Running in someone's place

20 messages
11/08/2014 at 22:01

Hi all

Just a quick one.  I'm new to this forum but have been running on and off for a few years now.  I have been offered a place for the Great North Run from a lady friend who has been having quite serious knee pain.  they have therefore decided not to run this year and have offered me their place.  What are people's thoughts about running in someones place?  Are there any implications?  Thanks in advance for any pointers.



11/08/2014 at 22:14

Anthony...   I took part in a race where someone did this..  and the bloke who took the place ended up finishing 3rd lady!   Funny... except it robbed the ACTUAL 3rd lady of the glory of a podium finish - and all the happy drinks she'd have had with friends that afternoon.  Obviously, she got the prize retrospectively, but that must have been relatively meaningless, and absolutely gutting.

Beyond that, the other consequence is if there are any medical issues that arise.

And if you do get caught, for whatever reason, you and her could be banned from racing. Are you sure that the race numbers - either the number itself, or colour that's used in printing - don't identify the gender of the runner. That happens in some races

But having said that, I understand that people do this sort of thing pretty frequently and probably 99% of the time, it causes no issues.

11/08/2014 at 22:39

Thanks for the reply, I take on board your points.  I however definitely won't finish within the top 5000 in the Great North Run never mind the top 3, so someone will be displaced by 1 person, however the displacement shouldn't make any difference.

The lady who has offered me a place has a very feminine name; Jane, I have a beard and the number has their name printed on the front.  I was contemplating sticking my name over the top and putting my details on the back of the number therefore would this not be acceptable?

Edited: 11/08/2014 at 22:39
11/08/2014 at 22:48

Won't we be having finisher # 1,000,000 in the Gt North run this year? that would be embarrassing for you

Seriously though, it's not a wise thing to do imho as Nose Nowt says. Can't 'Jane' defer for a year?

11/08/2014 at 23:16

It depends what you mean by acceptable.  It's the sort of thing that a proportion of people will do, and won't have a conscience about it.

I don't specifically know GNR... but most big races (almost certainly including GNR) don't allow you to transfer places.. and those that do would insist on you transferring officially.   Just writing your own details on your race number would definitely be against the rules... so you'd have to understand that you're on the wrong side of the rules, and taken the comment from me, Ecce and maybe others, you'll just have to decide if you want to wing it or not.

Personally, I'd not take the place, but for the average fun runner, how much does it really matter, so long as you do cover the medical confusion issue??

11/08/2014 at 23:26

Yes I agree if i come in the millionth person it will be an interesting experience!....News reporters running up for an interview and potentially my face on the front of the Evening Chronicle for all the wrong reasons!

Jane has had ongoing knee problems so asked if i wanted it, I sort of jumped at the chance as I didn't get through the ballot and really wanted to run it.  I've been doing a lot of training not for the run just for fitness and enjoyment.  I've only started thinking about the issues around running in someone else's name now I've got the number.  I paid her a token £20, she didn't want anything but felt a bit sorry for her not being able to do it.

I'm an average runner and in the general scheme of things it shouldn't matter a great deal (unless I finish 1,000,000th!)

12/08/2014 at 08:03

I think that both you and Jane risk being banned from all future events organised by the GNR people and possibly from those affiliated to England Athletics if the swap is noticed.

12/08/2014 at 08:16

I think this kind of thing depends on what kind of race it is.

If it's an event organized by volunteers or a running club or on another not-for-profit basis, then I'd not swap places and take the loss of the entry as shit happens.

If it's a commercial for-profit event organized by paid staff, then I would because I'd see myself not as a competitor but as a paying customer so entitled to sell on my purchase as I see fit.

I don't know how the GNR is organized.

12/08/2014 at 08:39

in these circumstances I would run under her number.  as you are in no danger of a prize and just write your details on the reverse of the number in case of emergency.

you run the minimal risk of you and her getting banned from future races for swapping but the chance of this happening is very very minor

12/08/2014 at 08:40

I AM NOT linked to the event but they could be reading this board.

12/08/2014 at 10:33
All the Great North Run numbers have names on them and I don't think I look like a Jane! Also to get into your allocated zone you need to be let on by a steward so I'm slightly concerned I may be questioned.

I don't believe it makes a lot of difference in the grand scheme, we both are not making money out of the transaction and nobody is getting affected so I can't see any major issues.
12/08/2014 at 16:31

Anthony I think from reading your messages and replies that you have made up your mind before posting and are looking for justification. If so enjoy your run.

For me I think you shouldnt run as someone else. Its against the rules but maybe thats just me.

12/08/2014 at 17:07
Anthony Gallagher2 wrote (see)
All the Great North Run numbers have names on them and I don't think I look like a Jane! Also to get into your allocated zone you need to be let on by a steward so I'm slightly concerned I may be questioned.

haha - what would the question be? Jane do you not think you should shave more often?

They'll either let you in or they won't. The pens at GNR are all fenced in so you will need to run the gauntlet of going past a marshall but I would imagine if you go in with a lot of other runners they will be more interested that your number is the right colour than that your name is the right sex.

13/08/2014 at 10:23

I just couldn't feel part of the event if I were using another runners number. You'll never really be able to say you did the race. You may as well just join in after the start for all the authenticity your run will have. 

13/08/2014 at 12:29

"to get into your allocated zone you need to be let on by a steward so I'm slightly concerned I may be questioned"

Well, if I were a steward in that situation I'd compliment "Jane" on her five o'clock shadow and ask whose details in case of emergency are on the reverse of the number tag.

13/08/2014 at 13:11

Hope they don't use the Crocodile Dundee method. 

16/08/2014 at 11:14

They spelled my name wrongly in the Manchester marathon so I just printed one out the and sellotaped it over. I say run it. Your friend has paid good money for this, through no fault of her own she can't run it, it's a shame to let it go to waste.


24/08/2014 at 09:21

Ive never done it -but loads have --just go to ebay to see how many people are selling their numbers.

24/08/2014 at 09:44

In your position I would be inclined to run. Make sure your ice and medical details are clearly marked on your  number and maybe even change Jane to James for the day?

If they question your name then simply tell them you wish to be known as Jane from now on. After all the recent Kelly 'Frank' Maloney news I reckon they'll leave you alone. Not to mention the chap who won the eurovision song contest!

Whatever, you won't stand out that much anywhere simply having a woman's name on your top. You could always say you're running for Jane, who used to run but no longer can as you got her banned for life? 


seren nos    pirate
24/08/2014 at 09:56

I don't do it but many do......the main thing is you don't get in the way of any female prize winners which you say that you won't......


 also you won't be covered by the insurance if anything did you had broken the rules........

would be funny if you were hit unconsious and when you were waking up trying to work out why everyone was calling you Jane  

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