It appears race bandits tried to get away with finisher’s medals at this past weekend’s Miami Marathon.
Miami Marathon co-founder Frankie Ruiz filmed a number of ‘finishers’ in the 5K, one of the race weekend’s distances, without an official race number, a term called banditting, taking medals. He says there were upwards of 70 runners and walkers who “tried to steal medals.”
Ruiz filmed the inflow of runners coming through the chute past the finish line where race medals, among other amenities, like food and water, are distributed. Many of the finishers have official race bibs on the front of their shirt while others don’t have a bib (race number) at all. To several runners, in the video embedded in this story, Ruiz asks “do you have your bib?” Many answer “no.” One runner unzipped his jacket to show his undershirt seemingly searching for a number that wasn’t there.
In some instances, Ruiz took the medal back.
“Congrats to all the registered finishers of today’s Tropical 5K,” Ruiz says via his Facebook post featuring the video. “Now, to the 70 or so who tried to steal medals and other race amenities today… first, thank the paying runners, because without them you couldn’t have enjoyed the safe closed streets, the medical help, the food, the water, parking, shuttles, music, etc. Then secondly, look to see if you are in one of these videos, I hope you are just a little embarrassed because I certainly am for you. I wonder if you shoplift and steal from your fellow runner neighbours too? We have more video we might be sharing shortly.”
Race medals, among other things including permits, T-shirts and much more, are included in the cost of registration. Early bird registration for the Miami Tropical 5K is US$35, or about $43.
Derek Murphy of Marathon Investigation fame shared the video adding that “once again, the Miami [Marathon] is tough on bandits, they also stopped runners during the half-marathon and marathon pulling them from the course just before the finish.” In 2017, Murphy reports that the Miami Marathon pulled as many as 200 bandits from the course in a crackdown on unregistered people competing in the race.
The Fitbit Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon on Sunday featured upwards of 20,000 runners, according to the Miami Herald. The Tropical 5K was held on the Saturday.