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Race imposes $500 fine and tickets for bandits

A Texas road race has brought in fines and potential charges to discourage banditing

Runners stand on the line

The Fort Bend KIA 30K, which takes place in Sugar Land, TX, has implemented a policy that potentially fines race bandits $500 USD and charges them with “Theft of Services.”

RELATED: Is banditing a race ever ok?

Marathon Investigation reports that banditing is less of a problem for the race now than in the past, but that the policy remains in place. Police are willing to ticket those who bandit, making their policy enforceable, and asks race participants to help identify bandits. This year was the 32nd running of the event.

The race policy


NOTE: ALL runners MUST be registered…visible 30K number on front
Legally, ALL runners MUST be officially registered with a VISIBLE Fort Bend KIA 30K Run race number on front. Finish Line Sports has a City Parade Permit for the designated First Colony streets in runners lane for race morning, from 6:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. and any “bandits” will face a stiff fine. Anyone NOT registered who runs on the course during the race may face a “theft of services” charge and a fine of $500. Please point out any bandits to one of our 30-plus uniformed SLPD officers on the course. (This is a rare problem, but an affront to our race causes and other paying runners.) Sorry, pacing another without a number is NOT permitted. No transfer of numbers. Thank you for officially registering and for supporting the 30K.

Marathons are expensive to run

Alan Brookes is the director of Canada Running Series, which includes some of the country’s most successful running events, like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and he’s also against race banditing of any kind. “Everyone should register and get a number–for their own protection as much as anything,” says Brookes. “For example, if they get into trouble on the course and need medical attention or collapse with something serious, who are they? How can we best treat them? So the short answer is that everyone without a number on a closed race course is a bandit.” (And that everyone on the course should have a number.)

Brookes reminds runners that it costs an enormous amount of money to put on a race–hundreds of thousands of dollars to close the course to traffic for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. That figure comes before fluid stations, medical stations and entertainment on the course.

RELATED: Philadelphia Marathon removes 147 course-cutters from results