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Kara Bonneau – The Real 14285 Boston Marathon Bib – Run It Fast

Foursquare Founder Apologizes for Wife Running Boston Marathon with Fake Bib

Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley has been forced to publicly apologize after fact came to light that his wife Chelsa Crowley ran the 2014 Boston Marathon last week with a fake bib (#34033).

Bandits running the race has been a long time tradition for the Boston Marathon but after the bombing a year ago race directors sought to crack down on the practice where runners, who haven’t qualified for the race, run the course, drink fluids, add more burden on volunteers, and accept a medal (a true bandit would never accept a medal).

The ruse went well with Dennis and Chelsa posting photos on Twitter and elsewhere celebrating their matching Boston finishes until the rightful holder of Bib #34033, Kathy Brown, went onto Marathon Foto to check out her official race photos from the race. Upon viewing the photos for her bib # she was shocked to discover there was another #34033 that looked nothing like her.

And almost as if from an episode of America’s Dumbest Criminals, Brown quickly noticed that the other #34033 had her Twitter handle @chelsa written on a piece of paper and attached to her bib.

Brown expressed her outrage upon figuring it all out, “I put that work in and it wasn’t fair that someone else didn’t have to do that. That was my first thought.”

Brown told Team 5 Investigates she was stunned to see that a woman wearing a bib with her number. It’s a number she said she earned by following the rules and raising money to fight multiple sclerosis, a disease that claimed her uncle’s life.

There was also a tweet exchange where someone asked @dens (Dennis), “Fake bib? 34033” and @chelsa (Chelsa) responded on Twitter, “shh!!”

This is just one instance of several stories and photos involving fake bibs from Boston that have appeared on the internet over the past few days.

But with Chelsa we have photo proof of the fraudulent bib, a Tweet confessing as much, and an apology now from her husband, Dennis.

And sometimes there is more to the story that might not justify the reason but at least help explain the logic and thinking of that person and why they did what they did.

Dennis has come out and apologized for his wife using the fake bib to gain entry to run the Boston Marathon.

The short version of story is that they both legally ran the race together last year when the bombing took place. Chelsa finished moments before the bomb went off while Dennis was stopped miles back and not allowed to finish. He was given a guaranteed entry for the 2014 race because he wasn’t allowed to finish. Chelsa was not given a guaranteed entry into 2014 because she finished the 2013 marathon before the bombing.  She did not qualify or otherwise, via charity/sponsor, gain an official entry into the 2014 race. Dennis wanted to finish the Boston marathon this year with his wife by his side.

“Yes, using a duplicate number to get Chelsa into the starting corral with me was wrong,” Dennis wrote. “I don’t expect everyone to understand our strong need to run and finish together — but after trying unsuccessfully to get a charity number and trying unsuccessfully to officially transfer a number from an injured-runner friend, we did what we could to make sure we could run together in hopes of finishing together.”

“I sent an email to Kathy Brown, the woman who rightfully earned #34033 to apologize for any disrespect, hurt feelings or confusion,” he said. “Our intent was never to ‘steal’ anything from anyone — our intent was to finish the Boston Marathon together as we tried to do last year.”

“Again, sincerest apologies to anyone we offended or disrespected, including the [Boston Athletic Association] and the police/fire/EMT crews that worked so hard to make sure Monday’s race was safe for all runners,” he wrote and signed the letter on behalf of his wife.

A lot worse things happen in the world. I often hear of a lot worse things that runners do during a race. However, it’s against the rules and will truly upset a lot of people. The race has a strong and almost acknowledged, turn the other cheek, of bandits over the years. The Crowley’s are probably just too smart and tried to make it look too real and legit. That in addition to security tightening up and warnings from the BAA that it intended to use strict enforcement this year to keep bandits at bay for security reasons.

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) is investigating Chelsa’s fraudulent bib along with many others and will eventually render a decision that will likely be a lifetime ban from the Boston Marathon and BAA events.

Naturally, upset runners are laying into them both and especially Chelsa as you can see in this Twitter feed HERE.

