Why I’m not running Boston 2016. A Cautionary Tale.

Otherwise titled …. It Could Happen to You.

The Boston Marathon. It’s THE race. For us amateur marathoners it’s the shining star, the center podium.

If you have been following my journey you know that Boston, even though I have qualified twice, has eluded me. I have been unable to run with my bib 2 years in a row. The first time because I had just suffered a miscarriage and the second time because I was pregnant.

This year I was able to run. Yes I had a baby via c-section 7 months before the race. Yes I had complications from said c-section. But gosh darn it I am healthy and recovering and NOT pregnant … So I was going to run BOSTON!! I trained my little postpartum heart out.

And then the other shoe dropped.

As I said before I was unable to run with my bib last year. However someone did run with that bib. I gave it to a friend. I didn’t sell my bib, she didn’t pay a dime for it and I didn’t pay her to run with it. I gave it to her with the thought that someone should love the bib. Someone should enjoy the miles that I worked so hard for. It was a stupid thing to do, but I swear it was entirely innocent.

Based on an “anonymous tip” the BAA found out. They had photo proof that I wasn’t the runner who ran with my bib. This breaks their rules and disqualifies me from running in any further BAA races.

My heart is broken. I’m embarrassed and ashamed.

I did what so many of us do, we transfer bibs that are non-transferable. Some even sell them. We think it’s innocent, we don’t think we will get caught.

I know I broke the rules and therefore fault no one but myself. I take full ownership of this. BUT let me be an example, I hope that other runners are reading this and think twice before they make a mistake like i did.  Don’t get yourself get disqualified from a race series, it’s a terrible feeling.  

To the Boston Marathon, I don’t know if I will ever be at peace with this. It’s a tough pill to swallow … For now I will continue to strive for another qualification and maybe, just maybe you will forgive this mama for the mistake she made.

The thing about life is that there are ups and downs, there are times when curve balls are thrown at you and they sting. I’ve had some big ups and downs over the past 3 years and although this may seem like a low, its hard to see it that way.  When I look at the face of my beautiful baby boy its crystal clear: APA > Boston … I’d give up this race and pretty much everything else for my family (obviously). Our 3rd child has been a lesson of patience and true love. It took a lot of patience for him to come into our lives and now that he is here I would go through it all again to love this little boy.

Its not unlike running and marathoning … the journey isn’t always pleasant and man sometimes it hurts but the pure joy of accomplishment makes us love the run.  And we will always run, because no matter what the journey feels like we keep training because we truly love it. So I continue on, running and accomplishing and all the ups and downs that go along with it. I learned a lesson here, but it will never deter me from doing what I love to do.

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10 thoughts on “Why I’m not running Boston 2016. A Cautionary Tale.

  1. Oh Gia…that sucks! I totally understand, but it’s still an awful feeling. You would never think this would happen! I have run under someone else’s bib AND given my bib to someone else (for the same reason, because at last minute, I couldn’t go and it was going to be wasted.) However, this a good warning. I’m sorry it happened to you though!
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  2. Oh Gia. I’m so so sorry. I can’t imagine the heartbreak over this and not being able to run Boston. You’re right – it’s doesn’t seem like a big deal at all and most of us have transferred a bib or been a recipient at one point in time. At the same time, I can’t believe someone reported you! Sending a big hug to you!
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  3. It sucks that all races don’t allow bib transfers. Yet all races disclose their refund and transfer policy when you register, and you agree to follow those policies when you register. If you choose to violate those policies, you choose the possibility of facing the consequences. I’m glad you chose to share your story. Hopefully you can inspire others to make different choices.

  4. Sorry gang, but this isn’t a 5k at your local city park. This is a bigtime race thousands of people work their tails off to qualify for. Many work at it for years to get ther. Whether you like that or not, it’s a huge part of the race’s prestige. Giving bibs to non-qualifiers cheapens it for everyone.

  5. Some people online are saying that you used your friend’s time from the 2015 marathon as your qualifier for this year’s race. Is there any truth to that? If not, it may be worth explaining to silence the critics.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. I am not choosing to comment on that at this time. I wrote this to inform runners of the implications of giving away your bibs. I own the mistake I made and I am not asking for pity or anything else. These are my feelings and experiences on my personal blog, those comments and conversations can exist without my input. All my best.

  6. This is the Boston Marathon. You cannot run it unless you run a qualifying time or you raise money for charity, a lot of it. For other races that do not have these requirements for entry, it seems reasonable to allow transfer.

    But this is not just another race. This is the Boston Marathon. This is particularly wrong if someone is running with your bib and BQs. That is unfair to other runners who did legitimately qualify. I hope you can see that instead of minimizing your actions.

    I’m sorry you could not run but I think you knew that transferring the bib is a big no-no for this particular race.

    1. Yes Karen, I do I own my mistake. I only hope that others can learn from my error of judgement.

  7. Good warning for others, sounds like it was a harsh (but fair) learning experience for you. It’s very unfortunate because you HAVE run qualified times in the past and that life prevented you to participate in Boston.

    I hope they’ll allow you to apply in the future, should you be able to run a BQ time again.

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