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.