6'0 Tall wife to Muscle Man, mother of 3, full time career woman, with an addiction to running wherever her size 10's will take her.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Could Tall Mom be a Bandit?

First off WELCOME to the new Followers....I will eventually make it around to say "Hi" please drop me a comment when you get a chance. I try my best to return comments :)



I have read about runners being "Bandits" on a race course. For those who don't know the term, a "Bandit" is a runner who joins the racers and is not registered for the race. Often a runner will chose to be a Bandit in support of a fellow runner in order to help him/her in the pursuit of a PR. I must say I am tempted to be Bandit for an upcoming race....won't tell you which one or for who I would be helping. I am TORN.



The Rule Follower in me is against it. The race fees are there for a reason, to cover the costs of the honey buckets, police support, medical personnel, aid and water stations, race numbers, athlete tracking, and all the WONDERFUL people who help put in road races. And what if something happened?? I am not registered and have not signed a release form for care. And worse what if I get caught and permanently banned from the run. I should just fork out the HIGH fee and pin on my race number.



The Penny Pincher in me is for it. I don't need to pay the money for the medal or t-shirt, I won't drink the water or take the Gu. I will start after the start line and leave before the Finish. I will be there simply to support a friend. Will use it as a training run for enjoyment. I should not have to pay if I do not use any of the amenities of the race...well maybe a Honey Bucket Stop or two. I could run most of the race and save the money. And if I like the course I will dish out the money next year.



I have asked a couple people on received feedback. I also found an article HERE on Runner's lounge where the author wants to change the name from "Bandit" to "Leach," OUCH!! Several people commented on the article with opinions across the board on the issue. Now I am curious what you think?? Could Tall Mom be a Bandit?

Add a black hood to my dark ensemble and I am almost ready in my bandit gear :)

This AMAZING running top is made by Green Layer. Visit the website HERE. I first learned about Green Layer at my first Half Marathon when the race swag was an amazing Green Layer top. See my 14 miler post HERE for a picture. The fit and comfort of this Half-Zip is great for the Fall running season. I am a BIG fan of thumb holes, especially when I am wearing running gloves. And BONUS the Green Layer products are made out of recycled products. At just $39 this top won't break the bank. Shop HERE. Green layer also makes Men's products. Shop around, I know you will like what you see..

34 comments:

Melissa said...

Great question! If it were me, I would pay to enter the race and have a bib number. I'd be so nervous about getting caught or feeling guilty about it, I wouldn't enjoy helping the friend... Can't wait to hear what you decide :)

Going to shop at Green Layer now!

Running, kind of. said...

Oh boy...AN the RB was a bandit once in the Tacoma Narrows half. She helped me throughout the entire race. What we found to be funny after the fact was that even though we were side by side the entire time she was cut out of every picture taken of me on the course! We had a good laugh. I am generally a strict rule follower BUT it could just be that you are there for support. And what if you jumped in around mile 6 and only ran to 12.5? And what about those team in training people? I don't think the coaches ever sign up for a race. They run with their teams and keep them going!
I am sure you will make the right decision...and I am sure your friend will understand either way!

Running, kind of. said...

P.S. love the outfit too!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

most bandits mean well, but i've had a few near me in a race that were so focussed on their runner that they were oblivious to cutting off others (aka me) in the race. frustrating.

as for me - i'll always pay or stay on the sideline

Shannon said...

Depends on how far you plan on running. If it's anything more than half a mile - I say pay the fee. I think it's ok to cheer people on and run with them a tad, but anything over a half of a mile... I'd pay.

Janice {Run Far} said...

First of all... I have to say, I just love you and your blog. I really look forward to your daily posts. I am kind of wishing we were real life friends, I think we would hit it off. I love all the cute pics of you and all the fun topics you share with us.... don't forget all your great giveaways... which I still need to enter for the necklace... :)

I was a bandit once and to be honest I didnt like it. I didnt like having to start beyon the start line, and finish beofore the finish line. I felt funny and out of place with out a bib number. However, I was NOT helping a friend pace... So I would really just try it one time and see how you feel. If you didnt mind it then great, if you hated the whole thing, then you know you dont dig being a bandit.
I for one, love to recieve that shirt and medal.

