

I am open to discuss this topic at any time with Kelly or anyone at Oiselle. I would be more than willing to do a podcast or interview with Kelly  to debate these topics. Or we can just have a private discussion. I am not out to bully Kelly. But I do feel it is important for transparency and honesty in the sport and as it relates to sponsorships.

 

 

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Kelly Roberts
78 Comments on this post.
  • Eric
    13 June 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Derek, I enjoy your site and think you provide a good resource for race directors, and some interesting reading for the rest of us, but what is with your ax to grind with Kelly? You made your point in two other articles. We get it, you don’t think she deserves to have the following she has, you think Oiselle is evil for supporting her.

    For the love of all that is holy, please move on!

    • derek murphy
      13 June 2017 at 3:22 pm

      thanks for the feedback. I didn’t do much more with this one than post her response as well as Oiselle’s.

      Yesterday’s story was separated from the initial commentary on the ‘bullying’ article because I was giving Kelly/Oiselle and the two races more time to respond. I realize it may seem like overkill for those not interested. For what it’s worth, I have spent a significant time going through Boston results over the last 24 hours – since there is a bit of a lull in the marathon schedule.

      • Justin
        13 June 2017 at 3:48 pm

        Its always interesting to see how sorry people become once things go public. I’m glad your article gave a timeline in that regard. Its also interesting to see a company backtrack against comments posted by its higher-ups…but only after public fallout. As Colin Cowherd says, when people tell you who they are…believe them.

        • Shelley
          15 June 2017 at 8:51 am

          Of all this trite discussion, I find the reference to Colin Cowherd most objectionable. If you’re going to quote someone, you should know whom you’re quoting — and that is NOT his quote. Try MAYA ANGELOU.

          The beautiful quote is actually —

          “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou

        • Susan
          15 June 2017 at 12:42 pm

          Agree. So,”apparently “…”it seems” not appropriate. What rick you been under?.. I’m sorry but somewhere along the way you had to know that “free ” or not registered is wrong..i was born at night but not LAST night…agree that NOW you want to apologize? Give me a break. Sleeze here and other places too.Tbere is no free lunch.Repent and share how poor sportsman like this is,but that you should be embarrassed that you got caught.

      • Alexander
        15 June 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Derek, to be fair, you did do more than post her response. You editorialized to relitigate your position and characterize Kelly’s response as insufficient.

        I must say I fully agree with Eric, I enjoy your site and think it fulfills an important role in the running community. But the amount of space that has been devoted to Kelly over time really is not justified by her, rather smallish, mistakes.

    • Kristy
      13 June 2017 at 5:12 pm

      I’m with Eric on this one. She made a mistake, she wrote an apology, she’s not qualifying for anything or taking someone’s place on the podium. Let’s move on.

    • Steven Bourne
      13 June 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Eric – Kelly posted a response to this on June 12th. It would only make sense for Derek to post a reply. That’s the whole point of this site.

    • James
      13 June 2017 at 6:10 pm

      While I agree that if this saga were to continue to dominate posts on Marathon Investigation I’d be disappointed, but if it’s just going to be a couple of articles summarising the _drama_ then please continue.

      I’m not going to try and follow this play-by-play on social media, but seeing as I’m now invested after reading the very long introductory post I would like to tune back in for the conclusion as well.

  • mack
    13 June 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting that they are using the history of women’s running to say that it is okay. That is only a valid argument if women or any other group were not actually allowed to run a race, it does not hold water if one just does not want to pay for an event.

    • Joe
      13 June 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Exactly. Bobbi Gibb tried to register and was told that women were not allowed. The next year, Kathrine Switzer was only able to sign up because she put down her name as K. V. Switzer and they didn’t know she was female; then the race director tried to bodily remove her from the race. Those women faced actual discrimination. This is in no way a comparable situation.

    • Brian Glotzbach
      14 June 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Well put.

