New York Road Runners Actively Combating Bib Swappers


I checked the marathonguide bulletin boards to see if there were Boston bibs posted. In particular, I was looking to see if this guy was going to try to obtain a bib again.

What I find were a glut of messages looking to buy or sell bibs for the  NYC Half Marathon. Under each message was a reply from a representative of NYRR.

Please note that only officially registered entrants are permitted in the start area during the United Airlines NYC Half. You will be trespassing if you enter the area without a race bib. Trespassing is a criminal offense with penalties that include fine and imprisonment.

It remains to be seen if the race will follow through on charging bib thieves/counterfeiters and bandits. But what is clear is that races are taking this more seriously. We already saw a runner handcuffed at the finish line after she ran a race the previous day with a stolen bib.

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  1. If person bought there bib and for any reason there a emergency and they can’t not make it you don’t give refund back so why that person can’t let he/she run for them.and this is so serious then you also need to go after all the running club that participate and all the races because i seeing it with my own eyes that they do this so if you going to come out with issue it should apply to everyone biggest corporate are all the running club so like I said if you said this is serious go after clubs.thank you

    • There is such thing as race insurance that you can buy individually if the race itself doesn’t offer it. If you’re that concerned about losing your race fee then buy it. It’s probably the same amount of effort as posting your bib on craigslist. As far as going after clubs, I’m not sure I’m with you on this one. Maybe you were being facetious, but I wouldn’t be too happy if someone who just happened to be in a club I was part of, ruined my chances of racing. Most running clubs aren’t money making operations and only exist through the hard work of it’s members. However, if we’re talking about Bridge Runners, who openly bragged about bib copying and swapping, then sure, ban them from NYRR events.

      Mostly I think NYRR were pissed that a much younger woman stole Kathrine Switzer’s second place age group award in last year’s marathon. The trespassing language is a bit much and it’s doubtful they’d ever do anything, but maybe it deterred a few people.

    • Greetings heckler, I mean hector,

      Your “concern” has been brought up, and fully answered, countless times. It’s not allowed, for many reasons. Readers of this site are bored of seeing the same troll “questions” such as yours.

      I’d say the author of the site is showing remarkably patience by allowing comments to even stay open, knowing the kind of hostile and absurd whack-a-mole comments that continue to pop up from time to time.

  2. Bib swapping is dangerous and people caught should be banned, but the idea that someone who runs with a friend’s bib is “trespassing” and could be imprisoned is bluster that is not only legally shaky but a bit rich coming from a group that has had a checkered legal history.

    Many runners stopped participating in NYRR events the year they prevented locals from winning the lottery in an attempt to be more “international” while happily (and illegally) taking their money for a lottery processing fee. Talk safety, and definitely be proactive and enforce, but dial back on the legal threats!

  3. At the very least, people buying bibs online should seed themselves in later corrals/waves according to their abilities.

    • No. Anyone “buying bibs” is willing to consciously ignore the NYRR’s well-known Rules of Competition, especially now that these warnings are being splashed here, there, and everywhere.

      I highly doubt these swine will magically gain the desire to “seed themselves in later corrals/waves according to their abilities”, after they have shown such remarkable disdain for the overall Rules of Competition to enter the race at all.

  4. Interesting. The law might vary from place to place, but it’s my understanding that generally it *is* considered trespassing to be on public land that’s being used for a special event, when you are uninvited and know that this is the case. This may not be the law in all places. But it makes sense to use it where it is the law.

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