Cheating at runDisney Races

by Lani Teshima, staff writer
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As we head into Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, people are abuzz with excitement. Months of training and hard work are going to pay off for tens of thousands of participants who will rightfully earn their medals in 5K, 10K, and half-marathon races throughout the weekend, to hang with pride around their necks.

...except, there are a few people who, for various reasons, choose to cheat at the races.

Unfortunately, even on the happiest races on earth, there is still a dark side. Although most participants would never dream to cheat, there are those who do. Some people cut the course short, some people sell their bibs to others, and some even find a way to run a race with a fake (or stolen) bib.

Running with a bib that is not your own

In Krystina Whitten's case, she experienced a double-whammy during the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend this past January. She had registered for the Rebel Challenge and had completed Saturday's 6.2-mile 10K race, and was planning on racing in the next day's 13.1-mile half-marathon. She had the misfortune to lose her original race bib with her participant number after Saturday's race, then experienced the shock of her life when she discovered that, rather than turn it into lost and found, a woman had taken the lost bib and run the half-marathon with it.


A screenshot of the MarathonFoto.com image gallery for Krystina Whitten for the Disneyland Star Wars 10K shows several photos of Whitten, dressed in costume as an ewok.

"On Saturday I ran the 10K and was so absolutely overjoyed that I'd gotten a picture with Boba Fett during the race so I was elated by the time I finished. I picked up my bag and waited for my friends at a lightpost we had chosen before the race. By the time we were leaving, the last runner was about to cross the finish line. We stopped to watch and cheer her on, then went on our way back to the hotel shuttle. While waiting for the bus, one of my roommates reached over to pick something off of my skirt. Sure enough, it was one of my bib magnets, and I noticed at that moment that my bib was no longer attached to me. 


A screenshot of this MarathonFoto.com image shows Krystina Whitten as she raises her hands during the Disneyland Star Wars 10K. Whitten, who had registered for the Rebel Challenge, is still wearing her original race bib during the 10K race.

"I posted in my group to ask that anyone contact me if they saw (my race bib). Someone posted he saw one attached to the fence near the finish line. I realized that the magnet must have attached to the fencing when we stopped to cheer the last runner on. I went back but couldn't find the bib, and no one at the (race) expo or Disneyland Hotel had received one for the lost and found. I went to Runner Relations who gave me a replacement, but it moved me from corral D to E [meaning Krystina would start further back in the pack]. I did receive a wristband so I could still get my Rebel Challenge medal. 

"Honestly, at this point I was an absolute mess. I was already very stressed out from a few issues regarding my Star Wars group and initially losing the bib, and then being placed in the last corral was the cherry on top. This meant I wouldn't be running with my friends anymore so I'd be alone, and even though I shouldn't have been, it worried me because my buffer was gone. I had a full-blown panic attack and cried for about an hour—it was so embarrassing but I was just so overwhelmed.

"The next morning, the day of the half-marathon, I spoke to someone at the information booth and after a little bit of cajoling, I did get a sticker to move back up to the correct corral. Since all of my other issues had been handled at this point, my mood had been greatly improved and I was ready for a great run. I was still a little disappointed about the bib (because I worried it would make my rebel challenge photos harder to package, and because I scrapbook my bibs and mine was no longer the one with my name and correct number). However, the run itself was absolutely wonderful. 


A screenshot of the MarathonFoto.com image gallery for Krystina Whitten running in her replaced bib (rather than her original bib, which she lost) for the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon shows Whitten dressed in a Darth Vader race costume.

"The next night, I was looking up my MarathonFoto pictures. The way it was set up, I could see two results with my name for the Rebel Challenge. I clicked on the link to see my 10K photos with my correct bib. MarathonFoto has a tab on the top of the page for Rebel Challenge participants to see the other race, so I clicked on the half-marathon tab. I was very surprised to see several photos appear. There were photos of a woman I didn't know posing with characters, posing with some friends and a guy after the race with a medal on, and randomly throughout the course. Sure enough, she was wearing my bib. 


A screenshot of the MarathonFoto.com image gallery for Krystina Whitten for the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon shows an entirely different person in the photos. Whitten, who had signed up for the Rebel Challenge, had lost her bib after the 10K, and ran with a replacement bib with a different number. The person in this image gallery ran the half-marathon as a race bandit, wearing a bib that did not belong to her, and proceeded to pose for several official race photos.

