There has been some pushback in the running community after one 2017 Boston Marathon finisher posted a photo to Instagram showing him and his wife wearing finisher medals. In the accompanying caption, the man admits that his wife did not run the race and that he grabbed a second medal because she deserved “her own.”
Derek Murphy, the man behind the blog www.marathoninvestigation.com, first posted the screenshot of Instagram to a private Facebook group. The initial post received considerable attention and Murphy included the photo and details in a blog post, entitled “Not Cool? Or Not a Big Deal?,” on his website. One Facebook post, dated April 21, linking to the story has more than 145 comments with mixed reaction.
The unidentified runner was running for a charity associated with helping “a Boston Marathon bombing victim,” according to Murphy. Every runner that crosses the Boston Marathon finish line receives a race medal, a souvenir worn by many in the hours after the race showing that they completed the world’s most iconic marathon. The 121st Boston Marathon took place on April 17.
“So when I crossed the finish line I took two medals,” the Boston Marathon runner wrote on Instagram. “We both deserved one.” The screenshot, which details his reasoning, has been shared elsewhere than on marathoninvestigation.com including on Imgur and Reddit, two popular aggregator websites. There, the details have been seen more than 180,000 times.
One runner decided to respond to the act with an open letter, in which he says his son deserved a medal. Instead of grabbing a second one in the finish line chute, he gave his own to his son. The open letter can be found below.
Open letter part one
Open letter part two
Long’s Jewelers, which is listed as one of the Boston Athletic Association’s (B.A.A.) official merchandise suppliers, offers a companion race medal. The company makes and sells a “2017 Boston Marathon Support Medallion,” for “those who supported you through your training.”
UPDATE (April 24, 5 p.m.): The runner has issued an apology, which is published at www.marathoninvestigation.com. “I am embarrassed and ashamed at my actions,” reads the first line of the statement. “I have returned the medal to the BAA with a donation to cover any additional costs my selfish actions caused and a letter of apology.” Read the full statement here.