Molly said...

hmmmmmmm. I see all your points, but I think I would just pay to run. You don't want to be distracted and on the lookout for being caught the whole time you're running.

momof3 said...

I'm a rule follower who lives with a tight running budget. I'm all for being a bandit once in a very rare while, in these cases where you are going as someone's support. If you decide to go through with it - don't fret about it, surely there's a few people who DID pay for the race but aren't going to run for one reason or another.

lindsay said...

i am completely against bandit-ing; it rubs me the wrong way. even if you "don't take the water/gu" provided, you're still benefiting from the closed roads, police/volunteer/medic support...

i don't think $ should be a consideration. if one can't afford a race, that doesn't mean it's "ok" for them to run in it for free.

jumping in to support a friend - is ok in my opinion as long as it's truly just jumping in for a few miles and not running the entire race. if you want to preview a course before deciding to run a race... drive it? or run it on a training run?

race fees are in place so that we have these opportunities to run fun and hopefully safe races from time to time. if everyone abused it, races would struggle to find the support they need and, chances are, not be held anymore.

Amy W said...

I am a novice runner, so take what I say with a grain of salt!

I am running my first half marathon on November 8th, the OBX Half Marathon (will need LOTS of good vibes on that day) and I have asked a friend to run mile 10-11 with me, just to get me close to the end. She is there to support her husband and father-in-law. The race is sold out, so even if she wanted to sign up, she can't. And it's only a few miles, she will jump in and run and then jump out. But she will be there when I think I will need it most.

unathleticrunner said...

I am with you--torn. I've never done it but, I know people who have. They usually do it for the good of someone else but, I don't know what I would do.
I have heard if you want to run a race for free volunteer to help out.....maybe that wouldn't make you feel like such a bandit! :)

Velma said...

Love the outfit, but I am not a fan of bandits. I think that this practice makes the rates for races higher for everyone. If someone wants a pacer then maybe they can help pony up the cash :)

Bernadette said...

I confess, I did the Bandit route once this summer... I don't know if I'd do it again for a couple reasons, one of which being I save all my race bibs and was kinda sad I didn't have one after running this hard 5 mile trail run. But I will say that it was a little fun just to do it... a guilty pleasure so to speak.

X-Country2 said...

I sort of did it when a race was sold out. Hey, I tried to give them my money, they just wouldn't take it!

Lacey Nicole said...

i have found it totally depends on the race. make sure you don't cross the finish line regardless! and if you run with a friend and the race typically has bandits, it's a hometown race,.. etc. it is more of an "okay" thing. i have learned all of this from my bandit experiences-- the half-- where i ran from start to finish and felt TERRIBLE, and the marathon where i ran from mile 6 to mile 26 and pulled out and it was AWESOME and everyone was happy for me.

Marlene said...

Ohhh, it's tempting. Honestly, people do it all the time. I don't really see a problem with it if you're not taking advantage of the amenities.

Now I'm curious as to which race you're talking about... hmmm...

Alisa said...

I'd feel too guilty! However, if my friend Sarah needs me to support her in the last few miles of the marathon this weekend, I'll surely jump in. I'm registered for the half so I wouldn't feel too bad.

kturcic said...

So, I just got a top from REI with thumbholes and sleeves that turn into mittens. I love mine, too! I wrote about it on Monday (http://momvsmarathon.blogspot.com/2009/10/day-87-new-gear-4-mile-morning.html).

I'm not sure how I feel about the "bandit" question. I also am a Rule Follower, so I probably wouldn't do it. Too many "What Ifs."

Lisa said...

This is a great topic for all racers I think. Personally, I couldn't do it. It drives me nuts when bandits do take advantage of the race benefits that I paid for. And it really drives me nuts if they interfere with my race or that of others around me who registered. I do, however, see the allure of it and would love for a friend to jump in with me during those difficult miles in the marathon coming up, but only if they didn't take any of the fuel meant for the runners with bibs (and also if I knew for sure that I wouldn't get in trouble!). I would also love to support a friend who needed the help, but I'm a wuss and wouldn't want to chance it! I'll yell from the sidelines!

