Marathoner claims bib numbers were stolen - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Marathoner claims bib numbers were stolen

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – A North Carolina resident who ran this year's Boston Marathon claims her bib numbers were stolen by other runners.

Runners either need to qualify to get a number or they need to join a charity group, but some people apparently didn't do either. Instead, they went to the computer to get their bib numbers, Kara Bonneau says.

Bonneau says she did all the right things to get a legitimate bib number for this year's Marathon. After finishing in the fastest third of all 36,000 runners, she went to look at the photos taken of her and found that at least four other runners had her same bib number. The bib was extremely hard to get given 9,000 more runners got bibs this year in a race that's extremely tough to get into in the first place.

The bib bandits are reportedly facing so much backlash that they've received death threats. Those four runners wanted to run, but couldn't get a bib, failed to qualify, missed the deadline, or didn't have the $200 for a bib plus the confidence to guarantee that they would raise $4,000 to $5,000 for charity.

After Bonneau posted a photo of her legitimate bib on Instagram, someone made multiple counterfeit copies of it and sold it on Craigslist. It's not clear if those four runners with Bonneau's number knew they were buying fake bibs, but at some point they must have known they weren't real because they don't have chips in them, which are used to track runner's official times.

According to deadspin.com, the assistant coach of the Boston College Cross Country Team identified the two male runners as former BC Cross Country Team members. He told Deadspin that even though they weren't officially registered, the young men ran to raise money for a friend's charity. When asked if it made her feel better that two of the bandits were running as part of a fundraiser, Bonneau said it didn't.

The BAA says bandits are common even with this year's tighter security guidelines. They say there's very little that can be done to police it, but Bonneau has taken to social media to “publicly shame and disqualify them from future races.”

On her Facebook page, she says, "This is unfair to everyone who worked hard to qualify or raise charity money, and to those who qualified, but couldn't get in because the race was full. It's also a security issue."

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