Everyone makes mistakes. She isn’t the first bandit to run the Boston Marathon and won’t be the last. Thousands have done it over the years including someone you very likely know. The couple has apologized via Dennis and hopefully most can forgive them both and appreciate their coming forward and owning it. And perhaps it would hold a very public lesson to others to not do the same in the future.

However, another issue that comes into play is liability. If she were, Lord forbid, die or pass out or go into cardiac arrest during the race then volunteers, medics, ambulance and resources would be used and taken away from perhaps another runner that is facing similar medical need. Insurance for the race I would assume would only cover runners that are officially registered participants. I doubt if she had broke her leg she would have told paramedics to leave her alone that she was merely a bandit. It opens up a wide range of issues, mostly not good, when banditing happens. The BAA, like MLB during the steroid era, has just been too lax and accepting of it over the years and it won’t cease or be corrected instantaneously. The public embarrassment alone will likely teach many a lesson, but I’m sure there were hundreds more that ran without a bib or numbers that didn’t replicate official participants.

And with that said I believe there is an obligation on big races (outside of Boston) that are charging exorbitant entry fees to allow runners the option to defer up to a certain date or transfer their bib to another runner legally for a nominal transfer fee. Most banditing or illegal bib use happens simply from a financial perspective for many money strapped runners that paid a lot of money for a bib then can’t run due to injury or family obligations. So they will often illegally sell it at a discount to help recoup some of that cost and the purchaser is then able to get into a race that closed months ago. If the larger races can ease the transfer of bibs pre-race up to a certain date then it will likely help decrease the number of bandits and illegal bibs at races.

Earlier this week on social media we learned of another Boston Marathoner, Kara Bonneau, who much like Kathy Brown, logged onto Marathon Foto to check out her photos and found FOUR other runners photographed wearing HER bib #14285 (which is quickly become the most popular 5 digit race bib of all-time.)

Almost Thomas Crown comical at that point. All that was missing were the suits and top hats.

The Worst Things Runners Have Seen Other Runners Do During a Race

Dennis Crowley’s Boston Marathon Blog Post Discussing the 2013 Bombings Forward to the 2014 Race

[images: Twitter @dens @chelsa]


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Boston Marathon Offers 2014 Entry to 2013 Non-Finishers Due to Bombing

Boston Marathon Offers 2014 Entry to 2013 Non-Finishers Due to Bombing

The Boston Athletic Association sent out an email this morning to runners that did not finish the 2013 Boston Marathon due to the bombings that took place near the finish line.

Here is what the info from BAA said:

“You are receiving this email because you have been identified as a 2013 Boston Marathon participant who reached at least the half-marathon mark on April 15 but who did not cross the finish line on Boylston Street.
B.A.A. Extends Special Invitation To 2013 Boston Marathon Starters Who Did Not Cross Boylston Street Finish Line.

The B.A.A. is extending an invitation to register for the 2014 Boston Marathon to official entrants in the 2013 Boston Marathon who were unable to cross the Boylston Street finish line.”

To be eligible, a 2013 Boston Marathon participant must have been an official entrant who started the race and who reached the half marathon mark in this year’s race on Monday, April 15. Registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon is scheduled to occur in September, and 2013 Boston Marathon participants who were unable to cross the finish line on Boylston Street will receive a non-transferable unique code in early August to be used for entry. An applicant’s entry will be guaranteed only during a designated registration period. Participants will be required to pay an entry fee, which has yet to be determined.

Class move from a classy organization. However, if you were hoping to qualify and gain entry for the 2014 Boston Marathon it is going to be difficult unless they plan to open up more slots.

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Boston Athletic Association Releases Statement

Boston Athletic Association Releases Statement

Statement from the Boston Athletic Association Monday, April 15, 2013 8:00 p.m. ET

The Boston Athletic Association extends its deepest sympathies to all those who were affected in any way by todays events.

Today is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.

We can confirm that all of the remaining runners who were out on the course when the tragic events unfolded have been returned to a community meeting area.

At this time, runners bags in Boston which remain unclaimed may be picked up by runners presenting their bib number or proof of race participation at the Castle, at 101 Arlington Street, in Boston.

