I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Monday, November 03, 2008


Here is a question I’ve been tossing with another person. How wrong is it, if at all, to run a marathon with somebody else’s bib. Obviously the marathon has to be one that it’s difficult to get in such as New York or Boston.

In a sport that is mainly competition against oneself, what motivates a person to compromise their principles?

Itis not unusual for people who qualified and decided not to run the marathon to sell their bibs. Last year, a person I know sold her NYCM bib. I disagreed at the time, and others defended her position. Different opinions for different people and times. That position might be different today.

Here is the thing. Bibs for NYCM are sold on internet and people pay for them. But if a bib is bought, the buyer would be running as someone else. Their name would not be registered. So why would they want to?

§ Maybe they think they’ll never be able to qualify to run that race. That reason does not hold true for NYCM. As difficult as NYCM is, it is not impossible to enter. After being rejected 3 times the 4th year entry is guaranteed.
§ Some disagree with the qualification policy so they bandit it….whatever.
§ A person might want to run with somebody who is running and they were unable to enter officially. This reason maybe I can relate to. But then again, you can jump at some point in the course.

How far will you go and how wrong is it?
The pride is in running the distance not in what marathon was run, so why is it wrong to run it with somebody's number or why does it matter which marathon I run - it goes both ways.

Some bibs are “recreated”, copied, reproduced at Kinkos, illegal but still done.

If a person buys a bib from somebody else, they are the ones taking the risk and they are not taking anyone’s place but the one who sold it. If you were not selected in the lottery of NY, that bib does not belong to you anyway and if you want it, then you can go buy it…

I am not advocating running with somebody else’s bib, buying it or reproducing it. I am simply exploring reasons why anyone would want to.

The counter argument is that the bandits or the bib swappers are snapping a number that was earned by others. The ones who are registered, entered a lottery and were picked, or waited 4 years or qualified with their times. They deserve to be there and the swappers don’t even if they have the money to buy their entry. Swappers are the equivalent of wedding crashers. They enjoy the fun, don’t necessarily take anyone else’s food but they did not earn their right to be there. They were not invited.

I have always felt like…why would anyone want to run 26.2 miles in my name when I, who registered don’t want to….?
Banditting is not a word, is it?