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Frankie Ruiz is the founder and race director of The Miami Marathon. I have featured his videos from varioous races a number of times. In an effort to deter bandits, Fankie and his team work to spot runners without bibs to remove them from the course prior to being able to claim a medal or post race freebies.
Leading up to The 2023 Miami Marathon, Frankie posted a warning on the Facebook Page.
That didn’t deter one runner, who had thought he had outsmarted the system by forging a bib.
Frankie confronted the runner, who managed to escape with the fake bib. This runner is like many others that forge bibs, or run without bibs, in that they feel they feel entitled. There are plenty of places to run in Miami, and plenty of days that he could run on these same streets. The only reason to run during the race is to take advantage of the services and atmosphere that other runners paid for.
Why Does it Matter? – A Refresher
Banditing is not without consequences.
- Bandits use services that legitimate runners paid for
- Bandits clog the courses especially in sold out races–and there may not be enough volunteers to accommodate all the runners
- Medical and emergency contact information is unavailable for a bandit.
- They pose a security risk. Bandits enter a course without officials knowing who they are.
I am more passionate, and spend more time looking into course cutting, bib muling and similar infractions than anything else. Not all of those instances result in articles. But, I will always take the opportunity to draw attention to the issue of bib swapping, bib forging and banditing. From discussions with different race directors, I do believe the publicity given to the problem has helped to educate and reduce the # of unauthorized runners.
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