  • Albert
    13 June 2017 at 4:09 pm

    It seems to me like Oiselle and Kelly are doing a lot of apologizing and backpedaling simply because somebody questioned them and called them out, and they are embarrassed by the facts. In response to Kelly’s statements, yes it is human to make mistakes, but it is also human to try and cover your butt out of embarrassment when you’ve been called out for being a fool.

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 12:11 am

      Albert, when you don’t realize that you did something wrong…that’d make sense. When someone brings it to your attention, then you backtrack and acknowledge it.

  • Andrea
    13 June 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I say leave her alone, why focus on the all this negativity? We have so much of it in the world. New day, fresh start. Leave the drama in the past, everyone makes mistakes. Move on and focus on the good in the world, if you can’t find the good, then be the good in the world. This repetitive negative focus on Kelly Roberts isn’t productive. I’d love to see positive running stories instead of bringing attention to someone’s mistakes, we are all human, aren’t we?

    • Jenny
      13 June 2017 at 7:19 pm

      The whole purpose of this blog is to present evidence about cheaters, frauds, and liars.

    • Donna
      14 June 2017 at 10:16 am

      I think you are missing the point of this blog which is to call out people who cheat and deliberately and knowingly make mistakes. She makes a regular habit of this and Derek is just following up with the responses.

    • Susan
      15 June 2017 at 12:51 pm

      ok.how about I gather up 50 to 100 more of MY running friends and we just join you at the next race.you know,we just run.like beside you or on the sidewalk or neighboring grass.we take advantage of how the roadways are safe and secure and hiw the officer’s keep traffic from running me over.what a lovely morning run..i just can’t run through the finish line or grsb the runner refreshments. Poor me. Renember,don’t worry,be happy.Think of the positive this creates.let me ask, just what about this repeatedly being done creates a positive atmosphere or sets a good example for the upcoming women who want to run a race?

      • Maggie Huang
        17 June 2017 at 12:17 am

        Susan, banditing and bib-swapping is not right, for “upcoming women” and men, whoever really. She was new to racing when she did the NYC Half, and sure being new doesn’t excuse you from rules, but now she knows. With these few races, it’s not like she went in thinking, “Ha I’m getting over on the race directors, avoiding race fees, grabbing runner refreshments”.

        If we want to talk about a positive atmosphere or good example being set, doesn’t Kelly do that? It is abundantly clear that banditing is wrong. That is not the focus of her content. She does not go into a race with the intent of doing that. Her content involves her revealing her most raw insecurities so that others can relate, understand that they too are capable despite what society has pushed as norms. That is why I follow her, why thousands of women and men follow her.

  • LMM
    13 June 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I really think much less of Oiselle as a company after reading these posts.

    • Running Momma
      13 June 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Me too, but my credit card will be really happy I am because Oiselle stuff can be pretty pricey 🙂 I’ll stick with Lulu!

      • Amanda
        14 June 2017 at 11:33 am

        I’m having the same thoughts about Oiselle stuff too now. You might want to check out Graced By Grit – they’re a woman owned company and they manufacture their stuff in the US. As far as I know, there isn’t any controversy around them.

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 12:22 am

      LMM, Running Momma, and Amanda: Why does Oiselle support Kelly? Kelly made mistakes, which she admits to. Oiselle does not support banditing and bib-swapping; why would they continue to support Kelly if they didn’t believe in her broader message? Gosh, and we are lucky to have someone like Kelly who is always being her true self. There is no beating around the bush or sugar coating. She’s willing to dish out and reveal her most personal insecurities to help others…meanwhile some people don’t even reveal their names when commenting on this site or other channels.

  • Helen
    13 June 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Why are we calling this an apology when she never used the word ‘sorry’ in it? She’s not sorry and “it appears I’ve made a mistake” isn’t the same as “I’ve made a mistake”. She’s just mad she got called out for it again.

    • Justin
      13 June 2017 at 7:58 pm

      You hit the nail on the head.

