We’ve discussed bandits here on the blog in the past and hear the conversation brewing right before or after races like Amica Iron Horse or Old Wethersfield. With the sold-out Surftown Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday, we want to make sure the policy – and the reasoning behind the policy – is clear.
Bandits make a race dangerous – we don’t know who you are so if injury occurs, we’ve got major safety concerns. Let me remind you, I’ve personally had too many conversations (any one conversation is too many) with family members of runners transported by medical. Making family contact immediately is necessary on many levels to ensure the best possible physical and emotional care for the runner. There’s nothing more important than keeping everyone safe.
We’re also not planning on extra bodies on the course so increased traffic causes safety concern that can negatively affect other runners; you know, the people who paid to participate.
There are areas of concern on virtually every course, this includes anything from potential bottleneck areas to traffic hazards or community impact points (say a church is letting out of mass or another event is happening nearby). Our job is to lessen the impact of those areas on participants and on the community. We can’t do our job well if an unanticipated crowd of extra bodies jumps in for even a few miles to help a friend along. While the intentions may be great to help a buddy with their goal, there are other, safer and more practical ways to support that runner without breaking the rules.
Lots of people think if they’re not eating or drinking anything, they’re not stealing. I don’t think we have to address again that bandits are absolutely stealing – water, portalets, medical services, police attention, road crew resources and all the other expenses of the race that they’re not contributing to.
One more important point…Our permits allow only the number of people set by course limits to run. Bandits are jeopardizing the continuation of the race by breaking our permit. Please don’t do it. Please discourage others from doing it.
Questions? Just ask us.