I have a question. What is a honey bucket? I've never heard the term before.

The Happy Runner said...

I wouldn't do it. I'm against bandits for many of the same reasons that others have already mentioned. But, I think that if you are going to pace a friend for a mile or two, that's fine. I just think that anything more than that isn't fair to the rest of the racers.

Micki said...

I can see the dilemma! It would definitely help to have a friend running along with me, but as the runner....not even the bandit I would feel guilty!

I RUN LIKE A GIRL said...

Good questions! I think bandits are okay, if you only run a portion of the race, ie: the last mile with your friend who needs the support. Also, I think bandits are cool - just don't take the free stuff, ie: water and food. I have only been a bandit once but it was because I wasn't sure if I would be in town for the race and didn't want to pay if I wasn't (I already spend $800- 1,000/season on races - I DO NOT have extra cash). I started toward the back, didn't take water and left when I finished. I think you need to be smart and considerate about it - and it's okay! :-)

Cassie said...

I just found your blog recently and I love it!

Marci said...

I would love you to bandit a race and pace meeee!! :)

Marci said...

PS - I don't think I would bandit because I am a medal hoarder, but I don't really have a problem with those that do!

Teamarcia said...

I've never banditted but I think I would consider it only if I were running with a friend for a SEGMENT of the race. Like the final 5 miles at most. If I planned on running the whole thing, I'd definitely pay.

Faith Ann said...

I'm a new reader :)

I've never heard the term "bandit" before. I know I wouldn't take chances on it because I'd be too afraid that I'd get caught and then not allowed to run the race in the future.

Plus, as someone else already mentioned, I like the medals :)

Derek said...

I'm not for it at all. What if every runner on the course needed support in the last few miles, or through a rough stretch, there would be way too many runners and too many safety issues. I've been run over and had bandits stop in front of me when there TIME was over; please do not do it because it is not right for you or the other runners out on the course.

RunningLaur said...

From the perpective of some one who has helped to direct a race, and a person who has timed a race, I can say that bandits have directly made my own goals of a successful and safe race difficult - in numerous and not always obvious ways.

If you really only want to help a friend through a portion of the race - I think the right way to do it is to own up to it - and specifically ask the race director prior to the race. Some may be flexible and allow it, and some may not. Either way, you know you're doing the right thing then.

As for not taking any water, etc... Typically one of the largest costs for a race is shutting down streets and providing required police protection. If you're running the course, you're using this exteremly expensive amenity.

Sarah Jane said...

oooh! i REALLY like the debate you started! i am such a wuss, i would never have the guts to do it! i wanna know what you decide!!

Casey said...

Although deliciously devious, I would just pay the fee. Even though you won't partake in any of the goods, races need all the funding they can get. Plus, I would feel really guilty not paying and finishing the race and knowing that there are probably plenty of people who paid and DNF'd.

Britt said...

Ohhh, you're so bad!! ;)
I always want the bling, so I pay the fee. I wouldn't think it would start such a debate.
LOVE the shirt! I need to get one w/ the thumb holes. Would have been great today!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

at the Cooper River Bridge Run (a 10k in Charleston SC, with like 40,000+ runners, HUGE race) at the very end, maybe 1/4 mile from the finish line, was a guy in a huge "bandit" outfit (like a Disneyworld-esque Racoon costume) with a big sign that said "Bandits exit now" or something like that! LOL!

I don't know how I sway on the Bandit topic, even if you don't use any amenities. I DO know that I laugh everytime you say "honey bucket"! I wonder if that's a west coast thing?

Whatever you decide to do, you will do it in the best way I'm sure. you rock mama!

Michaela said...

I now feel really guilty, two weekends ago I was at my Grandparents house when my Grandpa mentioned he was picking up his race packet for the 10 he was doing in the am. I asked if I could do it with him. I did feel bad that I wasn't supporting the cause, but I was completely there for my 83 year old Grandpa. We walked the race and I was really proud of him. I didn't cross the finish line, get water, or use any facility, I didn't even think about the impact of being a bandit. I did just want to do something special for my Grandpa!