Miami Half Marathon Bandit Unapologetic

Professional boxer breaks the rules to run The Lifetime Miami Half Marathon

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Avril Mathie is a professional boxer, fitness coach, and model. Last Friday night she decided that she wanted to run the Lifetime Miami Half Marathon. One problem: the race was sold out and no bibs could be obtained legitimately. So, she took to Instagram looking for a bib.

Initially she was unable to find someone who would sell her their bib against race rules). So, she printed out her own counterfeit bib.

But at the last minute, she posted on Instagram that she received a reply and got a real bib. In her video, she posted that she didn’t have to be ‘dodgy’ and that she’d be a legit half marathon runner. (while wearing another runner’s bib).

There were some in her Instagram comments that tried to explain to her why her behavior was wrong, but she was not at all receptive to the criticism.

people show up and run every year without even having a bib or registered. There’s too many people for them to do anything about it. At least I tried to look the part 🤷🏽‍♀️ also I tagged them in my post so yes maybe they will see this and come up with a better solution 😉… I would have happily paid to enter if the option was available to me, but it wasn’t, and I think that’s how most people feel that do it. Everyone could show up and just run unregistered, but they don’t. So I don’t think it’s a huge concern of theirs

She obviously knows nothing about The Miami Marathon or it’s race director, Frankie Ruiz. Frankie gained some notoriety by filming the process of pulling bandits off course. I’ve written a number of articles highlighting this process.

 I’m sure you can be banned, but what’s the point? If I want I can just show up and run it and no one’s going to stop me… there’s too many people. But if I don’t get banned and was just more organised to sign up more than 2 days before the race, or they had a “last minute sign up” option, I would sign up and pay and they’d make money. Which is essentially what the want sooooo….

 I’m an honest person, I did what I did I’m not trying to hide it or pretend I’m someone I’m not. If I must suffer consequences for that then so be it and I’ll still find a way to do what I want to do haha. Thankfully in the end I got to do things the “right way” but this post was more to highlight and encourage determination than be about rule breaking / bending

So, she claims to be an honest person, that will find a way to do what she wants, including, forging a bib and running the race unregistered.

Why Banditing is Wrong (For the Hundredth Time)

I recommend reading the article I wrote after Runner’s World basically gave permission to bandit races if you don’t see any issues with forging bibs or running as someone else. But if you don’t want to do that, here are some basic points.

  • It’s stealing. There are costs associated with a race. You are acting entitled by breaking the rules.
  • If running with someone else’s bib, you can affect the results. There are multiple cases every year where a younger runner claims a podium spot while running in a slower age group, or a different gender.
  • If there is an emergency, organizers do not know who you are, or who to contact.
  • You are crowding the course. You are taking advantage of services that everyone else paid for.

Basically, follow the rules set up by race organizers. You are not special. If you want to run on race day, and don’t have a bib, run somewhere else.

My hope in posting this, is that it will make someone think twice about banditing a race. Volunteer for a race instead. This behavior is not supporting the running community or your local community.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. By her explanation, everyone can just turn up and run Boston! I’m still working my butts up after 10 years and still just a wannabe. So NO, I wouldn’t ‘turn up and just run it’ or ‘use someone else’s bib’

  2. Open for feedback, but here’s a counterpoint. I’m a taxpaying citizen, meaning I pay for the rights to use the streets in my city. If my city is going to deny me the ability to use the streets for transportation, I still have the right to use the streets for exercise. In fact my city should not be selling the streets to private organizations. Why should I be denied the ability to use the streets that I pay for to run? Why can I not casually run the same course that everybody else is running, as a non-race member? (Provided that I do not take any aid at the stations, do not take any rewards.) For this reason, the anti-banditing is much more nuanced to me than is always presented here. If I go for a casual run and get injured, I’m on my own. Why is running around the same streets as these runners any different than that?

