The French travel agency, Planet Tours has shown that they are willing to do just about anything in order to try to obtain Boston Marathon bibs for their customers.
They were involved in a scandal where their customers were added to results of races they did not even attend.
More recently, they used bib mules – including the owner of Planet Tours to carry bibs of customers in order to obtain Boston Qualifying times. This scheme was uncovered shortly before the 2017 Boston Marathon, and those customers had their entries revoked by the B.A.A.
More questionable results have been uncovered. Runners were disqualified from The 2015 Berlin Marathon with times that would have qualified them for the 2017 Boston Marathon, and there are runners with questionable qualifying times for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
2015 Berlin Marathon
In researching that article, I looked for other runners that may have used Planet Tours to gain entry to Boston. I did not find any others besides those I previously reported on. However I did find that several runners were disqualified from the Berlin Marathon.
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All of the above runners were listed as being affiliated with Planet Tours and were ultimately disqualified. 7 of the runners would have earned Boston Qualifying times for the 2017 Boston Marathon.
I went through pages of other results and did not find any other disqualifications. I have emailed Berlin to ask for any insight they may have into the specific reasons for these disqualifications. I will report back if I get a response.
2016 Dublin Marathon
There are 5 Planet Tours runners with Boston Qualifying Times from the 2016 The Dublin Marathon that are missing 10k and half split times. They also have no official chip time.
As I did with Berlin, I looked through other results. Missing the 10k and half split was not common for non Planet Tours runners.
I have reached out to Dublin to make them aware of these results. Finish line video seemed to show that these runners did actually carry their own bibs across the finish line.
Looking at historical results (where available), nothing indicates that these runners would run the finish times that they are credited with. All have PRs around 4:30:00 and Half PRs around 2 hours. Nothing indicates 3:3x:xx ability for any of these runners.
Boston Marathon International Tour Program
The Boston Marathon does have an International Travel Program where a very limited # of bibs are made available to international travel agencies without a qualification requirement. Any agency that is promising non charity bibs without a qualification requirement needs to be on the list of agencies and operators recognized by the B.A.A. A link to that list is below.
Currently The Planet Tours website has no mention of The Boston Marathon on their website. But, these runners, and possibly others that have yet to be uncovered, may be planning to run Boston with questionable results obtained through an affiliation with Planet Tours.
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