    • Sandy
      13 June 2017 at 8:52 pm

      You caught that too huh? She’s sorry she got caught not for what she did. Once is a mistake, 2 or 3 or 4 is a habit and a sense of entitlement. “Im promoting women and Body acceptance and that is more important than the rules, saftey issues or paying races fees that help pay the non volunteers professionalS.

    • T S
      13 June 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Exactly. “It appears…” She wasn’t aware… She didn’t know… it was someone else’s fault… she was just trying to help others… “we can all learn…” “I’m human” (just like all you little people out there who are inspired by my greatness).

      It is one of the most self-aggrandizing non-apology apologies I’ve ever seen.

    • shawn
      14 June 2017 at 11:14 am

      Exactly what I said yesterday. My teenagers apologize better than that! You would think her marketing department would have helped her with it — or perhaps they did…..

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 12:45 am

      You’re right, she didn’t use the word “sorry” in her post. Man, we could spend ALL day picking apart the word choice, semantics, etc. Hey TS and Sandy, did you also read the part of the post where she indicates that she did not realize that running a portion of the race was considering banditing? Sure that does not mean she is above the rules. If we’re going to harp on the fact that she didn’t use “sorry”, can we also harp on the fact that she said, “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again. “ How many ways can we interpret that? She did not run those particular races with the intention of overriding or avoiding “rules, saftey issues or paying races fees that help pay the non volunteers professionalS.” Now she knows abundantly that is was wrong; she won’t do it again. 

Ultimately whether the apology is indeed genuine or one that is “self-aggrandizing non-apology”, we will see from her behavior.

      It’s funny that people are picking on her words, ones that she’s posted. Meanwhile, some people that are commenting don’t even want to reveal their names.

  • Anya
    13 June 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Lord Oiselle has said more than enough. The only thing left to do is boycott their product. Boy I BETTER NOT read about them admonishing ANY other brand, because they’re fake AF and lost any right to act like they’re righteous in any regard. They’ve bullied paying members, advocated sexual harassment and cheating, and pretty much told paying customers who take issue with these tenets they support, to fo f**k themselves.

    Oiselle-done and DONE for me. Not that they give AF, they’ve made it obvious that if you’re not with them you can stick it. Even Lululemon is looking less shady at this point. Good job in accomplishing THAT 😂😂😂

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 12:49 am

      Anya, have you considered why Oiselle would put their reputation on the line? Why are they still supporting Kelly?

  • KB
    13 June 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I actually joined the Oiselle group this year after giving it much consideration. I’m now coming to regret that decision and wish I had known of this prior to joining (guess I didn’t research enough). Now, it really frustrates me to think we were told our membership fees were going one direction, but it doesn’t appear that is the full truth. Secondly, the cheating and banditing of races is one of my biggest pet peeves. I may not have a chance at winning in larger races, but I run in them because I enjoy it. I have even chosen to not participate in some local races after being affected by cheaters the previous year (it was witnessed reported it to the race director immediately by multiple parties, yet nothing was done). While her banditing doesn’t affect me directly since I didn’t participate in those particular races, it does affect me and others because that is surely one of the many reasons that races are becoming more expensive (along with numerous other reasons). It also does say a lot about me if I’m willing to not participate in races because of cheating the previous year, but will be willing to renew my membership next year in a group that apparently accepts cheating and banditing. This is not okay in my book. She knew better and is only apologizing because she’s been called out on it.

    Definitely going to be giving me something to think about when my membership comes up for renewal next year and likely will make me choose to keep that money in my own wallet or directing it to a company that makes it clear they don’t accept cheating and banditing. But as someone else said, looks like I’m done with Oiselle as well.

    • Hiromi
      14 June 2017 at 11:53 am

      I’m in the same situation – became a Team Volee member just this year and now seriously considering not re-upping next year. I joined based on the advertised fact that my membership money was to fund the elite Haute Volee team NOT to pay a blogger whose ethics and practices I do not share (I found the whole “hot guys selfie” post obnoxious and disrespectful). I get that Oiselle wants to lift up all runners of all shapes, sizes and speeds but there MUST be better candidates for this and calling someone like Kelly a “pro” and “elite” runner is laughable and an insult those who actually are pros and elites.