    • You are wrong in so many ways. First of all they are “public roads”, but they are rented out for the EXCLUSIVE USE of the event. If you have not paid to be on them, then you are trespassing, and subject to arrest. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to rent the roads. By your logic, if you are putting on a wedding somewhere that is open to the public, then if someone comes in, and eats the food, cake and drinks your beverages, its OK….Secondly, insurance does not cover unpaid BANDITS on the course. If they get hurt, or hurt someone, they will fuck things up for everyone.
      Thirdly, races fill up to capacity for a reason. If you put 100,000 people on a small course, people are gonna get hurt and EMS cannot get to them.. Wise up, this is why it is “different” than that

      • Sorry, your reply is unconvincing. I specifically said that I would consider it not okay to take aid or a reward. So your example of eating the food, cake, and drinks would be an example of something that I do not condone. But in this public wedding scenario, I would say – somebody can use the public park during my wedding that is held there. That’s on me for choosing to have my wedding in a public park. (Also I would not SHUT DOWN THE PARK the same way that a city gets completely upended during a race.) In response to “but they are rented out for the EXCLUSIVE USE of the event”, I addressed this too – “In fact my city should not be selling the streets to private organizations.”. I addressed “insurance does not cover unpaid BANDITS on the course”; “If I go for a casual run and get injured, I’m on my own.” I can’t give a darn about the for-profit company’s insurance; I’m a taxpaying citizen of my city that has a right to the streets. Finally, your point about EMS I don’t understand. Streets don’t have a maximum permitted capacity, and I don’t understand why that would be different during an event. We don’t limit the number of spectators allowed during a marathon, right? Cities should not be selling our public facilities for exclusive use.

        • Well, according to your line of thoughts if a car race occurs in your neighborhood you can drive your own car around the course, since “the city can’t sell the streets to private organizations” same thing applies to any street events.

          • Well, you got me! Wait, what? A car race in my neighborhood? What the heck are you talking about? That’s not a thing.
            Also when did I say they can’t? I said they shouldn’t.
            Please don’t vote.

    • You are aware that a lot of marathons aren’t put on by private organizations. They are put on by the city itself.
      Yes, there are companies that pay to have their name on the banners and sponsor it, but the city owns it.
      It’s a way to showcase the city for things like tourism…..

      • I am aware that not all marathons are put on by private organizations. I think the positive impact of these races is overstated.

    • You can walk down the pavements.

      Who wants to live in a world like yours?

      No running events. No parades. No Olympics. No marches. No public art. Just because ‘counterpoint’ objects.

      It’s what – a few hours a year for a race like this. Enter to do it or go along to cheer. You might even enjoy it.

      • Nice strawman. I understand civic events. The victim in this race is a for-profit organization that offers no bib exchange and is raking in millions.

  3. I bet if you were a minority, you will be apologizing because of the consequences you would be facing, as opposed to her.. ohhhh let her go, give her the medal, and let’s laugh about it, cause it’s funny

  4. The four points you have listed about banditing are all valid but not all 4 at the same time:
    If you are running without a bib or with a forged bib, you do not impact results. If like here you are running with someone else’s bib, you are not stealing or crowding the course.
    What I don’t get is why non-lottery sold out races don’t have an exchange system in place? Is it too much logistic? Is it to prevent ticketmaster-style large purchase/resell schemes? It would fix so many of these I don’t know why it is not done so I am sure I am missing something?

  5. Well I guess she wont mind if I show up to one of her sold out fights and just go in without a ticket. I mean its not going to affect the results of the fight. Maybe I just stand ringside and watch the fight up close, who cares if other people paid for there tickets. I mean she is a super special person who doesnt have to abide by rules like all the other loosers who forgot to sign up until the event was sold out. The sence of entitlement and feeling that the rules dont apply to her is infuriating.

