There were issues with bandits at the Capitol City 10 miler. They even argued that they had the right to run even though they had not signed up. However, they had on fake numbers and timing chips from a previous race; hence, they knew what they were doing today was wrong.
Today, at the turkey trot, there were numerous bandits. many of them crossed the finish line, therefore messing up results or, at least, making it more difficult to tabulate those results. A large number of the bandits were younger runners. I spoke to three of them who finished behind me in the race. One said he did not get to sign up and had just arrived in town yesterday. he said he had the right to run since he did not know about the race ahead of time. The other two just said, in short, what's the big deal?
I hate bandits, to put in simply. They self-righteously believe they have the same rights as the many who pay entry fees and run the races. Some running clubs have rules that if you are caught banditing (sp?), you are banned from future club races. I know that this has been going since the invention of road races, but it still gets on my nerves. Just pay the fee or don't run.
Christopher: they may be called bandits but actually they are thief's and should be treated as such. Its kinda like shop lifting in that you take something without paying for it. At least they could have ducked off the course before crossing the finish line. Is there someone in the club that is over 6'2" and 220 lbs that could act as RRRC Sgt at Arms and run out and tackle these idiots before they cross the finish line? Then hold them while others call the authorities. If that happens a couple times we might see less bandits.
I hate bandits too. As others have stated, it's stealing. The race organizers offer a service (the race with all its amenities) for a price, and the bandit participates without authorized rights, thereby "stealing" the service.
Banning a bandit from future races only forces them to be bandits in future races. And enforcing this policy would be very difficult.
I'd like to hear from the running lawyers in the club. Can bandits be charged with stealing? Get the word out that the RRRC prosecutes race bandits, and I think it would deter 99% of these criminals. We already pay local law enforcement to help at races. Let's have them enfore the law as well.
Kevin: I like your idea about getting law enforcement involved in more than being a course marshall when encountering bandits. As a matter of fact I know several law enforcement personnel that run and I am gonna get their take on this issue. The other thing about these folks that irks me is that they are so brash and arrogant about it when confronted. Its like "what's the issue" as far as their thinking. I believe the club should prosecute those who steal a spot in a race. Starting line volunteers should warn potential bandits of the consequences and if they persist in running the race, they should be apprehended and charged with stealing. And, in my opinion running off course just before the finish is still stealing.
Not only should the bandits be taken off the course, but also those who don't adhere to the "no headphones rule" while on the course. I saw at least half dozen runners who had them on, and one who couldn't hear me when I shouted "I'm passing on your left". For an instant, I felt like pulling them right off his head! If runners don't want to abide by the rules of our club races, they should take their running attitude elsewhere!
Outside of these issues, I would like to offer my congratulations to Hope, Roy, and every volunteer who helped out today. Super effort by all for a race of this magnitude.
As part of my volunteer duties for this race, I was out in front of the finish directing the runners into the chute. When I saw runners without numbers I asked them to display them to try to prevent them from crossing the line. There were numerous runners with their bibs under their shirts, on the back of their shorts, etc. This makes it difficult to record "selects" with the time machine and to determine who is a bandit. In particular, I did see one bandit with a front runner peel off when the road hit the lake.
While I see the issues with bandits, I find it difficult to imagine that there is any particular law against them. They would probably first argue that the event is on public property. And doubt most would want our already burdened courts tied up with this. And anyone tackling a bandit might put themselves in legal trouble.
There are already many laws on the books, some like jaywalking, which is illegal but rarely enforced.
So while an annoyance, probably not a practical solution other than finish line people monitoring such. And they already have enough to do.
Dog: The law is called STEALING/THEFT. And, many laws are broken on public property such as what occurs everyday on our interstate system. Now what if our State Police took your attitude and decided not to cite people for reckless driving and possession of illegal substances for fear of clogging up the court system. We would have a lawless highway. Race fees range from $15 for most races to $100 for Shamrock Half. A bandit running Shamrock has just stolen $100.00 worth of services. Dude its breaking the law. You do have a point on the tackling tactic but reporting the bandit to law enforcement should be enough to take care of the situation. I believe that once several of these thiefs are arrested and convicted in court, the word will get around and this practice will subside. Of course if we follow your line of thinking, we might as well do away with entry fees cause more people will find an excuse to run without paying. I didn't run this race because the race closed before I decided to run it. I didn't run. What makes these bandits any more privilaged than me???
As I said I think one would have a difficult time getting an arrest on this or procecuting in court. Guess you could argue whether a real "theft" occurred. Since there was no race number, there would be no award. And then you would need to establish the value of race services, which would be less the cost of shirt bandit did not receive.
There's a balancing act between law enforcement and practicallity. I think I want law enforcement's priorities on more important things.
I also was not saying you could not break the law on public property, but instead meant the bandit's attorney would argue he was running on public property. Although U of R I guess might be private property, but with public access? And with all this only the attorney's would come out ahead and who wants that?
The best punishment might be to confront these people if caught, issue a verbal lashing and try to embarass them publicly. Already this culprit has been indentified and pictured in photo #7826 for anyone to view. Maybe she will think twice about it next time, then again maybe not. Maybe someone will even recognize her and put out her real idenity.
Dog: Its plain and simple......if you are supposed to pay $50.00 for a service and you don't pay by deliberately sneaking into an event, then you have broken the law. Its plain and simple. The T-shirt, bib number, award, etc doesn't even enter into the equation. I think that if law enforcement is at the race and a crime occurs, they should take appropriate action. And as far as your belief that public property is a "free for all zone" go stand in the middle of the street in broad daylight and take a nice long pee pee and see if someone doesn't call the police on you dude. The best punishment is to confront these people, have them arrested and convicted in court.
I done that on side of road many times where I live and never been arrested! So maybe it was not Broad St.
So if you think you can enforce these arrests, go for it. Good luck in getting all of the local police, Henrico, Chesterfield, Richmond, Hanover, etc. to make this a priority. And who will be taking off work to testify?
While bandits are a nusance to some of the run participants, I doubt that the other 98% of society really gives a darn. They already think we runners are a bunch of nuts. And I'm sure you have encountered a few of them and their thoughts on runners on the roads as they speed by or flip the #1 salute!
(and I don't consider myself a Dude, whatever that is?)
IF - you're going to bandit a race - PLEASE - do not cross the finish line. Drop out before the closing stretch.
If you have a number - PLEASE - wear it on the front of yourself. If it's on your back, it's harder for the volunteers at the finish to read.
Lastly - IF you don't get into a race that you really want to do. Why not volunteer? It's free, it's fun, and if you get their early to volunteer, you could always run the course (or some of it) before you volunteer.
I procrastinated - I missed the cutoff for the Turkey Trot - my bad. Instead of clinging to an inalienable right to run the course at the same time as the the race, I decided I would rather run an easy 10k (give or take) early, and then volunteer at the race. I saw a lot of people without numbers crossing the line. Some of them did have numbers they just weren't displayed.