      Dear Oiselle – Kelly Roberts really is not the sort of personality you want to be representing you. Her self-aggrandizing and aggressive pursuit of “whatever serves Kelly” is tainting your brand. You may want to reconsider your association with her before she drags you further into her mud pen.

      • Maggie Huang
        17 June 2017 at 1:11 am

        Hiromi, okay, times are times. By time standards, Kelly is not an elite runner. Derek Murphy’s tone in the blog is to present what has happened/reality. You could’ve easily done that without the “laughable” and “insult”. Okay, we get it, her times do not qualify her as an elite athlete. That’s all, plain and simple. It’s not like Kelly walks around boasting and bragging that she is.

        What kind of personalities does Oiselle represent?

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 1:02 am

      KB, has there been any clarity from Oiselle about the relationship between membership fees and Kelly’s role? That’d be helpful to share, so that it is out in the open.

      
Why would Oiselle put their reputation on the line for Kelly? It is not accurate at this point to say that they accept cheating and banditing. In a statement by Sally Bergesen, there is a line that reads, “Oiselle does not condone banditing races or wearing bibs registered to others.” Again I ask, why would Oiselle risk their brand for Kelly? She made mistakes, but her overall message is more impactful and valuable.

  • DM
    13 June 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Her “crimes” were minor misdemeanors at best. She partially banditted a couple of races. She took selfies of unsuspecting guys during a race, and yes, if a man did that, it would be considered crude and creepy and even threatening. In her case it was meant to be funny in an edgy sort of way, and yes, a woman can get away with that.. I suppose somewhat like an african american rapper can use the n word but not a white rapper.. She apologized to the public, the race directors and paid the races back. If you didnt like the wording of her apology, thats your problem.. But she did apologize. Harping on this woman imho dilutes this blog/site and makes it look persnickety (sorry Derek). She didnt take medals, cheat in a race for higher place or better time etc. Move on…

    • S
      13 June 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Yup. That’s where I’m at. There’s a marathon near me that has a brutal uphill near the end. I go run it late in the race to cheer on the slower marathoners. Last week there was a half on my regular long run route for a half mile. I ran that half mile section cheering on the racers then went on my way. There’s STUFF, like stealing a Boston Marathon spot, and stuff, like running a partial race route. Priorities.

      • shawn
        14 June 2017 at 6:40 pm

        Dear S: aside from any illegal or immoral behavior, let me just say that I’d prefer you not run along me in any races. If you want to cheer from the sidelines — great! If you want to volunteer and cheer from the aid stations — even better! But stay of the course. Do you really think somebody struggling up a hill at the end of their marathon wants you fresh and chipper alongside them?
        Happy trails.

        • CanadianRunYogi
          15 June 2017 at 9:32 am

          Some people do want that though. Our local race has a brutal hill section that feels like it will never end and they actually have a group of perky and peppy people who will run up it with you, encouraging you. It helped me and many others tremendously.

    • Janet
      14 June 2017 at 10:43 am

      DM, I’m with you on this one. IS it morally wrong? Technically, but no more than passing a car in a no passing zone. Happens all the time. Articles like this, that are nit-picky, diminish the value of the site and make me wonder how desperate the writers are at coming up with a story.

      • derek murphy
        14 June 2017 at 11:10 am

        A couple things. Do I write about everyone that hops on a course? No. But in this case, Kelly absolutely knew better. She was caught banditing in the past. She, herself posted about the strain that banditing puts on support staff. She wasn’t pacing her friend..her friend gave up her race to slow down with Kelly.

        This was simply a follow up. Do I think the response was genuine? Was the response by Oiselle appropriate? Just putting it all out there.

        Also by publicizing this instance, others should realize that even hopping on a course to run part of a race is not O.K.