"I posted a comment in my group that said "So... I found my bib! Too bad I'm not the one wearing it." From there, my very passionate friends and fellow runners did some investigating and found the woman's name, Twitter handle, and employer. They tweeted her and (in some cases) her employer to let her know she'd been caught. One member of the group works near runDisney and made sure the information made it to them. Eventually the discussion in my group got a little heated so I had to delete it. 


A screenshot of this MarathonFoto.com image shows the race bandit as she poses with Boba Fett for an official race photo, with the race bib belonging to Krystina Whitten clearly visible in the photo.

"Personally, I felt betrayed. It hurts that another runner would willingly run under a name other than his or her own. It really hurt knowing that while I was trying to manage an anxiety attack over this, she was choosing to keep my bib. It hurt that she knowingly took resources (course support, water, road space, character time, photos, a medal...) away from runners who paid for the experience. I've had some people say she could have purchased it from someone else who found and sold it, and that's possible. But to purchase (or find and keep) a Rebel Challenge bib after half of the challenge is over suggests pretty strongly that she knew what she was doing. Besides that, running under another name is against runDisney policy whether it was purchased or not, so I still feel she had poor judgement regardless of how she came to posses the bib."

Fortunately for Krystina, runDisney was able to provide her with a new race bib so that she could successfully complete her Rebel Challenge.

When you wear someone else's bib... and you win the race (oops)

Back on May 23, runDisney race emcee Rudy Novotny posted the following on his Facebook page:

"A big Congratulations going out to Edith Martinez who now takes her rightful spot on the podium as the Masters Division Champion of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon! Due to a case of selling/giving a bib to another runner the "54 year old" that came in just ahead of Edith was found to be closer to 24! Edith has been a consistent performer and member of the Southern California running community for many years. I will take the liberty to say that Edith joins me in thanking runDisney and race director Mike Bone for a very quick review of the situation and Edith's being recognized as first master across the finish line!! Hope that your running and racing weekend is going great!"

runDisney has a strict policy that prohibits the transfer of a race bib to another person. In the case of Edith, she was initially robbed of her win because a 54-year-old woman decided to transfer her bib to a 24-year-old. Fortunately for Edith, the issue was resolved within a couple of weeks.

Could this just be a rare occurrence? Maybe, but it also happened during the Star Wars 10K race, to this writer, and my situation was almost identical.

I also ran the Star Wars Rebel Challenge over the weekend. Conditions were perfect on Saturday morning for the 10K, and I set a personal record. My husband texted to tell me that, according to the live results, it looked like I came in third in my age group and was holding my position. I'd been working so hard at improving my time, but third was the highest I'd ever gotten in a runDisney race. It also meant a possible age group award—I could hardly contain my excitement.

That excitement lasted only about 15 minutes, though, when he followed up to tell me that someone who started in one of the farthest-back corrals had overtaken all three of the fastest finishers in my age group to place first according to chip time.


A screenshot of the official race results for the inaugural Disneyland Star Wars 10K in the women's 50-54 age group, as it appeared a week after the race.

Disappointed, I looked at the first-place finisher's information, only to discover that "Y.H.," a 53-year-old, lived in a nearby town. I was involved in the local running community; why had I never heard of this lightning-quick woman before?

However later that afternoon, I received yet another text: The official race photos were getting posted online, and that "first place finisher" in my women's age group was... a man.


A screenshot of this MarathonFoto.com image shows a male race bandit wearing a clearly visible bib that belongs to a female registrant. This race bandit wore an authentic race bib with its timing chip attached, causing his finish time to register in the official timing system. This bandit was so fast that he started all the way back in corral E and still came in first in that woman's age group.

In order to curb the rate of illegal bib transfers, runDisney required everyone to show their proof of identification when they picked up their bibs. Did that mean that this young man was the son of the 53-year-old woman? Had she simply handed it off to her son because she hadn't trained enough? We found some other race results under Y.H.'s name, and discovered that she was a walker, not a runner. Was she hoping to have her son boost her finish time so that she could qualify to queue in the earlier corrals?


A screenshot of the MarathonFoto.com image gallery for "Y.H." for the Disneyland Star Wars 10K clearly shows a young male.

We'll never know the why. And fortunately for me, after many emails, runDisney did finally correct the issue. When you go to look at the results for the race, "Y.H." is no longer listed as the winner of my age group.

What kinds of cheating happen?

