Runner Caught Using Bib Mule in NYC To Qualify for Boston Marathon

Review of race photographs provides clear evidence that another individual used this participant's bib during the 2021 New York City Marathon

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Last week, I wrote an article detailing the process used to prioritize my review of Boston Marathon results. Not long after I started the review of 2022 results, I identified a runner that used a Bib Mule to qualify for both the 2021 and 2022 Boston Marathons.

Reason for Review

John ran a qualifying time of 3:14:42 at The 2021 NYC Marathon. He finished The Boston Marathon with a time of 6:24:55. This variance in of itself isn’t necessarily a reason to be suspicious. My next step is typically to look at the runner’s historical results. Generally I am looking to see what time is more typical for a runner. Was the 6:24:55 an anomaly, or was the 3:14:42 the outlier?

2020 Walt Disney Marathon – 7:05:03
2020 Georgia Marathon – 5:47:20
2021 Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon – 6:32:07
2021 Boston Marathon – 6:00:09 (Non-qualifying Entry – presumed charity entry)
2021 New York City Marathon – 3:14:42
2021 Dallas Marathon – 5:35:24
2022 Boston Marathon – 6:24:55
2022 Mayor’s Marathon – 5:45:36
2022 Detroit International Marathon – 5:35:20
2022 New York City Marathon – 6:08:19

The outlier is clearly his 3:14:42 NYC Marathon result. I first looked at his NYC splits, and they appeared fine. Next I looked at photos of the two races.


It was clear to me that these were two different runners. To be sure I looked at photos of John’s other races. They were all comparable to his 2022 Boston Marathon photo. Same knee braces, watch on the left hand, same overall appearance.

Summary

It is clear that someone else ran with John’s bib at The 2021 NYC Marathon, and that John used that time to run in The 2022 Boston Marathon. The New York Road Runner’s (NYRR) have a strict policy forbidding runners from selling or giving their bibs to other runners. In all likelihood this should result in a ban for the runner (as well as the bib mule if he is identified). The runner is also being reported to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Feeling sorry for the runner he displaced that trained their butt off and just missed qualifying cuz this guy cheated and stole their legitimate and earned spot.

    • Thankfully, there was no cutoff below the standard qualifying times for the 2022 Boston Marathon, so anyone that met the standard got into the race. Still, this guy should be banned. It’s possible he was a fundraiser, too, but given the white bib at this year’s Boston, he definitely used that 3 hour marathon for seeding.

  2. Thank you for plastering pictures of these cheaters all over the internet. Google recommended this article and I’m so glad it did as it made me aware of your site. I am grateful for the work that you do. Don’t have much to contribute but will send a little something along to help support of the important work that you are doing.

    • You are correct about 2022 but not 2021. 2021 had the big cutoff of -7:47 because the qualification window went back to Fall 2018. So anyone who cheated to get into 2021 definitely displaced a qualified runner.

  3. For Boston 2022, no one who applied with a valid BQ was denied. There were unused qualifying spots available, so no one was displaced, but that doesn’t exonerate John’s and the bib mule’s actions.

  4. Thank you for this site. Anyone that cheats can not be called a runner. A true runner test themselves legitimately. That’s how I feel good about myself. These cheaters have underlining life problems to do this crap.

  5. Hi, this is interesting to me.
    Im not clear about the bid hand off, because in the pictures, the runners have different numbers. Can someone clarify please.

  6. It literally does though. Imagine being so self-righteous you think this is any of your business.
    I’m so sure all you judgmental pricks have never done anything as bad as… having someone else run with your marathon bib. Like, seriously? Grow up, smug tattletales

  7. Thanks for busting these cheaters. I want run the Boston Marathon as much as anyone but I’m just not fast enough. I won’t even run a full marathon because it wouldn’t be fast enough to qualify. I’m not that slow, I can run a half marathon in 1:34. Even if I double it I wouldn’t qualify in my age group so I just stick with halfs. I could easily cheat to get in but if I can’t do it on my own merit I don’t wan to run it. It takes away from others who deserve it. It takes a weak human to cheat to make yourself feel accomplished.

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