  6. There are also permits issues but the city or cities the race goes through. The organizers can’t have a higher capacity than is permitted. If it’s sold out, then they are at capacity. If you’re watching a movie, would you say that you just squeeze more people in because they should just allow more capacity in there? Plan ahead and register vs make up bs excuses for breaking a slew of rules.

    • Not the same for a private organization (movie theater) to limit the number of patrons to their privately owned facilities for everybody’s enjoyment. A movie theater is not a public thoroughfare. Do they kick cars off of the streets when they’re at capacity? Where’s the published “maximum capacity” of a street? Why does the city let a private organization decide who gets to use a publicly-owned resource?

      • Public streets get closed off to cars for festivals, sidewalk sales, parades etc all the time.

        If you’re pretending your issue is with cities renting out public spaces to private companies, you should be pestering the city for change, not stealing services from the private companies.

        Are you one of those people whose minds can’t comprehend how services can also cost money and be stolen like physical goods?

        • I think you’re misunderstanding. I’m saying I should not be denied the rights to the streets that I pay for. Festivals, sidewalk sales, parades on the streets are all events that I’m invited to and don’t have to pay for.
          If you read my other comments, please note that I was saying it is totally legitimate for somebody to go use the streets during a race – NOT take aid, NOT take rewards – just like they would any other day. I am not condoning the stealing of services.
          If it matters to you at all, I have never, and will never, bandit a race. But I think there is a time to do it (privately held events in public spaces) and a way to do it (without aid/reward) that I think is not wrong. In these circumstances, I disagree with Derek’s stance.

  7. There is absolutely no legitimate reason not to have exchange systems in place for registrants who cannot participate for whatever reason to allow others to take their place. That’s pure laziness on the part of the organizers. And a complete waste in my opinion. I’ve run many a race that allowed transfers and have been able to get transfers myself when I missed out on the registration deadline. To me this is just the right thing to do. If a race is “sold out” then it should have that number of runners, no matter who originally signed the form. As long as the transfer name can sign a waiver.

    I also don’t care who runs the route. If they didn’t pay, then they shouldn’t take from aid stations or have a bib or medal. Other than that go to it, they’re public roads that we all pay for.

    This girl broke the race rules, plain and simple, but the race rules are stupid, plain and simple.

  8. “It’s stealing. There are costs associated with a race.”

    No kidding. Like that finisher’s medal she is sporting.

    • It sounds like in the end she purchased a legitimate bib. You can argue the merits of it, and you can argue whether she would have taken a medal if she did not pay. But I don’t think you can argue that the medal in the photo wasn’t paid for.

  9. This article made me feel ill. I can’t believe that she did that. But to her defense, she has a severe head injury which is clearly causing some problems with impulse decision making. She could have run the half anywhere else in Miami. It’s free and open to run anywhere in the city any time. Let the runners have their moment that they worked for and PLAN your next race if that’s what you want. Treat the race with respect. Give the runners the respect they deserve. Get some help for your multiple concussions. Also, if you really wanna have some fun see if you can run a 100 miler🤭

    Counterpoint is hilarious with the public roads thing, but I loved the points that were made. I would encourage him to look more in to “public” or “metro” services and the permitting system that exists. And the benefits your beloved city gets from hosting races there.

    Oh! PLEASE crash a parade and jump in there a start marching with one of the floats! Then you’ll learn all about the laws for public roads, permits, and what happens if you disturb the peace. The judge will tell you 👩‍⚖️

  10. Most races to not offer a refund policy.
    This includes canceled race like Utah’s 2020 Marathon (due to covid) with little to no recourse for out of state entries.
    I call this the, “Our Money Now!” policy.
    “Bib swapping” is a Paid entry. That goes for the metal she is wearing.
    Yes, I.C.E. info is not update for a Bib Swapper. Nothing is gained to lost by a different person being on course. Any assumptions that could be applied to the “Swapper” could apply to the original bib holder.

    If they don’t like “Bib swappers” offer a service of refunds to ability to sell your entry.
    End the once you paid, its “Our money now!” policies.

