Race bandit!

Hello and happy Friday to you out there in BlogLand!

After I take a midterm, do a shakeout run and read a few chapters in my textbook…

200434115-001I am leaving tomorrow to go out of town.


I am going to go visit one of my best friends, Sarah, who is running her very first half marathon on Sunday.

487949_4885924680461_1800520290_nThis is the two of us, after the Color Me Rad run in February.

I will be race banditing the half marathon.

Yep, I admit it.

I will be a race bandit!

race banditIf you aren’t sure what a race bandit is, allow me to enlighten you.

A race bandit is someone who runs a race without registering and/or paying.

This is highly frowned upon by the running world. Highly frowned upon.

It’s right up there with using someone else’s bib.

But that’s a story for a different day.

I know what you are thinking.

Before you get all judgy and shake your finger at me,


allow me to explain…

I have a few justifications that I want to throw your way:

1. I had no intention of running this race, but when I found out she would be running alone, I had to come to her rescue.

2. I will be pacing her, not actually racing.

3. I will be bringing my own hydration backpack, and will not use any of the race resources offered during the course.

So what do you think? Now that you know the facts, what do you think about my attempt at race banditing?

Have you ever race bandit an event?

If you haven’t, would you ever do it?

Under what circumstances do you think it is okay, or not okay?



30 thoughts on “Race bandit!

  1. Mariajose says:

    I think that’s a great idea! I hate running races alone because I need a pick me up sometimes. I know I’m late on reading the post, but I hope your friend did great! And congratulations to her! πŸ˜€


  2. R B says:

    If you are a regular contributor to the racing community and bandit with very good reasons (like pacing and supporting a beginner!) I have no problem with it. You are being conscious of the race resources and won’t be elbowing out someone to cross the finish line. If you want to quell any residual guilt, perhaps volunteer to help the organization next time they put on a race as a course flagger or at the registration table?


  3. jenereesa says:

    I know some people frown upon it but the first time I saw someone banditing a race was at the first marathon I watched, back in 2010. I was at mile 22 and I saw a girl waiting for her friend. She brought her in for the last 4 miles and I said, “Wow! That is SO sweet.” And then someone told me that it’s frowned upon and my reaction was WHY?

    If a person is helping a friend and not taking resources from the race (and obviously, doesn’t cross the finish line) I think it’s really sweet and supportive and helpful. ❀


  4. ttoffelmire says:

    Yup I have, under similar circumstances. I don’t even think it’s a bad thing so long as you don’t use race resources. Almost all out local races are run on the city pathways where I do my long runs, so I don’t see much difference between banditing a race and running on the pathways.


  5. unsportywomencanrun says:

    I’ve seen a few guys in our Launceston women’s only fun run pacing and encouraging a beginner lady runner. They were in the official pink race top but the hairy legs were a give away πŸ™‚ I think it is always a lovely thing to help a mate.


  6. Trails&TribulatioNZ says:

    Ha ha, I have been a race bandit in a 12 hr mountain bike race. We were heading past with the bikes on so joined in for a lap. It was a chance to ride some trails that are normally off limits. To make myself feel less guilty about it I just tell myself that it was only 30 mins (1 lap) out of the 12 hrs so I didn’t have an impact on the race.
    I have never done it in a running event, however i am considering doing it next week as my wife is running her first half marathon. I think I’ll throw on a stripy suit and an eye mask and go full on race bandit!


  7. therunningwoman512 says:

    I have to say, I nearly died laughing looking at that first picture in your post. I can totally relate…This week is midterms for me as well, and that is an oh-so-accurate picture of how I feel! Best of luck on both your midterms and your upcoming run!


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