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Indeed, we need no reminder about the moral implications of bib swapping. Circumstances challenge our rational chain of thought. Perhaps you may be injured just days before the race and do not want to see the money you have paid for the slot go to waste – you really never know.
Today, we belatedly weigh in on the issue and offer our reasons NOT to swap bibs regardless.
Apart from the most elementary of reasons that it is outright illegal and is banned by most marathon organisers, one of the logical justifications of doing so is the threat that bib swapping poses to safety during race day.
Bib numbers are linked to the registrant’s personal information including blood type, existing medical conditions, contact information of the next-of-kin, and so on. In the event of a medical emergency, it is absolutely crucial for the doctor to get the right information to administer the appropriate treatment.
In short, bib numbers are more than just entry codes; they contain vital, potentially life-saving information, too.
Do the Crime, Do the Time
Well obviously, we are not talking about actual jail time, no. However, for avid runners, there are worse punishments than incarceration and one of which is to serve time… away from running, because you could get yourself banned from marathons, as this article vividly illustrates the dire consequences of bib swapping amongst other transgressions.
Another valid justification is also highlighted here: in the event that the registrant attempts to win a marathon by handing the bib over to someone way faster than he is.
Apart from the aforementioned major issues with bib swapping, there are also minor details that some runners may not pay much attention to. The registrant may be a parent whose consent is required for emergency procedures to be carried out on his or her child.
Perhaps you may be a professional runner who is particular about your personal timings during marathons, and handing your bib to someone slower could damage that reputation.
Or perhaps you are much quicker than the registrant and have just won in a particular category, only to have it ruled out because the age group the bib is registered to does not tally.
Insurance could also prove to be a hassle because the registered information does not match yours, and we all know how anal insurance claims can be about these things.
"Bib numbers are more than just entry codes; they contain vital, potentially life-saving information, too."
Despite the risks, runners, like everyone else, want bang for their buck, so it is easy to comprehend the logic behind bending the rules. Ultimately, a grey area of uncertainty exists between both sides of the arguments.
However, you are not alone, and the running community is available to offer sound advice from their experience in matters like this and more. Liv3ly is one such platform where like-minded runners can stay connected.
Additionally, it is also a useful tool to help you organise your upcoming marathons, and as an added bonus, you get bonus discounts to your entry fees, so you won’t feel the pinch as much when –God forbid— you are unable to make it to race day. For more information, visit our site here.
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