Skip to comments.Fleet of Foot and Blissfully Bold, Freeloaders at the Marathon Wear Fake Bibsóbut Win No Prizes
Posted on 11/05/2011 8:06:13 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
In the Running World, They're Called 'Bandits' and Race Officials Don't Like to Discuss Them; the Cockroach Analogy
For anyone without an official slot in Sunday's New York Marathon, here's a thought: Run it anyway. But don't expect the running establishment to cheer you on.
Peter Sagal tried that at last month's Chicago Marathon. Without paying the $145 registration fee, he joined the nearly 38,000 official marathoners on Oct. 9, partaking of free Gatorade along the way.
"I know it's wrong," Mr. Sagal, host of National Public Radio's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!," wrote afterward in a blog for Runner's World magazine. But, he joked, "I waved to the crowd in a charming way, so maybe I earned it."
The response to Mr. Sagal's blog was overwhelmingly negative, with some readers calling him a thief and vowing...see link.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
perhaps a holographic tattoo or a subdermal rfid chip would solve the problem.
Classic freeloader mentality we are seeing in more sinister form in the “Occupy” movement. It costs money to put on a race. These “bandits” want to mooch off of others who play by the rules and pay for putting on the race. Doesn’t it SO figure that the featured guy is an NPR reporter!
Then what gives race officials the right to kick them out?
When I was the director for an annual 10k run in Sonoma County I absolutely hated bandits. The proceeds went to a local community non-profit group, and the runners who bypassed registration were the scum of the earth as far as I was concerned....
About 140,000 runners applied for 62,000 slots.
I would have no problem with these folks, as long as they don’t accept prizes. EXCEPT, they take up space. There is a limit to participation for a reason. If you’ve ever watched one of these races, it is a sea of runners packed curb to curb. It is not fair if these unpaid bandits get in the way of serious contenders who have paid their fees.
National Public Radio freeloader is redundant.
There are often limits on these races - e.g., I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon a couple of times and yeah (at least back then), you had to register early or get shut out. Just because you WANT to run a race doesn’t entitle you to run it if its already full. Register sooner or find another race. There are plenty out there.
If you want something bad enough you find a way to make it happen. That’s what Americans used to do.
Really, only a handful of people expect to win a prize (except the I make it medal).
“If you want something bad enough you find a way to make it happen. Thats what Americans used to do”
So since I want to run a few laps in the next NASCAR race...I should just drive through the gates and get on the track and no one will stop me...right?
NASCAR isn’t run on public streets.
What to bandits placed first? Has that ever happened?
Yep. Pretty much not only kills any sympathy I might have had for race organizers... but I will go one further. If they present any legal action against any runner then the judge should assess all court costs on them win or lose.
Don’t like that? Then run on private land someplace or make room for whoever wants to enter.
I meant the ubiquitous T shirts, etc. But, it’s tacky to pretend to be a participant when you are not — like that Rosie somebody who jumped into the Boston (or maybe it was ny) a short way fro the finish and went on to “win” until she was exposed as a fraud.
See # 17. Cant remember her name, or the race, but Rosie Somone jumped into the end of either the Boston, or the NY, Marathon and was declared the Women’s winner briefly, until she was exposed as having waited behind a tree to join the runners late in the race.
Rosie was a registered contestant no? I love how she rode the subway in her bib and thought she could get away with it.
By Ken Mcmillan
Published: 2:00 AM - 08/23/08 Last updated: 2:27 AM - 08/23/08
Olympic marathon champion Frank Shorter of Middletown says he never ran for the adoration of the crowds, but just once he would have liked to hear the roar of a stadium audience just for him.
Shorter was involved in one of the most bizarre endings of an Olympic marathon.
It was Sept. 10, 1972, and Shorter had run away from the field of runners on the streets of Munich, West Germany. His lead was so large that television cameras could not capture him and trail runners in the same picture.
There was about 15 minutes left in the 26.2-mile race when Shorter let down his runner's focus and allowed himself to imagine what was ahead.
"The most satisfaction I gave myself,'' he said, "was about three miles from the end when I'd done some mental arithmetic of how far ahead I was and figured out how hard they would have to run to catch me. That's when I had my hit-by-a bus revelation, which means if I don't get run over by a bus I am probably going to win.''
"I allowed myself that enjoyment, the idea of winning, for the moment,'' he added.
The tunnel entrance was within sight when Shorter heard a roar go up from the crowd. It was the final day of the track and field meet, and Shorter figured someone made a high jump or pole vault.
"So I ran down the tunnel and here it is and it was nothing,'' Shorter said, eliciting laughter from the audience who gathered for a dinner prior to the recent Orange Classic road race.
It turns out a shaggy-haired imposter had sprung from the tunnel and started taking a victory lap, drawing the applause meant for the marathon leader.
The commentary from the BBC was downright precious.
"Now here's some ... This is very puzzling. This man is not on the program. It's a hoax. It's somebody having a lark. I don't think it's a demonstration but he looks as fresh as a buttercup. And of course there is the real leader, it's Frank Shorter of the United States, the Pan American champion, the American champion who was fifth in the 10,000 meters.''
Shorter had no idea, though, and was genuinely puzzled by the reaction as he strode confidently onto the front stretch of Olympic Stadium.
"The thought I honestly had was, 'Geez, I'm an American (in Europe) but give me a break,''' Shorter said. "You're frustrated. Then I started to run around and people started whistling, and whistling in Europe is booing.
"Finally, someone from the stands yelled, 'Don't worry, Frank.' I said to myself, 'Why should I worry? I'm winning.'''
As he came around the final turn, Shorter turned toward the tunnel and saw the commotion with the prankster, who had been directed off the course. After crossing the finish line with the second-fastest Olympic marathon time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 19.71 seconds, somebody finally clued Shorter in to the imposter.
Believe it or not, Shorter says he's not bothered by what happened on that Sunday morning.
"The great thing about it for me over time has been that I knew then and I still know that I never ran for that roar because it's never bothered me, it's never bothered me,'' said Shorter, now 60. "On the other hand, a lot of people really got angry. People had this empathy for me that maybe I felt I hadn't won.''
It turns out that wasn't the only marathon moment stolen from Shorter. Four years later, in Montreal, Shorter was approaching the tunnel at Olympic Stadium when he heard the huge applause from inside.
Not again, he thought.
"I'm in the exact same place,'' Shorter said, "only this time it's the guy finishing ahead of me. I am thinking to myself, 'I am never going to hear this roar.'''
Shorter finished second in the 1976 Olympic marathon. The winner on that day, and again in 1980 in Moscow, was Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany. As the years passed, proof of East Germany's illegal doping program for its athletes began to leak out, and files uncovered in 1997 in Leipzig may have identified Cierpinski as one of the test subjects.
Shorter, who used to head up the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, has fought hard to have the gold medal taken away from Cierpinski but to no avail.
"Don Cardon, who finished fourth in that race, likes to tell me that two times in a row I finished second to an imposter,'' said Shorter, who smirks at the cruel joke. "I've always thought that was very interesting.''
Even if Shorter gets his deserved second gold medal, he will still never have those special moments returned to him.