Here's the deal with being a bandit. I've had friends do it. There's something fun and mostly harmless about it. The race starts, a few miles down the road you hop on the course and you get to jog for fun along with all the people that have paid, trained and planned to be there.
The biggest deal with being a bandit is you never, ever, ever should plan to cross the finish line. You just don't get to do that. It's what separates people running the race from the spectators. Which ultimately a bandit is a thief of services.
Spiritually, I think it is so interesting to think about. Jesus says he will separate the wheat from chaff and sheep from the goats. The runners from the bandits.
A New York Times article about Bandit runners said this:
"One man had a blue bib — from a completely different race. A woman ran past two catchers after showing a folded bib in her pocket, but a third catcher looked closer and found the bib was from last year’s marathon.
A boy, about 10, wanted to escort his father to the finish. But the bandit catchers did not allow it, and the boy shuffled to the side, where his father returned to get him after finishing. Another man held an infant, hoping to share the big moment. The catchers let him by.
“I wasn’t taking the baby,” Richard said.
A pair of friends had joined the race at the Queensboro Bridge. Fernando Bedoya of Bolivia and his friend, Giorgio Groppi of Italy, wanted to cross the finish line but knew it was not the right thing to do.
“They run for 26 miles,” Groppi said of the waves of runners behind them, headed to the finish. “We run for 10. We are just pretenders.”
We run to finish. Not just say we ran a few miles of the race.
6 Days Until the Marathon!
Bandit Catcher: 2011 NYC Marathon from Elbert Chu on Vimeo.