Couple Admits To Bib Swapping after Wife Claims 2nd Place at Treasure Coast

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Sunday March 1

The Marathon of The Treasure Coast was set to start early on the morning of Sunday, March 1st. A series of events led the runners off the course shortly after the start line. The course takes the runners past the start finish area, and they were given the option to re-start to make sure that they ran the official, certified course. Runners looking to qualify for races such as Boston, or New York took advantage of the do-over.

a shortage of volunteers and other circumstances led to runners being led off course during the loop through local neighborhoods.

The smaller, 2nd wave was competitive. The times at the top of the leader boards were faster in both the half and full marathons.

Kacey finished in 2nd place in the Women’s Half Marathon.

Evidence of Bib Swapping

Kacey was in the initial results with a time of 1:29:46 – and was assigned bib 1178. Her husband Thane was in the results with a time of 3:08:31 – and was assigned bib 1250.

One look at the photos show that they were wearing each other’s bibs, and her finish line photo confirms that Kacey finished in the time that was credited to Thane.

In the photo of her and Thane, they are wearing each other’s bibs. Her finish photo shows her crossing the finish line in well over three hours.

It could be reasonable to believe that this swap was an accident.

However, following the race, Kacey made the following post on Facebook.

Kacey clearly was taking credit for Thane’s time. She posted a picture of the results that were posted in the finisher area. If the swap was accidental, she would have known immediately that the results were not accurate. However they said nothing to race officials, and bragged about the time afterwards.

The Denials

I reached out to Kacey at 8:30 PM on Thursday night, she replied at 9:04

While she was admitting that they switched bibs, some other points didn’t ring true.

  • She took a photo of her result at the race
  • She bragged about her time on Facebook

I asked to see the emails. If they did reach out to the race director to correct the results immediately after the race, I could at least give them credit for that.

Kacey sent me the two emails above showing that they did indeed email the race director.

In the first email there was no mention of Kacey’s time. Thane was only trying to get his time changed. It is only in the 2nd email that they admit to accidentally swapping bibs.

I spoke with The Race Director, Mike Melton on Thursday evening. He informed me that the 2nd email from Thane was just received at 9:03 PM that evening.

  • Tuesday 6:08 PM – Thane sent the first email to Mike asking that his time be adjusted.
  • Thursday 8:30 PM – I sent a message to Kacey asking if she had anything that would validate her time.
  • Thursday 9:04 PM – Thane emails Mike about the ‘accidental’ bib swap. Kacey responded to my message at the same time.

The “follow up” that Kacey told me that Thane sent to the race official was literally being sent at the same time she was responding to me.

FRIDAY

On Friday morning, I messaged Kacey with what I knew to that point. They were aware that Kacey’s time was incorrect at the race, and they only admitted this after they were caught. Kacey doubled down:

Again, her husband was emailing the race at the exact time Kacey was messaging me. Kacey and her husband are avid Disney runners. Thane even wrote abut wanting the result fixed for Proof of Time at Disney and she clearly took credit for the time.

She said she wears the buff in the sun

I don’t want something that isn’t mine, a time, and award, nothing

Kacey finished in 2nd place at the 2018 Red Carpet Run. When I asked her abut her personal record half, she gave me the time from this race.

We had the following exchange:

Here are photos that were found of Shane during the race.

She said Thane paced her. She’s not in any of the photos with him. She said he did not have a bib. A bib is visible in the photos.

After presented with this evidence, I told Kacey that I would allow her to make a statement if she chose to. Here is what she had to say.

A husband ran for his wife

Call me crazy, but we like spending time together, my husband and I. I know, that’s strange, but we look forward to it.

My husband wanted to make sure I could get a POT for a race, not to get into some big milestone or iconic race, but just to make sure we could be together in a corral with our friends. I am a more than capable runner, but my husband is a prince of guy who would do anything to help me.

TC Marathon Director and Derek from Marathon Investigations reached out to us with questions. We have requested that our times from this past weekend Treasure Coast Half Marathon (wave two) be DQed. The other race we did this for was in 2018 and although it no longer matters since it is so long ago, it happened.

Anyone who knows us will tell you, we aren’t bad people and would never do anything in malice. We help others train and show up early on race mornings just to cheer people on. We made mistakes, we’ve made apologies. We are sorry.

I did confirm that they emailed the race and asked to be disqualified.

The biggest issue in all of this is that she did accept awards that were not hers, and that their actions pushed 4 deserving women out of their deserving places on the podium. She stood on the stage at The Red Carpet Run and accepted a trophy that was not hers to take.

I do hope that they are truly sorry. I hope they apologize to the affected runners, and that they reach out to The Red Carpet Run and return the trophy. I do plan on notifying The Red Carpet Run as well.

Awards have not been sent for the 2nd wave runners at Treasure Coast and they will be sent to the appropriate winners.