        • DM
          14 June 2017 at 1:43 pm

          Derek, I hear you but in my eye and in the greater public’s eye, minor banditting like this doesn’t isn’t really a big deal. The theoretical logistical risks of injury etc are extremely remote.

          Once ten years ago in a marathon, I took a bottle of Gatorade from a friend. It was not at an official aid station. One other time a friend gave me my hat to wear about 10 miles in once the sun came out. Both of those acts were technically illegal. Again, minor stuff ,happens all the time. Your blog/site is fantastic and I bet has had a deterrent effect on cheaters. I doubt it will when it comes to banditting unless the race directors start pressing civil or criminal charges against those who do it.

          • Ryan
            14 June 2017 at 2:19 pm

            Don’t speak to the “greater public’s” eye when this view is your own and it is obvious a majority of the commenters and readers on thsi site agree that she was wrong. People who think we should let small things go are part of the problem. For the want of a nail…

          • Maggie Huang
            17 June 2017 at 1:15 am

            Derek, in response to “it is obvious a majority of the commenters and readers on thsi site agree that she was wrong”. The reason people come to Derek’s site is to read about these types of stories. If you haven’t had time to check Kelly’s post yet, then I’ll just copy and paste here for easy reading.

            http://www.runselfierepeat.com/blog/i-made-a-mistake

            She didn’t realize that it was not allowed. “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.” She did not go into these particular races with the intent of avoiding race fees, grabbing runner supplies, etc. She admits it was a mistake once she realized it was wrong.

  • Val
    13 June 2017 at 6:34 pm

    It would be really nice and show a lot of maturity if Kelly would have a discussion with Derrick a podcast something other than just dismissing everyone as a “hater” and post passive agressive memes on twitter. I doubt she’ll have the maturity to have a discussion with someone who disagrees with her though.

    • Jenn
      13 June 2017 at 9:40 pm

      100% agree. The passive aggressive memes and obvious subtweets are really juvenile, especially when she is in the wrong for this situation.

  • Christina
    13 June 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I feel like enough is enough, you’re on a witch hunt. I will also admit that I have jumped in with a friend trying to BQ a few miles here or there during a marathon and never thought of it as banditing. I think of someone who starts and finishes, takes aid and a finishers medal without paying entry is a bandit. I used to support your site but I won’t any longer. You’re going way too far, people are bashing this young woman for no food reason. You should be ashamed of yourself. What if this was your daughter?!?!

    • derek murphy
      13 June 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I posted her apology and Ouselle’s statement. Would it have not been worse to ignore their statements?

      If it were my daughter, I would hope she would address the criticism directly.

      • TL
        13 June 2017 at 8:15 pm

        Kelly is another in the long line of people shining the light of social media on themselves. I’m fine with that. However, once those people start making their own rules and breaking rules that are abundantly clear (e.g. banditing, bib muling/swapping, course cutting, etc.) they are going to get burned. I have never seen a race that allows outsiders to pace participants. In fact, race directors are usually pretty clear that it isn’t allowed. I never quite understand why people think the rules don’t apply to them. And the brighter the light is that you shine on yourself, the larger the reaction will be when you break the rules. To my mind, that’s a natural consequence.

        • Maggie Huang
          17 June 2017 at 1:22 am

          TL, have you had time to check out Kelly’s post? She indicates that she did not realize that it was not allowed. She also says, “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.”

          Race directors know the rules, sure, but sometimes it is not well-communicated to the public. Now she knows, she’s admitted it was a mistake, move on.

          And yes she utilizes social media to talk about her story…that’s what she does for a living. She is very open about personal vulnerabilities as a way of helping others understand that they can achieve their impossible goals as well. Her content is so raw and unfiltered…meanwhile some people can’t even list their names when posting/commenting on this site.

      • BB
        13 June 2017 at 8:38 pm

        I’m of two minds. I’m done with this story too. Definitely ready for a juicy busting of a real cheater.

        That said, this Kelly is FOS. What does she mean she didn’t know it was wrong to jump into a race without paying? My 9 year old knows that. And this is after getting called out the first time!