Cheating happens in many ways, and unfortunately, it happens more often with the larger, popular, socially friendly races like those organized by runDisney.

People cheating on the course itself

Some runDisney courses include out-and-back portions on the same street, and these are places where cheating has been spotted. For example with the Star Wars Half Marathon, there is a one-mile stretch on Harbor Boulevard. The corner of Harbor and Chapman Avenue had a nearby aid station, which apparently made it possible for some participants, who had only gone 5.5 miles into the race, to turn around and head back from the mile 11 marker (removing over five miles from their course).

People wearing fake copies of bibs taken from Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook

These people cheat everybody, including the race organization, because they don't even pay for the race but take up race resources just like a paid participant. In this day of social media, be careful to conceal part of your bib when posting pre-race photos.

People buying bibs from officially registered participants

When runDisney opens race registration nine months in advance, it's very hard to know what might happen come race day. Since runDisney offers neither legal transfers or race insurance (many races offer both), if you can't run for any reason, you're pretty stuck. runDisney does offer medical deferments (so they hold a spot for you for the following year's race), but not transfers to other people.

People racing on behalf of a slower person

Whether it's to qualify for a faster corral in a future runDisney race, or to qualify for the Boston Marathon, stories have circulated about registrants having a subsitute runner finish the race in a much faster time.

Whatever the reason, the standard rule if you're going to cheat, is don't get caught. In the case of the woman who stole Krystina's bib, do not pose for photos with Disney characters or with friends in any official race photos. And in the case of the 24-year-old woman who cheated Edith Martinez of her Masters victory, or the young man who cheated me out of a third-place age group victory, never finish first.

The cheaters

A person may cheat for many reasons. They may have a sense of entitlement, that they paid so much money already (between event registration, hotel stay, airfare, and so on) and many of those are nonrefundable. So perhaps they cheat just to get "what they paid for," not realizing that what they're paying for is the experience, not a shiny piece of unearned metal at the end. Or is it? There are people who don't train adequately and who know they will get swept. runDisney, as well as a number of other races (including the Rock 'n' Roll series) offer medals to those who get swept. Whether that's right or not (and perhaps worth its own discussion), it means a participant need not cheat in order to get a medal.

Some people choose to simply not pay, and make a fake bib to run in. This has happened in the Boston Marathon, as well as other races. Maybe they couldn't register in time before an event sold out, or they didn't want to pay the steep price of registration.

When you have 20,000 people in a race, you're bound to get a small percentage of people who don't care, who don't have a conscience, and who aren't embarrassed that what they're doing is dishonorable.

How do you deal with cheating?

You could choose to do nothing, with the assumption that this happens anyway. Alternatively, you could report them. This is particularly true if the cheater is so far ahead of the pack that they actually wind up placing in their age group, since cheating at the competitive and/or elite levels is considered a serious offense. Jot down their bib number, as well as whatever you can remember, such as time you saw the cheating happen, location, and details. For example if you see one person pass a hidden spare bib to another person, see if you can find both their bib numbers. If nothing else, take a photo of them with your camera or smartphone.

You can reduce the chances of your own bib being used by bandits, by not posting a full image of your bib before the race. Partially cover the bib to conceal the number (use a sock!).

If you're ever the victim of a cheat, you should contact the race organizers immediately. This is to prevent you from being prohibited from future races for having transferred your bib to another runner. A lot of people post about cheating incidents (with photos for proof) to social media. While I do not advocate making threats or contacting employers, I think it's fair, once a cheat is correctly identified, to let race organizers know. Such people should be banned from future races.

You could also shame them publically. That's what Krystina's friends did. Because her bib bandit posed for photos after the finish line with friends, they were able to track those in the photos down. With some detective work, they identified the woman, got her Facebook address and Twitter handle. They even went so far as to publically shame the bandit with some tweets.

Is there anything race organizers can do about cheaters?

The Disney races have timing mats at key locations (5M, 10M, half, 20M). One thing they can do is make sure they use additional "honesty strips" at the end of an out-and-back location (such as ESPN) or after a location that's easily cheatable.

runDisney could start offering legal transfers and liberal deferments of registrations. Many races do this, but it adds more work to the staff. However, if runDisney were to charge transfer and deferment fees, this is an opportunity to cover administrative costs for this work. Transfer fees could be adjusted to the race, so maybe it only costs $20 to transfer a 5K bib, but $100 to transfer a multi-event challenge. Deferments would be even more lucrative. runDisney could charge a fee (such as $50) to defer a spot until the next race, but still require you to pay the registration cost of that race.

