No Shortage of Imposters at The Boston Marathon


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Every year after The Boston Marathon, some runners take to social media to report on some form of bib stealing. In the days following the marathon, runners flock to to look at their photos, only some runners find photos of another runner with their bib #.

It is unknown how many runners lied, cheated or stole their way into The 2023 Boston Marathon, but it is clear that they had an impact on the race. It has been well publicized that The B.A.A. ran out of medals. Many legitimate finishers were not given their medals at the finish line.

Fake Jo

Jo (pictured on the left) ran The Boston Marathon legitimately. She took to social media after seeing another runner wearing her bib number.

As Jo mentioned, this is an issue this year, in particular because of the medal shortage. Photos clearly show that “Fake Jo” did take a medal. The imposter has not been identified.

Serial Bib Thief Outed

Steve was unable to run in the race due to injury. But another runner showed up at the race wearing his bib number. This runner was kind enough to wear a shirt from his running club and was identified.

Thanks to members of The Boston Marathon 2023 Facebook Group, they gathered all the screenshots before Sebastian deleted them.

There were at least two other instances of bib forging by Sebastian, at 2 other Majors. NYC Marathon 2018 and London Marathon in 2017.

I need someone who has run the boston marathon in previous years to tell me what the measurements of the bib would be, to leave a hole in the t-shirt that I am designing

Sebastian’s thefts were planned out. He traveled internationally to run with forged bibs. He even posted in the 2023 Boston Marathon Facebook Group asking about the size of the bibs.


Bandits are bad enough. There is a history of bandits being unofficially welcomed in Boston. After the bombings, those days are officially over. Bib thieves and bib forgers put themselves above all others. Their participation strains resources, leads to higher costs, and in the case of Boston, cost runners their medals.

If nothing else, highlighting examples of theft should serve as a deterrent, and maybe stricter security. The costs of implementing procedures to keep bandits off the course may be offset by the costs of resources needed to support them on the course.

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  1. Real legit yourself Derek. Anybody can see you yourself aren’t being legit only providing a first name. Yah you’re a ribbon cutter alright! Not just going by Derek you aint! I think this article is a scam looking for people’s money. You aren’t getting my money. Ever.

    • It wasn’t too many years ago that a man was featured on this blog (and subsequently picked up by many international sites and news outlets) and was abused and harassed so much that he took his own life. I’m certain Derek is trying to make sure this does not happen again.

  2. 20 May 2023
    In my opinion, Derek isn’t hiding or obscuring anything.
    Sebastian’s full name is evident on his Facebook posts in Jan and Feb, so there’s little need for Derek to print his full name in the article.
    Cheers! Run easy. Finish strong.

    • 22 May 2023
      To Ellen Murphy (April 29, 2023): If you’re asking about Derek’s last name, it’s available in dozens of news clips and other sources. You’ll easily find Derek Murphy.

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