  11. Frankie is right. She’s a princess who doesn’t like people telling her she cant do stuff because she’s an ego maniac who thinks she’s hot stuff cause she got her boobs done and she doesn’t eat. Please. She is stealing. And she’s a clown.

  12. There are opportunities to legitimately get a bib after the race is officially “sold out”. I have run Miami twice in the past and I was registered to run last week’s event as well. A minor health issue made me realize I could not run this year. I sold my bib under the bib transfer rules that exist on the site. Another runner legitimately and happily got the opportunity to run the event this year. This “boxer” runner decided late in the game that she wanted to run. No can do, just like I cannot decide at the last minute to attend a sold-out Taylor Swift concert. An entitled attitude for sure….hey, you’re not that famous. I never heard of you. Smartin’ up!

  13. That medal is stolen goods. She should be prosecuted. It is extreme, sure, but a precedent should be established. Not only she stole the medal, she stole services from everyone who paid $150 to run the race.

  14. X. Meekma and Counterpoint—-you have totally missed the mark. I realize you’re working to make valid points but you are both so wrong on every level. I’ve been a competitive runner for 17 years and have run over 100 races so I have some experience to back this up:
    1—for X. Meekma, bib swapping is the epitome and definition of cheating, rule breaking and ruining race results. . . Bibs are assigned by age, gender and a specific person to be associated with those results in the official results page. . . . If a younger faster person runs with a bib assigned to an older age group person then they will likely displace a legitimate finisher in that age group from medaling. . . If someone faster than the actual bib owner runs a faster time than they are able then they could qualify them (illegally) for Boston or NY or the Olympic trials, it’s wrong. . . A person running with the actual bib of a different registered runner is wrong on every level. . . if a race has a legitimate bib swap where a bib is purchased from someone and the name, age and gender is assigned properly to the new bib owner then this if perfectly fine. If there’s no bib swap or the deadline has passed for a bib exchange then you can’t legally run the race so you shouldn’t, period!. . . If you want to bandit the race (run without a bib) then you can but it’s wrong for a different reason which I will address below.
    For Counterponte: you make good points, however your logic is flawed: Just because roads and other public services and places are paid for by our tax dollars does not mean we as citizens can use them exactly as we choose. It is up to the elected officials to determine the laws and rules that govern them. . . For example if the city puts up cones and signs prohibiting the use of a road for an upcoming construction project then you can be fined for driving on it, even though you really want to drive there the city says you can’t. . . A park may be public but it may prohibit the use of riding a bike other than on authorized trails (despite the fact that you wanna ride your bike everywhere). A city can allow a certain number of permits for a street celebration like a parade (like a certain number of floats) and if the users abuse the permitted rights the city has the authority (because they control the police force) to shut the event down, and they may close that road for a time and you can’t drive or run there even if you want to and despite the fact that your tax dollars paid for it. You can’t just run down the middle of the street if want to because laws and rules govern its use . . . Now from a practical sense you’re correct that almost any running event is unlikely to hunt down bandit runners without bibs and charge them with crimes. . . The point is yes she could have run with everyone that paid the money and got a bib and she could have brought her own water and used her own porta potties and never impeded the running of another runner etc. see how ridiculous this sounds in reality when justifying bandit running. . . Yes you can do it but it spoils the event for others and is just annoying and disrespectful! If the bar is set at just doing what your legally entitled to do then have at it but if you want to be a respectful contributor to your community then be patient and volunteer or spectate or do your run before or after the event if you wanna run the course, it’s just a better way to be.