Finally, runDisney could offer insurance for registrants. This is an issue MousePlanet staff member Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix has long requested, since the insurance is offered through Active.com (the company that handles race registration), and does not cost Disney any money.

If you choose to cheat a race, the only person you are cheating is yourself. If you get caught, you risk not only being banned from future races, but you also risk being outed on social media. If you think cheating is OK because you just want to look good to your friends, then the last thing you want should be a public shaming. Once you're caught cheating, you will become known as "the cheater" and it's not a label you want for yourself.

My advice? Don't cheat. Just don't.

 

Comments

  1. By Drince88

    Great article!
    Although Disney does offer medical deferments, the deadline is quite a while before the races, so if you have a stress fracture in the last month of your training, you're out of luck. Also, they limit the number of deferments, so even if something happened before the race deadline, if too many people were in that boat, you'd be out of luck. (You could not know you're pregnant, or not even be pregnant, and realize you'll be 8+ months at the race! Some people can run half marathons when they're that pregnant, but not everyone!)

  2. By adriennek

    The cheater I watched cut the course was at the Star Wars Half. There was an out and back in Disney California Adventure, where we could high-five the runners ahead of us, as we ran out of Hollywood Backlot towards Carsland and they ran out of Paradise Pier towards Buena Vista Street. I watched a woman stop and wave to her friend and they crossed to the outgoing side of the course.

    It wasn't a very big cheat, but it made no sense. There were plenty of people behind us - they had plenty of time. Especially on that course. The Star Wars Course is really lovely and a fast course.

  3. By ChipmunkStar

    When I ran Wine and Dine in Florida a few years ago, they had one of the Spectromagic floats out with a ballerina Ostrich and a ballerina Hippo to take pictures with. This photo location was on the way to Animal Kingdom so the rout would take you through and around Animal Kingom, back out, and toward Epcot on the other side of the road. Some woman ahead of my friend and I took a picture with the characters, and rather than rejoin the route ran across the road divider and started in the other direction!

    She cut about 3 miles off of her route and every single person in line was openly shocked that someone would do something so brazen in front such a large group. The best part was that the Characters were completely frozen, probably wondering what the heck just happened!

  4. By timl33

    The section leading to the Wide World of Sports for the WDW Marathon is ripe for cheating. Too bad some people don't know there's a timing mat out there.

  5. By yellowrosedtxn

    I will never understand why people feel the need to cheat. I mean I get that if you have an event, you will usually have cheaters, no matter what it is. I just never understand how people cheat and feel good about it. That isn't an accomplishment to me. I would feel awful, but I guess that is the difference between people. It just doesn't bother some people as it would me.

  6. By stan4d_steph

    Runner's World did an article on cheating back in June. I'd be interested to learn more about the process runDisney uses to remove people from the results, as stated by some race directors in that article.

  7. By bliznik

    As much as I normally condemn cheating, I can't really condemn racers who resell, or even give, their bib to their friends or family if they're unable to race. I mean, I paid $351.95 to race the Dumbo challenge this weekend. Let's say I break my leg tomorrow. Disney gives me ZERO way to recoup my loss. I can't defer. I can't resell. I can't transfer.

    I can recoup my loss if I purchased $150 tickets to Disneyland and can't go that day. I can recoup my loss if I made a $200 hotel reservation. I can recoup my loss if I made a $50 dinner reservation. But Disney won't accommodate runners who can't make a race that they paid for in the slightest. MANY other races allow bib transfers.

    Would it be against the rules for me to give my bib to a friend if my leg breaks tomorrow? Yes. Is it unethical? I don't think so in the slightest.

  8. By Lani

    Quote Originally Posted by bliznik View Post
    As much as I normally condemn cheating, I can't really condemn racers who resell, or even give, their bib to their friends or family if they're unable to race. I mean, I paid $351.95 to race the Dumbo challenge this weekend. Let's say I break my leg tomorrow. Disney gives me ZERO way to recoup my loss. I can't defer. I can't resell. I can't transfer.

    I can recoup my loss if I purchased $150 tickets to Disneyland and can't go that day. I can recoup my loss if I made a $200 hotel reservation. I can recoup my loss if I made a $50 dinner reservation. But Disney won't accommodate runners who can't make a race that they paid for in the slightest. MANY other races allow bib transfers.

