BHM 26.2 Part 2: Bib Swap Flop

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I heard them behind me just as we were making the final turn of the race. She was offering him encouragement and advice and I thought I heard her call him “Dad”. He was huffing and puffing. I sized them up as they passed me. At a little under a mile out, I wanted to make sure I didn’t need to beat this guy to win my age group. He was an older guy, but I concluded that he was younger than me and since I didn’t have a whole lot left in the tank for the afterburners I let them go.

When the results came in and it turned out I had missed defending my age group title by 8 seconds I kicked myself for not being more aggressive during that final stretch. I went back to last year’s results to see how my effort compared and saw that I actually finished 3 seconds faster this year. I also saw how this year’s winner of the old man group had “shaved” about 22 minutes from his time last year. Wow. Must’ve been that guy who passed me with his daughter spurring him on. I know how your kids can push you.

Pictures came out the next day and I had to see if it was him. I put the winners bib # into the search box and sure enough there they were, the old guy and the young girl side by side. Darn it! I knew it! But in the next minute my puzzled brain detected that he was not wearing the winning number – she was. Maybe they mixed up their bibs? I ran a search on his number expecting to find her results, but no it belonged to a guy in his 50’s, which is what he appeared to be. On closer inspection of the photo I could see that although she had apparently folded her bib under to obscure the name, the peaks of some letters were visible, and they seemed to align with the name of the guy reported as the winner. Had I lost my title defense to a 20 something woman wearing someone else’s bib? I queried the race directors and they are looking into it.

Ok, ok I get that it’s not the Olympics. It’s only a local charity race. Just get over it and move on right? I’d probably not care had I not won my age group in the inaugural race last year. But to come so close to winning again only to seemingly have an imposter claim the victory feels a bit like a personal affront, if not a disheartening display of indifference to the fellowship of man. I mean come on folks; you can’t spare $80 for the kids? I’d have gladly paid the entry fee for someone to run with their own credentials had I known.

So what does everyone think about unsanctioned bib-swapping? Cool or not cool?


3 thoughts on “BHM 26.2 Part 2: Bib Swap Flop

  1. You were totally right to look into it further! Placing in an age group when you’re clearly not in that age group is super upsetting to me. Hope they confirm your findings and you get your place! ☺️

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  2. Mai I heard back from the race and the fake winner admitted he had given his bib to a 19 year old woman. They have revised the results! I guess when someone asks “what’s the harm in giving someone else my bib if I can’t run” this is the answer. Or one of them

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