    • Of course cities can shut down portions of the road. Of course cities can establish rules of proper use. I get laws. I also get civic events. These rules apply to everybody. In these examples, usage is not being sold to a private organization that is making millions.
      “Yes you can do it but it spoils the event for others and is just annoying and disrespectful!” – that’s your opinion. You can argue the opposite as well. Charging obscene rates that are exclusive to many members of the community is certainly annoying and disrespectful. I’ve seen plenty of runner behavior during races that is annoying and disrespectful. I’m having a hard time understanding how somebody running on their streets, minding their own business, taking no aid, is annoying or disrespectful. Ignoring the legal aspect and focusing on being a respectful contributor to your community, sure, perhaps avoid the initial congestion in the race.
      Thank you for your perspective. I’m sorry we our perspectives don’t overlap.
      (I have not, and never will, bandit a race. But I don’t agree with Derek on a for-profit race like this one.)

      • What you’re describing is not banditing. I’ve been out running when I’ve inadvertently run into the course of a race. And as you say, it’s perfectly okay to run in parallel. What’s not okay is to take services you didn’t pay for. And that’s not just getting water or gels from hydration stations, or claiming a medal; that’s also taking up the attention of the course marshals or volunteers. When I find myself alongside racers, I run off to one side, as far away from the racers as I can, to make it perfectly clear that I am *not* part of the race and not entitled to any services offered by it.

  15. X. Meekma and Counterpoint—-you have totally missed the mark. I realize you’re working to make valid points but you are both so wrong on every level. I’ve been a competitive runner for 17 years and have run over 100 races so I have some experience to back this up:
    1—for X. Meekma, bib swapping is the epitome and definition of cheating, rule breaking and ruining race results. . . Bibs are assigned by age, gender and a specific person to be associated with those results in the official results page. . . . If a younger faster person runs with a bib assigned to an older age group person then they will likely displace a legitimate finisher in that age group from medaling. . . If someone faster than the actual bib owner runs a faster time than they are able then they could qualify them (illegally) for Boston or NY or the Olympic trials, it’s wrong. . . A person running with the actual bib of a different registered runner is wrong on every level. . . if a race has a legitimate bib swap where a bib is purchased from someone and the name, age and gender is assigned properly to the new bib owner then this if perfectly fine. If there’s no bib swap or the deadline has passed for a bib exchange then you can’t legally run the race so you shouldn’t, period!. . . If you want to bandit the race (run without a bib) then you can but it’s wrong for a different reason which I will address below.
    For Counterponte: you make good points, however your logic is flawed: Just because roads and other public services and places are paid for by our tax dollars does not mean we as citizens can use them exactly as we choose. It is up to the elected officials to determine the laws and rules that govern them. . . For example if the city puts up cones and signs prohibiting the use of a road for an upcoming construction project then you can be fined for driving on it, even though you really want to drive there the city says you can’t. . . A park may be public but it may prohibit the use of riding a bike other than on authorized trails (despite the fact that you wanna ride your bike everywhere). A city can allow a certain number of permits for a street celebration like a parade (like a certain number of floats) and if the users abuse the permitted rights the city has the authority (because they control the police force) to shut the event down, and they may close that road for a time and you can’t drive or run there even if you want to and despite the fact that your tax dollars paid for it. You can’t just run down the middle of the street if want to because laws and rules govern its use . . . Now from a practical sense you’re correct that almost any running event is unlikely to hunt down bandit runners without bibs and charge them with crimes. . . The point is yes she could have run with everyone that paid the money and got a bib and she could have brought her own water and used her own porta potties and never impeded the running of another runner etc. see how ridiculous this sounds in reality when justifying bandit running. . . Yes you can do it but it spoils the event for others and is just annoying and disrespectful! If the bar is set at just doing what your legally entitled to do then have at it but if you want to be a respectful contributor to your community then be patient and volunteer or spectate or do your run before or after the event if you wanna run the course, it’s just a better way to be

  16. Sure, banditing and bib swapping aren’t good. Notify the race org, hope she gets DQ’d, move on. This post in unhinged. You’re getting high on your own supply, Derek. You should take this post down and come up with some new ways to vet your posts moving forward, because you’re losing the plot.

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