        She’s a fraud and a liar, but let’s also move on.

      • Sandy
        13 June 2017 at 9:02 pm

        Keep up the good work Derek. Im getting tired of the “rules only apply until they don’t. For people to say your are negative and we need to see the good. If people like Kelly and others who break the rules would stop this negative behavior, bloggers like you would post nothing but atta boy articles and feel good stories. Its not negative b/c it was reported, the action itself was negative.

      • S
        13 June 2017 at 10:18 pm

        I think it’s the tone of the original article. Maybe more opportunities for the subject to share their perspective. That’s about lead time and communication mode.

        • derek murphy
          14 June 2017 at 8:56 am

          I believe I sent Kelly 3 messages and never got a reply. The first email was about the general article. I offered to open up a dialogue. Onve I lerned of the banditing, I emailed her asking if she had obtained permission to be on the course and asking for comment. If I don’t get a response, I can’t share their side as much.

      • Maia
        14 June 2017 at 1:34 pm

        If she were your daughter? That’s creepy.

        Dude, this makes you look kinda crazy.

        • derek murphy
          14 June 2017 at 1:43 pm

          That was in direct response to the question, “What if this was your daughter?!?!”

      • Steven Roberts
        14 June 2017 at 2:00 pm

        Dear Mr. Murphy: Well, Kelly is my daughter. I read her response above and thought it was a well crafted and sincere mea culpa. Rules are rules but don’t they only apply to the race competitors? Sounds to me like she did not compete and viewed it more as a social outing in support of her buddies. Regardless, she owned up so good on her.
        Cheers,
        Steven Roberts

        • derek murphy
          14 June 2017 at 3:04 pm

          Thanks Steven.

          I understand your support of your daughter.

          You are right, she did not compete.

          What I question is how she was not aware of these rules when she wrote about the exact reasons for those rules in a prior article.

          Yes, the situation of buying a bib and competing were not exactly the same as these other two instances, they are comparable. She wrote of the stress on race officials, volunteers, and medical staff. It doesn’t matter whether she was competing or running with her friends to those that provide course support.

          Thanks

        • shawn
          14 June 2017 at 6:52 pm

          Sir,
          No, the rules do not just apply to the race competitors. As stated better by others here (and by Runner’s World), they apply to the race course too.
          I would just let this drop, but you and your daughter don’t seem to be able to admit that what she did was wrong. She said “it appears that I made a mistake”, which makes me think she really doesn’t think she did. Then you said “regardless, she owned up to it” which makes me think you still don’t think she did anything wrong either. My perception is that others on this site agree; we are willing to let honest mistakes slide, but don’t like repeat offenders who clearly should know better.

    • Robert F
      13 June 2017 at 9:05 pm

      What’s the difference between a “witch hunt” and an ongoing story? I’m interested in seeing how this progresses. Derek’s highlighting the untenable position of a person and a corporation that had condoned cheating and then sort of apologized. It’s an ongoing story, and it’s interesting to see how it plays out.

      The corporate side of it is fascinating. They’re 100% behind her, strong women break the rules, oh wait, maybe you shouldn’t cheat after all.

  • Jen
    14 June 2017 at 1:19 am

    Never once did Sally or any other employee at Oiselle tell any Volee members to stop asking about Kelly in any capacity. Aysha Mirza’s membership was refunded due to repeated cringeworthy public harassment of Kelly, not because she communicated with respect to anyone with her questions. This is shoddy, half baked journalism on your part. Have you interviewed other Volee members to get the full story? Aysha is a laughingstock to most of the Volee for her emotional instability and her lies about her nonexistent so-called sponsorships with Run Gum, R8, and more.