    Would it be against the rules for me to give my bib to a friend if my leg breaks tomorrow? Yes. Is it unethical? I don't think so in the slightest.

    That's why I think runDisney should provide race-cancellation insurance through Active.com (again, NO COST to Disney; it's underwritten by a separate company and they don't charge race organizers to turn this feature on in the registration page).

    They should also allow liberal transfer and deferment policies. They could really make a lot of money in the fees, actually. A transfer fee would be low enough to discourage illegal transfers, but enough to cover the cost of the work involved. And they could have firm deadlines, so that the person who the bib is transferred to, could still get their own name printed on the bib, appropriate corral assignment, and get a race shirt in the correct gender/size for that person.

    It's really hard to know what's going to happen 8-9 months before a race, when race registration opens.

  9. By josephfive

    I like that idea Lani!

    Can't stand cheaters, but feel there should be something available if "life happens"

  10. By LtPowers

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowrosedtxn View Post
    I will never understand why people feel the need to cheat. I mean I get that if you have an event, you will usually have cheaters, no matter what it is. I just never understand how people cheat and feel good about it. That isn't an accomplishment to me. I would feel awful, but I guess that is the difference between people. It just doesn't bother some people as it would me.

    I suspect they (at least the shortcut-takers) just don't take it as seriously as most runners do. They figure they're just saving themselves time and effort, and not impacting anyone else.

    Now, the people who cheat to take first place ought to be drawn and quartered.


    Powers &8^]

  11. By Reep

    This is probably a lot more common than people realize. At Avengers last year I ran a good time and was happy with 1:28 and a third place finish in my age group. I wasn't close to second place as the person in front of me ran a 1:24. Because I run all the Disneyland half marathons I like to check out the competition and try and meet the regulars while waiting in the corrals. After Avengers I checked the photos and saw the second place guy was a handsome gentleman I had not seen before. He looked in decent shape, but not great shape. But, one thing struck me as I looked at the photos. He crossed the finish line twice, once by himself, and a second time with a different shirt on, running with someone. No big deal. I know you aren't supposed to, but I can see that if your S.O. is running behind you. The other odd thing that stood out was that there were no photos of him at the two photos stops at Angel's stadium. This made me curious enough to check his splits. At the 5k mark he was running 7:30/mile and was a couple minutes behind me. He did not register splits at the 10k or 15k mats and finished over four minutes ahead of me. In order for that to happen he would have had to pass me running 6:06/mile (for 10 miles). Up at the front there aren't that many people and I certainly notice getting passed by someone in my age group. A bit more research on Athlinks showed the man was a 1:35-1:40 half marathoner.

    The obvious answer is that he dropped out of the course after exiting the park around mile 4, went and got a coffee or something, and then rejoined the course somewhere before the finish. In the end runDisney did change the results after an investigation. I don't know if the cheater realized he finished in the age group awards, but this one races enough the he should have had a clue.

    Lessons learned:
    --don't assume runners don't cheat at runDisney events;
    --don't assume runDisney will catch this automatically. They won't. I got the impression they do not check at all for missing splits or pictures unless someone complains. I had to spend several weeks providing them with irrefutable evidence before they would even check into it.
    --if you are going to cheat, at least have the decency to not finish top 5 in your age group;
    --runDisney: PLEASE put split mats at every out-and-back location and post monitors if you are going to have a narrow section where runners can easily cut the course.

  12. By Reep

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowrosedtxn View Post
    I will never understand why people feel the need to cheat. I mean I get that if you have an event, you will usually have cheaters, no matter what it is. I just never understand how people cheat and feel good about it. That isn't an accomplishment to me. I would feel awful, but I guess that is the difference between people. It just doesn't bother some people as it would me.
    I think it is either accidental or addictive, depending on the person. The cheater in my story also cheated at another local (but large) race, where he ran a 1:21 and took first place in his age group. The course was full of small out-and-backs that would be easy to cut if one wanted. Again, not that a 50-year-old can't run a 1:21, but you don't get there at that age and in one year when your personal best is 1:35.

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    Runner's World did an article on cheating back in June. I'd be interested to learn more about the process runDisney uses to remove people from the results, as stated by some race directors in that article.

