“Bandit (n., v.) One who participates in a race unofficially, without having registered and paid for it. Also: the act of running a race as a bandit. Also called jerk.
Correct: Because he couldn’t seem to scrape together the $5 entry fee, Henry ran the Podunk Lions Club 5-K as a bandit.
Incorrect: “I was looking forward to trying that new sports drink made with absinthe, but they bandit.” -Mark Remy
Runners with race season approaching, I just wanted to put out a fair warning that it is inappropriate to bandit under most situations. People work very hard to put together a race and most are for a good cause. Besides when you bandit, you don’t have rights to your time. If you run a PR don’t you want to be able to post and claim it?
When is it ok to bandit you might ask? It is never ok to run a race as a bandit, but it is acceptable and sometimes completely hilarious to bandit race photos.
“Rule 2.38 Race Photos Never Look Good
And I mean never.
Brad Pitt could show up at the start of a marathon completely rested, tanned, toned, massaged, hydrated, and professionally styles, and by the time the race photographer snapped him at mile 13, he would….well, he would probably look pretty good. He is Brad Pitt after all.
But the photos of Brad Pitt, when he finally saw them, would look horrible, In the photos, Brad would look like a badly dehydrated Quasimodo having a seizure. This is the magic of race photography. If the folks who sold race photos were smart, they’d charge people not to send prints of their pics.
That said, should you order some of these race photos anyways? Absolutely. And the bigger, the better.” -Mark Remy
As you know race photos never look good….so you might as well make the person’s ahead of you a funny keepsake. 😉
I have never bandit’d a race, nor do I ever plan on it. But if there’s ever a time when I think it’s appropriate to bandit PART of a race, it’s if you are pacing a friend for a segment no longer than 25% of the total race course. And even then, I would bring my own hydration and food so as to not use up resources. Yeah, you’re still on the course and taking up space, so it’s still not acceptable (especially if everyone on the course gets a brief pacer, it’d clog up a big race even more).
But that’s the only situation in which I wouldn’t completely condemn a bandit. Still, banditry bad!