Thanks to those that did the legwork on this one, and those that stepped forward so that the rightful winners can get their recognition.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. They’re not “bad” people. Just selfish narcissists. They say they didn’t do it out of malice. That’s code for that they didn’t care about other people to even take it in to account. Keep doing what you’re doing Derek!

  2. I don’t understand why loving and wanting to share activities with your husband somehow makes it OK to cheat in a way that hurts other people. I’m old and slow, and I’ve won one 2nd place AG medal and one jug of apple cider in the last 10 years, but ya know what? I ran hard in those small races and those little awards made me happy and encouraged. So it doesn’t have to be the Olympic Trials for this to matter. I’m willing to cut slack to people who actually make a mistake, & wouldn’t cancel folks for a one time event, but this looks like serial cheating.

    • Only 2 comments? So this big woman crosses the finish line at 3+ hours and I wonder when she accepted her medal or award why she did not ask about her time? Also…she hid her face with a rag to conceal her identity. Both of them should be banned for life from any official races where awards are given especially for races that are Boston qualifiers.

    • This isn’t cancel culture, Derek has stumbled upon an extraordinary way to consistently discover sociopathic behavior of normally functional people–specifically being chronically dishonest about low stakes events, feeling the rules don’t apply to them, and lack of empathy for what they take away from others. Thankfully these individuals are relatively rare in the population. But because of the availability of ubiquitous photography and time stamping in distance running (and social media), Derek has uncovered a formula to identify these people bang to rights. And in this case, two working as a team! That’s why these stories are so fascinating. And this is probably the one and only time they will be called out on that behavior, because it is generally so hard to prove, much less prove a series of similar events establishing a pattern of behavior. I don’t know how much Derek’s reporting changes their behavior for the better or actually serves as a deterrent. But it is worth it to see how these people behave when they are exposed and maybe learn something about people with abnormal psych.

  3. they ARE bad people. They deliberately cheated and took awards for other people. How is this not bad?
    If you go to the podium on a half with a time of 3 hrs (how is this even possible), you are a knowing cheat.
    Back of the pack is one thing (and wrong), taking podium is a totally different level.
    Well done Derek.

    • I may be misunderstanding your comment. I agree cheating is wrong. I’m surprised 3 hours gets her on the podium. I’m a middle of the packer and have a 2:07 PR (typical 13.1 time is 2:25). What is wrong with back of the pack?

      • It’s in the article. Her husband’s time of 1:29:46 got her the podium. She actually ran 3:08:31. Nothing wrong with back of the pack. The comment was saying that cheating is wrong, whether it be at the back of the pack, or for a podium.

  4. It honestly feels like Derek has a vendetta for going after people who post on social media with a level of attack unlike even the clear BQ cheaters.

    It’s surprising how hard he’s going after this woman.

    I supported most of his previous investigations, including the Frank Meza findings for cheating an AG world record. But recently I’m wishing Derek would censor names and faces to reduce the almost vicious public shaming. The positive aspect for our sport of discouraging cheating is being overshadowed by the negativity that the general public sees when they read this site.

    Side note, is the podcast coming back?

    • How hard am I going after her? I wrote an article. She claimed 2nd place in two races, stealing the rightful podium spots from 4 others.

      There wouldn’t have been nearly as much to the story if not for the lies that were told afterwards.

      As far as social media bragging. I have no vendetta. But those that brag on social media are more likely to get caught and reported to me.

    • I also believe that he reaches out to them first – prior to any sort publicity or article posting (he can correct me if I am wrong).

      Remember – this is NOT Derek’s fault. He’s simply reporting facts. People that have cheated in the past have come clean immediately after being exposed & tried to explain their actions / motives, the best they could. In those cases, I feel there was no “shaming” at all, and the vast majority seem sympathetic towards those that admit guilt when confronted.

      It’s too bad, that some people have to learn the hard way in life before they change their ways, but whenever I’ve learned something the hard way, I learned my lesson immediately!

    • I feel like public shaming is the exact right level of repercussion for stolen valor of whatever kind. Having other people know what you did is only a punishment if you did something wrong!

    • Keep doing what you are doing, Derek. Listen not to friends of the cheaters who criticize you. You are having a great effect. Last week, I was running a 26.2 after running 30.1 miles (in a weekend runfest). As I got to the full/have split point, I knew my legs were too tired to go full, so I took the half. One of my first thoughts was, “Derek Murphy.” I reported myself as not finishing and did not take a half medal because Derek was on my mind .

    • It’s a public event, performed in a public space, with publicized data and publicly available photos. And a waiver is sighted agreeing to all of the above. When they thought out their plan to cheat, they should have also thought out the very public nature of the event if their deception was not successful.

      The ultimate goal of the scam was widespread attention. But it’s suddenly a private matter when the scam fails?

      Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

      • The goal isn’t just widespread attention. It’s also a corral placement at Disney. Anyone can move back corrals to run together, but Disney has a pace requirement of 16 min/mile or you risk getting swept. If you are in the last corrals this limits opportunity for photo stops. Her pace only allows her 20 minutes for waiting in lines for photos. With his time, she’d be placed in Corral A. I place in corral A for Disney and there are always people who have no business there. I passed a couple ladies telling each other to “enjoy the downhill” in the first mile (it’s a very flat race) and many people walking. I know injuries happen (I’ve run Disney on an injury), but sometimes it’s obvious they didn’t get there honestly.

    • Derek also reaches out to people before he writes a story. Those who admit guilt have a very different story (if one at all) written about them.

    • Derek was not the first person to publicize this event, the accused runner was the first person to publicize the cheating when she announced on a PUBLIC social media account that she had earned her time, and also accepted her prize in a PUBLIC venue. Public wrongdoing elicits public exposure, she is experiencing the natural consequences of her actions.

    • I am glad he is going after everyone in the same manner. Fairness to all. They should be ashamed of themselves. They cheated! Took away awards. What race it was doesn’t matter. It’s the cheating that matters! Well done, Derek!

  5. It might have been believable if she wasn’t bragging about “her PR”. With a legit mixup, she posts that she hit a 3 hour half, and only when you look at results is there an obvious issue.

    If you’re going to cheat like that, don’t try to tell everyone it “was a mistake” at the end when you bragged about this.

    • Most of his article are on men. And what year is this where he needs to talk to her husband when she is the one with the favorable incorrect time.

    • Webby

      I agree with Tim’s reply. However I will go further.
      Your comment suggests – whatever your gender – someone imbued with sexism even mysogyny. Derek is the Wolf whilst this female cheater is a tiny, fragile and probably injured little rabbit!
      Come on Derek, you brute! This poor little creature is like a piece of delicate china that may disintegrate at the first raised voice ;- well – Derek writing a couple of polite emails and pointing out the truth of her cheating.
      She has probably had an attack of ‘The Vapours’ and is now definitely hysterical at home!

  6. They also wear those oh-so-convenient bib belts that always seem to swing round so that the number is obscured in those pesky official photographs.

  7. Ahhhhhh, the famous…”the family that cheats together stays together” mantra. Wait that isn’t right.

    Neither is this b.s.

  8. My son ran the half marathon two years ago and finished third. When awards were given out, he was listed as fifth. None of the lead runners EVER saw the men who finished second and third. Later it was discovered that the two men short-cut the course to win the prize money. They never corrected the results, and the men got away with the prize money. My son decided never to run such a poorly managed race again.

  9. There’s an easy way not get publicly shamed…DONT CHEAT!!!
    I am a 2:10 half-marathoner and I pretty much run the same time every race, so for her “bib” to show a time TWICE as fast as she actually ran…..yeah she knew.

  10. I looked because I’m ‘that way’, and they are both listed as DNF instead of DSQ, which I think should be the case. I also think runDisney should be made aware of these cheats. If they want to run together, there’s no reason he can’t run in her rightful corral rather that falsify her results to move her to the front where she has no business starting. This is obviously not their first time playing this game, and I doubt it will be the last.

    I run a 2:45 half on a good day, and that’s what I submit when any race, including those at runDisney, asks for a POT.

  11. This story is so twisted and not true. I know them and this isn’t the story at all! Be a better journalist and use the real information! Click bait article! How dare you try to ruin people’s lives just to get more clicks. How dare you? Din’t someone commit suicide because of your crap articles?

  12. Disney has now lowered their Proof of Time requirement from a 2:45 to a 2:30. I fear this is only going to get worse because more people are going to cheat to get into corrals they don’t belong (and are unsafe to be) in. The amount of cheating for corral placement at Disney is unreal.

    • Honestly, can’t take runDisney races seriously, at this point. Sounds great to see the parks and characters, but for serious running I think anywhere has to be better. Once upon a time – that’s appropriate – I aspired to run at Disneyworld. Now I have zero desire to do so.

  13. If she’s so worried about running with her husband and friends at some upcoming race, why doesn’t she just ask them to move back when they corral. They would rather cheat people out of awards and recognition they rightfully deserve, so that she can move UP into a corral she doesn’t belong in, so they can all run at her pace in a group? Nonsense. She cheated because she wanted to, she bragged because she wanted to, and she got caught. Thanks Derek, as always.

    • Z, you’re right. Easy enough as runners are allowed to move back. If your goal is just to run together, time shouldn’t matter anyway. And if your peeps are corralled ahead of you, what are the odds that you’re gonna be able to stay with them for 26.2. Again, time shouldn’t matter. If it does, someone is getting dropped.

  14. Derek is inciting hate. Just look at the comments here. You should learn to let go, Derek, instead of spreading hate.

    I just read the article in Wired. You are clearly a very obsessed man.

    Do yourself a favour and find another hobby. You’re not special.

  15. John,

    Inciting hate? You’re not special? You got to be kidding me.

    Someone cheats then lies about it over and over. It’s reported and by reporting on it they are inciting hate? Give me a break.

    Keep up the good work Derek.

    GMV

Comments are closed.