At this time, we are cooperating with the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and all federal law enforcement officials.

We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us today.

This was originally posted on the BAA’s Facebook page and you can view it HERE.

More Stories Related to the Boston Marathon Bombings:

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BAA’s Latest Heat Warning to Runners for Monday’s Boston Marathon

BAA’s Latest Heat Warning to Runners for Monday’s Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association just released a new statement on it’s website to runners of Monday’s 116th Boston Marathon warning them that, “Only the fittest runners should consider participating.”

The new high for Monday in Boston according to Weather.com is 90 degrees.

Here is the complete news release from the BAA:

Running any marathon involves risks

  • The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk.  It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat.  Only the fittest runners should consider participating.
  • We have put in place a broad array of services and support for our marathon participants, but the risks that will be presented on April 16 will be higher than normal.
  • Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.
  • Another essential factor to take into consideration is whether you have ever run a full marathon in weather conditions involving hot temperatures-and that can mean temperatures even lower than those that may be present on Monday.  Do NOT assume that any experience you have in running a cooler marathon will be a reliable guide in making the decision in whether to participate or defer.  You must factor in the heat.
  • Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon.  We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.
  • For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY-everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety.  Ultimately this is an individual sport in which individuals must take responsibility for themselves.
Boston Athletic Association 

Yesterday, the BAA offered any runner a deferment until the 2013 Boston Marathon if they wanted to pass on running in the heat on Monday.  The BAA also expanded the course time limit by one hour to give runners plenty of time to finish the race without pushing.

RELATED: Boston Marathon Offering Deferments to Runners for 2013 Race Due to Projected Heat – (Signs of Heat Stroke)

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Better Run It Fast for New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

Better Run It Fast for New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced on Wednesday that they are lowering the time to qualify for the Boston Marathon by 5 minutes for both genders of all age classifications.

The change is in response to the 2011 Boston Marathon filling up in just over 8 hours.

There will also be no 0:59 second leeway on the times. (Example: A 3:05:59 will no longer qualify you. You have to actually be under 3:05.)

The New Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

18-34 3hrs 05min 3hrs 35min
35-39 3hrs 10min 3hrs 40min
40-44 3hrs 15min 3hrs 45min
45-49 3hrs 25min 3hrs 55min
50-54 3hrs 30min 4hrs 00min
55-59 3hrs 40min 4hrs 10min
60-64 3hrs 55min 4hrs 25min
65-69 4hrs 10min 4hrs 40min
70-74 4hrs 25min 4hrs 55min
75-79 4hrs 40min 5hrs 10min
80 and over 4hrs 55min 5hrs 25min

The updated qualifying times will go into effect for the 2013 marathon.

Fair or unfair?

I now, only, have to run a 3:05 to qualify. Happy up!

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2011 Boston Marathon Closed

2011 Boston Marathon Filled Up in Just 8 Hours

The Boston Marathon is a Super Bowl of sorts for marathon runners.  There is usually around 25,000 spots for the race with 6,000 of those going to charities and corporations.  That leaves around 19,000 coveted positions for runners who BQ’ed (Boston Qualified) at marathon races throughout the country over the past year.

Last year it took nearly two months for the race to fill up.  Every year before that you could register almost up until race day for the most part.

Yesterday, the first day you could register for the 2011 Boston Marathon, the race filled up in just eight hours.  26,800 runners registered on the Boston Athletic Association website between 9:00 AM and 5:03 PM.

Extreme marathoner Chuck ‘Marathonjunkie’ Engle and others kept dibs on Facebook as the registration numbers kept rising throughout the day. Engle and others claimed computer issues with the Boston Marathon website made it hard early on in the day to sign up.

What does all of that mean?  It means a lot of runners that set the goal of running Boston and qualified at a race during the past year will have to try to qualify again now for the 2012 Boston Marathon.

It does seem a bit harsh and unfair.  One day, one shot, one good internet connection in order to run the Super Bowl of marathons.

Well, there is always next year….maybe!

RELATED: The 10 Best Marathons to Qualify for Boston

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