Chelsa Crowley Just Checked In At Loserville


I’ll admit it – I was really torn on the title to this post. I was picking between:

Chelsa Crowley Just Checked In At Loserville


Chelsa Crowley is the Mayor of Being an Asshole

(I went with Loserville because this is a family-friendly blog)

As you may have heard by now, at least a handful of people stole bib numbers in order to participate in the Boston Marathon. Basically, they found people who posted their bibs on social media and they stole their numbers in order to gain entry into the race.

Bandits have been a part of road races for a long time. Even the Boston Marathon race director, Dave McGillivray, was a bandit once upon a time. In most cases, races look the other way. However, in light of the explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon, bandits were officially banned this year.

That didn’t stop several people who still felt they deserved a spot in the race. However, because of pictures taken at the race by Marathon Foto, some of these bandits are being tracked down. One in particular, Chelsa Crowley, was clever enough to put her twitter handle on her bib. Not so smart.

Chelsa is the wife of FourSquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley. She finished the race last year and he did not – that got him an automatic spot for this year’s race, but left her out. Here is a statement from Dennis (after his wife got caught):

“Yes, using a duplicate number to get Chelsa into the starting corral was wrong. 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.”

Was that an apology? The thing is, it didn’t sound like an apology. It sounded more like a rich jerk trying to justify the actions of his rich jerk wife.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, the Boston Marathon made it very clear this year that bandits were not allowed. It was not easy to get into this year’s race, and as Kathy Brown, the real number 34033, pointed out:

“I put that work in and it wasn’t fair that someone else didn’t have to do that.”

The Boston Athletic Association is now investigating all the charges of bib fraud. I fully expect Chelsa (and Dennis as a conspirator) to get banned from all BAA events. The ban may even extend beyond those events. There is also an issue of whether or not criminal charges will be filed. As far as the other bandits, they may not have been as easily recognized, but they are far from being off the hook.

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15 Responses to Chelsa Crowley Just Checked In At Loserville

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Criminal charges, though they may be filed by an overzealous prosecutor, will be beaten. What’s the charge? Trespassing on public roads? Good luck with that. A public defender could get a known crack dealer off worse.

    The fact that the guy and his wife may be wealthy has nothing to do with anything – in fact, the system worked, they didn’t get preferential treatment because they were rich. A husband wanted to run Boston with his wife, big deal.

    Now, you want to see a travesty of justice? Let this go to court. Chelsea will have a good lawyer and get the charges dismissed.

  2. I had a friend who dated him a while back. He wasn’t so rich then but from what I heard, this is not surprising behavior. Is ‘douche’ family friendly?

  3. piratebobcat says:

    My dream is to run Boston, but I want to do it officially, I would never want to do it this way. I’m assuming she kept the medal?
    What’s the point in banning them? They’ll just bandit it if they want to.

  4. I think they should be banned just to prove a point. And that was no apology- it was justification, two very different things. Yes, people are going to break the rules forever about everything, but let’s teach them a lesson. I earned my spot by qualifying and know many who earned theirs by fundraising. It takes away from what this marathon is all about if people are allowed to bandit with no consequences.

  5. For the folks who say it’s not a big deal, what if those people stole or cheated you in the event you organized or the business you run? Rich or poor people ought to heed the rules.

  6. Chris P says:

    How can anyone think this isn’t a big deal? I think there should be a 2 year ban. The government shouldn’t get involved. I also think marathon organizers should find technological solutions to keep out bandits, before they cross the starting line.

    As pathetic as the bandits are, Boston Marathon organizers don’t come off looking too good either since they seem unable or unwilling to stop this.

  7. I think all of these people should be identified and banned from BAA events for life. They broke the BAA rules, I think that would stand up in court.
    They did steal services. All runners paid for those police details to keep the roads open for them to run. We all paid for the medal, food etc. that they received at the end of the race. Nothing about the marathon is free, and we runners pay for it.
    The more I read about this the more pissed I get.

  8. bpangie says:

    It’s the fact they took medals. The people who bandit and took medals, that’s just lame.

  9. That statement really sounds like besides the fact that the world says stealing a bib number is wrong, he still thinks it was OK to do because that was what he and his wife wanted, and of course nothing is more important than that. And on top of that he tries to justify it in the name of “love” because he and his wife wanted to run together? Is that supposed to make us go “aaaawwwww… how cute”?
    I vote for lifetime ban.

  10. That’s ridiculous. I cannot imagine the frustration of everyone that worked so hard for those numbers. I hope they get what they deserve for doing such a horrible thing!

  11. All of the people thus far identified (Crowley, the BC XC men, another BC student) should have better judgment than to steal a bib, no matter the reason. I understand that Boston was emotionally powerful for many this year and that those implicated had a “reason,” but I’d ask them to pause for a moment to consider what other motives someone who stole a bib might have. Respect Boston and the work that it takes to be a part of it, whether a Qualifier or tireless charity fundraiser.

  12. osarah26 says:

    Bandits are totally despicable. Totally undermines all the hard work that everyone else puts in to run officially. I vote for lifetime ban and a big fine! It’s obvious they don’t have hearts, so hit them where it hurts… in their bank accounts!

  13. jruff81 says:

    Would rather have seen her volunteering at one of the aid stations – they could have made better memories all around that way. So frustrating for all the people who worked so hard to qualify, especially in this year’s race where it was less about individuals and more about our collective group making a statement. (Side note – wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award 🙂 Details here:

  14. Pingback: Doppelganger gang | I'm a runner and so can you

  15. WHAT?!?!? I have not heard of this before! And what is the point of this!?!? dislike these people haha

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