Have you ever bandited a race? Or missed out on an overall or age-group placement because of someone else that didn’t pay for their bib? Maybe you’ve just noticed bandits running alongside an event you’re in and gotten understandably irritated. Well here’s a timely story for you, especially considering the reaction we got from readers when we posted this story about some marathon bandits on the Run Oregon facebook page.
It all started when Phoenix runner that only identified herself as “Y. Peigh” ran in a 10k race in Tucson last year that offered cash prizes to the top three finishers in each category. The first place male and female finishers earned a huge prize of $500, second place got $250, and third place took home $100. Races with cash prizes are few and far between for us “regular folk,” so it’s no surprise that nearly 4,000 participants registered. Peigh, however, was not one of them.
Peigh finished 2nd overall, only to be refused the prize because she ran the race as a bandit with a friend’s bib. She “caused a scene” at the awards ceremony, said registered participant Stacie Multzenheimer, especially because she had actually started approaching the podium when the the name “Aletha Nazihah” was called instead. Peigh immediately ran up to the announcer, repeating, “Wrong, wrong, wrong” and shaking her head as the announcer reviewed his paperwork. The race directors were called up for a brief conference, and moments later Peigh “just blew up,” said Multzenheimer. “She threw her water cup and bagel at the race director and yelled ‘I’ll see you in court!'”
The race director explained to the stunned audience that Peigh had not actually registered from the race and was therefore not eligible for an award, which was met with thunderous applause.
Y. Peigh then sued the race, only to lose that case. Late last week, news broke that the race had filed a counter-suit for theft for participating in the event without paying, and for reckless behavior. Race Director Todd Reshteen said, “What if she’d gotten hurt? Or hurt another participant? There’s a reason why you have to sign a waiver to run a race. But what’s really frustrating is that by participating in a race without paying for it, Ms. Peigh is contributing to the increasing costs of putting on a race. That’s one more finisher shirt, one more finisher medal, and one more allocation of post-race food. My finish line volunteers are busy – I can’t expect them to be detectives!”
Run Oregon will keep an eye on this story and hopefully have an update for you by April 1, 2018.
Happy April Fool’s Day, readers!