  • shawn
    14 June 2017 at 11:21 am

    Derek:
    Runners World posted a good article today about all the reasons why you should stay off a race course if you didn’t properly enter it. (and they linked to some news on you as well.)

    http://www.runnersworld.com/races/it-is-never-ever-okay-to-run-a-race-you-didnt-pay-for?internal_recirc=hpblock3

    I think Oiselle needs to re-read this one over and over:
    Quote
    Hey, running has a rich history of banditing! Why is it wrong now if it wasn’t wrong in the past?
    It was wrong in the past. What was more wrong in the past was that most races wouldn’t allow women to pay to enter. The women who bandited to protest this discrimination are the only permissible bandits in history. Everyone else: Pay up.
    Unquote

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 1:28 am

      Shawn, yep, banditing is wrong. Have you seen Kelly’s post? She did not realize. She did not go into the races thinking that she was above the rules and regulations. She did not know, and that was not her intention. “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.” Oiselle is not stupid; why would they put their brand on the line for Kelly? 



      Yes it was a mistake. Banditing a full race or parts of it is not allowed. Oiselle supports her because of the “consistent positive voice for body acceptance and inclusivity”. If you want, you can re-read this over and over here: http://www.oiselle.com/blog/why-we-sponsor-kelly-roberts?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=boost&utm_campaign=kelly+roberts&utm_term=base+plus&utm_content=061417

      • Bandit Buster
        20 June 2017 at 7:57 am

        “Shawn, yep, banditing is wrong. Have you seen Kelly’s post? She did not realize.”
        That’s what I would say if I was caught. Do I believe that someone involved in running and races would be ignorant of this?
        Not a chance

  • Concerned Reader
    14 June 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Hey Derek,

    If you’re looking at the messages Kelly is receiving you will see that people are seriously attacking her. Is that your goal? They are stooping so low to not only call her names but discuss and make fun of how her brother died? That’s going beyond just the running community and now intentionally hurting family and friends. What is your mission and goal with all of this and these articles? It’s one thing to point out errors and mistakes, but she apologized. The messages she’s receiving are quite dangerous and malicious. Just my two cents.

    • derek murphy
      14 June 2017 at 3:06 pm

      please point me to any messages relating to her brother on my site or social media. There was one post referencing that tragedy which I removed. It was not making fun of it. If there is any such post, I will delete it and ban the user. I do not tolerate that. Email me the comment – derek@marathoninvestigation.com

      • Charlene Ragsdale
        14 June 2017 at 3:19 pm

        There were zero posts about anyone making fun of the loss of her brother, only clarification of her loss or someone sharing they also had a loss.

        • Maggie Huang
          16 June 2017 at 5:38 pm

          Charlene, are you friends with Kelly and do you have access to all her social media input (emails, Instagram direct messages, Facebook direct messages)? Yes there are no posts or comments here about the loss of her brother, but that does not mean these messages that “Concerned Reader” do not exist.

        • Maggie Huang
          16 June 2017 at 5:40 pm

          Charlene, are you friends with Kelly and do you have access to her social media input (emails, Instagram direct messages, Facebook direct messages)? Yes there are no posts here making fun of the loss of her brother, but that is no indication that she is not receiving hate mail.

  • CG
    14 June 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I never heard of Kelly Roberts before, but after reading many comments I see she has quite a following and fierce backing as well.

    I just don’t understand how someone who’s an established bandit got a magazine cover and Oiselle ambassadorship… out of many other candidates who had not. I may be wrong, but it looks like she was not known at all until the banditing came to light.

    She’s body positive… that’s great. So are many other people who don’t bandit.

    Call me jealous all you want. Like I said I never heard of her before and I just don’t understand the fierce backing of someone who can’t live up to being a role model. Sorry loses it’s meaning each extra time it needs to be said. I support the work that Derek does is maintaining the integrity of our beloved sport.

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 1:38 am

      CG, you mentioned not understanding a few things, so let’s clear them up. She’s not an established bandit…she was new to running at the NYC Half, and she also did not realize that it is not allowed to run a part of the course even. Had she known, she wouldn’t have done it. She states that in her blog post: “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.” She’s not doing it again. She didn’t go into the races with the malicious intent of avoiding race fees, capitalizing on the gains of others, therefore she is not an established bandit.