    As I mentioned, from my interactions with TrackShack (oh how I wish Disney would contract with someone else), the company that runs the timing and logistics for runDisney, they do not appear to have any automatic checking. I'm sure if there was an obvious problem in the overall winner they would see that, but for anyone after that, they appear to not want to deal with it unless they have to. When I first pointed out the 1:35 runner ran a 1:21 they said that the time was in the ballpark for someone with his predicted time and they weren't going to do anything. I wish runDisney would take it a bit more seriously as it isn't uncommon and the race loses it's integrity for those of us that like to compete in it. I should clarify that all my interactions and attempts at convincing were with TrackShack, runDisney defers to them and does not get involved.

  13. By Reep

    Quote Originally Posted by Reep View Post
    I wasn't close to second place as the person in front of me ran a 1:24. Because I run all the Disneyland half marathons I like to check out the competition and try and meet the regulars while waiting in the corrals. After Avengers I checked the photos and saw the second place guy was a handsome gentleman I had not seen before.

    Clarification to protect the innocent: It was the first place (age group) guy who cheated, not the second place guy. The second place guy was about a minute ahead of me, was legit and happily ended up with his proper first place award.

  14. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by bliznik View Post
    As much as I normally condemn cheating, I can't really condemn racers who resell, or even give, their bib to their friends or family if they're unable to race. I mean, I paid $351.95 to race the Dumbo challenge this weekend. Let's say I break my leg tomorrow. Disney gives me ZERO way to recoup my loss. I can't defer. I can't resell. I can't transfer.

    snip

    Would it be against the rules for me to give my bib to a friend if my leg breaks tomorrow? Yes. Is it unethical? I don't think so in the slightest.
    Totally totally agree. I feel like runDisney brings this on by their own policies. I know people who have run with other people's bibs for just this reason. I know people who had emergency surgery days before the race, but outside the medical deferment window. I feel that this is Disney either being greedy, being lazy, or a little of both. I'm sure it would be extra man-hours to deal with deferments in a race this size. But it's a reasonable accommodation that they could make.

    I especially agree when the bib is NOT being sold. Selling bibs, I feel, is completely unnecessary. Gifting a friend or family member with a bib I can't use because I'm ill, another story. The ONLY exception to this would be - Legacy status. I'd have a hard hard time having someone run for me to maintain my legacy status in an event. I would have a really hard time if I had a legacy status and had to lose it for health reasons, but I think it would be unethical to give someone my bib and then claim legacy status.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reep View Post
    Lessons learned:
    --don't assume runners don't cheat at runDisney events;
    --don't assume runDisney will catch this automatically. They won't. I got the impression they do not check at all for missing splits or pictures unless someone complains. I had to spend several weeks providing them with irrefutable evidence before they would even check into it.
    --if you are going to cheat, at least have the decency to not finish top 5 in your age group;
    --runDisney: PLEASE put split mats at every out-and-back location and post monitors if you are going to have a narrow section where runners can easily cut the course.

    The last two are the biggest points, IMO.

    Seriously: Don't win. If you're not wearing your own bib, the easiest way to NOT get caught is to NOT win. And I totally agree on the split mats on the out-and-backs. TOTALLY.

    I'm a rules follower in almost every situation. (See: Giving away a bib above.) If I were swept, I'd take the medal but I wouldn't keep it, I'd give it away to Medals for Mettle. I'm ALL about the bling. I started these because yeah, healthy, blah blah blah, OOOH BLING!!! I earn my bling. I love my bling. But I EARN it. I couldn't wear it if I knew I purposely cheated to get it.

    Some people just don't care. They go out to have a good time, figure they paid their fee and it's all something they're entitled to because they paid for it.

    I don't live like that. I couldn't be proud of myself if I didn't put in the miles and earn the time I claimed. I've had times I wasn't proud of. I've had really slow events where I didn't want to talk about my times. But. I finished without getting swept, I earned my bling. I finished every mile, darn it!

  15. By Reep

    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    I don't live like that. I couldn't be proud of myself if I didn't put in the miles and earn the time I claimed. I've had times I wasn't proud of. I've had really slow events where I didn't want to talk about my times. But. I finished without getting swept, I earned my bling. I finished every mile, darn it!

    That's what was so weird about my situation. The guy cut the course on a race in the L.A. area and "won" first place, and then used that time to get a low bib number for Disneyland. Then he does the same at Disneyland. Hard to believe both were accidents. So, does he brag about his trophies? What's the point? Is he trying to impress someone? I just don't get the drive behind it.

