On Saturday, this message appeared in a Facebook Group for Disney Princess Runners.
This story had a very familiar ring to it. The most well known instance of bib stealing happened at Disneyland in 2017. Someone picked up a runner’s bib. The end result was the fraudulent runner was handcuffed at the finish line.
What we discovered was that the runner’s 5k bib was picked up as well as the challenge bib. The Challenge bib was good for both the 10k and half marathon. In addition to that, the rest of the family ran with copied bibs during the 5k and 10k.
Mom, dad, brother and sister ran the 5k. Mom, dad and brother ran the 10k. In total, they were wearing approximately $1400 worth of bibs. Two of the bibs were stolen, and the rest were copies.
The bibs that they wore on Saturday could also be used for Sunday’s Half Marathon. I forwarded the information, and Run Disney officials were notified. They were on the lookout for these bibs and planned to nab the runners in the corrals prior to the start of the race.
When it became apparent that the runners did not show up for the race, I initiated contact with the mom. She was identified through photographs from Saturday’s 10k.
Mom told me that she had asked for entries to the races for Valentine’s Day. Having waited too long to buy through Disney, her husband put an ad up on marathonguide.com
He quickly received a response from someone that identified himself as ‘Dave’. Dave said he had a bib available.
According to the couple, they bought all seven bibs from Dave for a total of $775. The face value of the bibs was approximately $1400. I have learned that it is not unusual for charities and travel agents to sell discounted bibs at the last minute for Disney events. Dave, however did not represent a charity or a travel agency.
Mom was suspicious of the bibs right away. She saw the one bib had a name on it. When I asked, she confirmed the other bibs, the ones without the names, were different – they were shinier, and had no timing chips.
In my opinion, they knew these weren’t legitimate bibs, but ran with them anyways. Their justification was likely that they spent $775. Her husband bought these as a Valentines Day gift for the family.
Mom saw the post made by the rightful bib owner. Only one of the Challenge bibs had a name on it. The name was the same as the woman that posted that someone had stolen her bib.
After seeing the Facebook post, she had the realization that the bib was actually stolen and not a transferred bib. The next morning the family went to Epcot with their bibs, and summoned the police in order to file a report that they were sold the stolen and forged bibs.
I emailed the seller. I simply asked how he obtained the bibs that he sold. To my surprise, he replied.
I am emailing in the hope that you can tell me how you obtained the bibs that you were attempting to sell for Princess Weekend.
I don’t feel that is any concern of yours!!!
It is alleged that you sold two stolen bibs as well as some forged bibs. I am giving you an opportunity to refute those allegations.
How did you get this information? Those people get what they paid for! And I’m tired of run disney taking advantage. Stop emailing me
No they didn’t. They did not run today. Run Disney was going to pull them from the corrals. The original owner posted that her bib was stolen.
If people are not buying directly from disney then that’s the risk they take! I don’t feel bad for anyone. Those bibs were not being used anyway!
He asked which bibs I was referring to: I then asked how many bibs did he sell?
I don’t keep count!
The seller was completely unapologetic. It was also clear that he was monitoring the Princess Facebook group. He knew the stolen bib was not being used. He picked that bib thinking the original owner would never know. He was wrong. It is also clear that he sold bibs to more than just this one family.
I’ve written about The Marathonguide Bulletin Boards before. Nearly all the classifieds are people looking to buy or sell bibs that are non transferable. In this case, stolen bibs were sold through the platform. It is baffling that MarathonGuide refuses to do anything about this. They don’t charge money for these advertisements.
I cannot believe that the buy/sell section is a huge driver of traffic. In my opinion, MarathonGuide needs to do the right thing for the industry and shut down that section of their site, or crack down on the ads for illegal bibs.
This family says that they bought bibs through Marathonguide in the past.
They say they thought they were legitimate charity bibs that were being sold last minute at a discount. The reality is, those were not legitimate transfers either. I have a hard time believing that the buyers were this naive.
The bibs were not in their names. The buyers are not in the race results, they never had to sign a waiver, and they did not pick the bibs up through official channels.
Never, ever buy a bib on the black market. Make sure that any bib you purchase is legitimate. If there is an official transfer policy, make sure it is followed. In this case, had the family attempted to run the race, they would have all been pulled by Disney security, and possibly could have faced charges.
I do have a hard time believing the family was completely innocent in this instance. They have bought bibs in the past. I think they knew they were breaking the rules for awhile by purchasing bibs in this manner.
When she saw the Facebook post, the mom came to the realization that they were about to be caught and possibly outed.
However, when she knew the bib was actually stolen, they did the right thing and went to The police. While I question their prior intentions, I commend them for finally taking the appropriate actions, no matter their motivation.
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