      You say that Kelly was not known at all until the banditing came to light. Well, in November 2015, she had twenty-five thousand followers in Instagram. This did not happen by accident. You’re right, Kelly has a fierce backing. It is not merely numbers, and her followers will fiercely stand by her. So has Oiselle. Why? Why would thousands of people do this for her? Why would Oiselle put their brand on the line for her? Oiselle’s Sally Bergesen points out that it is Kelly’s “consistent positive voice for body acceptance and inclusivity”. That is what makes her a role model. Day in and day out, Kelly is candid and raw about her deepest vulnerabilities in an effort to help others overcome their own and reach their impossible goals. How refreshing it is to have someone who can be so upfront, when some people who comment on this very blog can’t even reveal their names when responding/replying.

  • Audra
    15 June 2017 at 9:06 am

    There are many things that spark outrage in this world of ours. Reality check: Kelly Roberts isn’t one of them. My goodness, fellow runners. Move on.

    • Maggie Huang
      17 June 2017 at 2:00 am

      When it comes to something like this, it’s so easy to throw around hateful language. It’s evidenced in this very situation on both sides. Derek, it seems that you stray away from that and even monitor the comments. I appreciate that.

      However as someone who has a following, who has social influence, there is also a great responsibility associated with it. Sure you cannot control what others say, but Derek, it is socially irresponsible to have this. Kelly has been receiving disgusting, hurtful messages via various social media platforms. These messages relate to the very vulnerabilities that she has shared, the ones that she was willing to share with the world in order to help others promote positivity and body acceptance. Kelly is raw and candid in a way that most people are too afraid to be. The people that denounce her now…do you know why she started running?

      No she does not get a pass for mistakes. She’s not immune from them. She ran races that she should not have. She did not know, which still doesn’t mean that it was okay. She knows now. She states, “I’m grateful it was brought to my attention so that I don’t make the same mistakes again.” People harp on how genuine her apology is; it’s so easy to dissect semantics and word choice. Ultimately, we’ll see by her behavior. That will be a true indication of how genuine she is, and I have the utmost faith she is sincere. She has been nothing but sincere in her journey as a runner. She tells us her deepest insecurities and vulnerabilities; meanwhile some people commenting on this particular blog or sending her hate mail don’t even reveal something as simple as their full name when responding.

      Kelly’s message is powerful. It changed my life. Kelly did not gain followers because of this banditing. She had twenty-five thousand Instagram followers in November 2015, well before this surfaced. Why would Oiselle risk their brand for her? Why are they continuing to sponsor her? Because what Kelly looks to accomplish on Instagram, Facebook, on the Run Selfie Repeat blog, on her podcasts…it is incredibly impactful. It will and has changed women and men for the better.

      Again this does not make it okay that she bandited. But the reality that (1) she has been receiving such atrocious feedback from people who are not mature enough to have productive discourse, and that (2) detracts from what drives her to run and create content…that makes this whole hoopla socially irresponsible.

  • Melissa
    15 June 2017 at 10:38 am

    Wow three articles on this woman? I’ve never followed her but I can’t imagine saying “banditing is wrong” and moving on wouldn’t be a better use of your time. You seem to really dislike this woman. Some people are jerks, it’s just a fact of life. Let the race organizers handle her. No articles are going to change her behavior. So why continue to be mad about it?

    • derek murphy
      15 June 2017 at 10:49 am

      This article was just to provide an update on the developments. I provided a link to Oiselle’s official statement and a couple of relevant articles. I surely did not bash Kelly or Oiselle with this update. I also asked for examples of where she was bullied by her teammate. I think that was fair.

  • Bob
    17 June 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Kelly didn’t make a “mistake.” She knew what she was doing. She represents everything I don’t like about the running community

  • Lauren
    10 July 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Ugh, her again? Nice non-pology. Oiselle has low standards for their ‘pro-athletes’.

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