  16. By Jimbo996

    Shouldn't they implement MagicBands for the race? Call it RunDisneyBands. Each segment will be tracked for the racer. The computer program will automatically disqualify those that don't follow the route. Pictures will be taken for the racers and automatically compared at the finish line. I bet this will be the future some day.

  17. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    Shouldn't they implement MagicBands for the race? Call it RunDisneyBands. Each segment will be tracked for the racer. The computer program will automatically disqualify those that don't follow the route. Pictures will be taken for the racers and automatically compared at the finish line. I bet this will be the future some day.

    There's already a tracking chip on the back of the bib. A separate wristband isn't needed.

  18. By Megatron

    I ran my first Disneyland Half Marathon in 2007. Since then I have completed nine various Disney Half Marathons. Although I've read many conversations and complaints in different online running groups about people cheating at Disney events, I've never seen it. That may be because I'm more concerned with my own experience than with policing others. The real problem at Disney events is not people cheating. The problem is people causing a hazard for other participants. People who stop suddenly to take a photo in the middle of the lane, people who jump in front of other runners to get to a photographer, people who run horizontally across the lane to get to characters on the other side, people who walk four and five abreast without thinking about those trying to get around them, people who are looking at their cell phones instead of looking at what is going on around them...I can go on and on, and sadly, these problems seem to be getting worse and worse as people just blow it off by saying, "Oh, it's just a Disney event." They're causing runDisney to lose a lot of credibility with that attitude.

    I definitely agree with the posters above on the issue around no cancellations or transfers. It would be nothing for Disney to have some flexibility on this. Larger events do it.

    Bottom line is, I feel like Disney causes a lot of their own problems. The rest are caused by the entitled attitude of the participants. Everyone needs a slight attitude adjustment to realize they are part of a larger community at these events.

  19. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    There's already a tracking chip on the back of the bib. A separate wristband isn't needed.

    Then it's obvious they aren't tracking the racers along the track route.

  20. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    Then it's obvious they aren't tracking the racers along the track route.

    It's clear you don't understand how a running race works. There are only certain points along the course where a runner is tracked. The whole course is not wired to track them. This allows unscrupulous people to cut the course in certain places.

  21. By Jimbo996

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    It's clear you don't understand how a running race works. There are only certain points along the course where a runner is tracked. The whole course is not wired to track them. This allows unscrupulous people to cut the course in certain places.

    Sorry to interrupt your mindless complaining.

  22. By newhdplayer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    Sorry to interrupt your mindless complaining.

    Don't poke the moderator

  23. By adriennek

    Seen this morning at the 10K:

    1. A 7-year old (min. age for 10K is 10, Half is 14)
    2. Wearing a Dumbo Dare bib (see 1, min age 14)
    3. Texting on a phone in the middle of the course, not paying attention
    4. My husband almost tripped over him because he was so short & hard to see & blocking the course.

    So a cheater and a safety hazard.

  24. By GusMan

    Quote Originally Posted by adriennek View Post
    Seen this morning at the 10K:
    ...
    So a cheater and a safety hazard.

    I know I have not run a rD event...yet... but this in general gets me to all get-out.
    I think its wonderful that someone that young wants to run, but there are rules for everyone's safety.
    And Im betting that kid's parent thought it would be totally ok to just let the kid do it because they believe it would be a "victim-less crime."

    It just sets a bad precedence yet with so many people participating, its probably hard to enforce. Im just guessing.

  25. By adriennek

    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    I know I have not run a rD event...yet... but this in general gets me to all get-out.
    I think its wonderful that someone that young wants to run, but there are rules for everyone's safety.
    And Im betting that kid's parent thought it would be totally ok to just let the kid do it because they believe it would be a "victim-less crime."

    Yep.

    To add a few notes: Someone asked how I knew he was 7: My husband and another Padder both saw him on the course. When we were discussing this together, the other Padder mentioned that when she saw him, someone nearby asked him his age. That's how we know he's 7. Or at least he told someone that he's 7.

    Also, even though Doc and Other Padder saw him at different times and locations in the race, he had his face buried in the smart phone, not paying attention to where he was going, both times. At least if he was actually paying attention to what he was doing, he would not have been the safety hazard and to me, that's the biggest issue. That's where it moves, as you said, from a victim-less crime to an issue.

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