Cheating at races has been a hot topic lately, especially with Boston Marathon barely in the rear view mirror. Every year there are accusations (and findings) of people cutting courses, wearing counterfeit bibs, or getting someone to run a race wearing their bib. Today on Tuesdays on the Run, we are talking about these cheaters. What’s your opinion?
Personally, I don’t understand cheating on a race. ( I don’t really understand cheating at all, but at least in other areas, there seems to be something out there to be gained.
But it’s a race. What exactly do you gain? If you are fast and cheating helps you win, how likely is it that you won’t be found out? Many races have cameras and mats in place to prevent cheating and they are likely to figure out that things aren’t adding up.
And if you aren’t wining there race, seriously what.is.the.point? No one but you really cares about your time. And are they really bragging rights when you didn’t actually do what you are bragging about?
I do think that race directors could cut down on some of the abuse by allowing bib transfers up until right before a race. I’m pretty sure that one of the most common forms of cheating is allowing a friend to run using your bib (or selling it outright) or you using someone else’s bib. If every race allowed last minute changes to who was running, there would be a lot less of the using of a bib that you didn’t register for. (And the defense that races are planning for a certain percentage of runners to not compete seems like just plain poor planning on the races fault.)
I do think that there are things a race can do crack down on cheaters, but I don’t know if it needs to be a huge focus. There have always been cheaters and there likely always will. Karma knows who they are and eventually they’ll pay.