Men running with women's numbers

I can only assume that the reason why, out of the last 7 races that I have done, in 2 of them the 'winning women' and in another 2 the leading vet 45 did not actually 'win'.
To be specific in the Brampton-Carlisle race the persons called called out to accept 1st and 2nd place over 45 did not appear at presentation, nor did anyone accept on their behalf. Subsequently they did not appear on the ranking lists. The same happened at Clitheroe 10k and the discovery made after presentation.
More importantly the first overall women did not appear at Garstang 10k presentation and on Sunday at Wrexham. However on Sunday, having been told throughout the race that I was in 2nd place, when I saw in the results and I was down as 3rd place, I was able to make enquiries and had alerted the organisers. Consequently when the listed person did not appear at presentation, they accepted that she did not exist and the right woman given 1st place.
This problem seems to be a more recent one and I know it is about your own target and goals, it is nevertheless annoying and unfair. It is good to get the recognition when you have really tried your best. But when you later find out that you were beaten by someoneone running in someone's number, it is very disappointing (I assume that women are giving their numbers to men)
If women were given a different coloured number then this problem could be solved and the increasing regularity with which this is happening should be looked at by race organisers who do a great job with the materials they have but with this small amendment could resolve the issue.(this solution was suggested to me by a someone who compiles a results page)
Have other women noticed this?


  • I'm not a woman, but I hope I'm allowed to answer.

    Prize-winners very often don't make it to the presentation, either because it happens so long after they've finished, or because they weren't aware they'd won anything. To assume they must be men is a bit of a bizarre concept. Sure, if the organiser wants to award prizes only to the highest placed female who actually waited around, that's up to them, but it's a bit odd. But, as I say, you really can't assume they're men just because they're not at the prize-giving.

    But yes, lady-boys winning prizes does happen from time to time (if there's a race photographer, they can be exposed properly - was there one at B-C?), and swapping numbers without going through the organisers is a scummy practice (for plenty of other reasons too). Sorry you've been messed about by a lowlife like that.
  • Swerve hits the nail on the head - winners missing the presentation is not an unusual occurance at all. Its definately not a reason to assume anything underhand is going on.
  • It does go on though, I know of a male forumite who cost a female forumite a prize, by wearing a womans number.

  • FAS
    You make a good point and would certainly make life easier for the results personnel. There does seem to be more number swapping these days as races fill up earlier each year so it's worth investigating. There may be similar issues with age category prizes but they may be more difficult to deal with.

    As I am helping organise a race later this year I will see how easy it is to order different coloured numbers or perhaps allocate numbers by sex e.g 1-500 M, 501-1000 F.

    As Swerve says, people don't always wait for presentations or know they have won a prize but then some races only give prizes for people attending the presentation. As long as presentations are carried out within a reasonable timeframe then perhaps this should be the best way.
  • some races give prizes based on who's around?!?!?!?

    i gotta start hanging around in case then!

    granted i've only come top 10 in local 10k with 300 ish runners..but wortha go!
  • Whats a reasonable time frame though ?

    So a Half Marathon would be won in an hour and something. Do you wait around for another hour or so in order that most of the runners have finished or do it sooner ?

    A lot of runners just finish and leave.

    And when people do swap numbers (as they do) they should at least be aware of what chaos they cause if they finish in the prizes. If you do insist on doing that - then at least have the grace to finish out of contention.
  • Or odd numbers female and even numbers male.
  • Which would only really work if you had 50/50 entries I think ?
  • stick an "F" on the end of female numbers or similar and then it can be picked up in the finishing chute
  • make all the females run in pink and the boys in blue

  • From April this year, UK Athletics will be requiring runners to have a pet-style identification chip implanted in their earlobe. This will only cost runners £49.95, plus £9.95 per annum rental, and the problem will be solved.

  • LOL Swerve
  • ... and congestion charging will be introduced...
  • Am I being obtuse here but why would they? I do not remember seeing race entries restricted to so many men / so many women, if they won a prize then that is fraud and surely not worth risking a criminal record. That only leaves because they think it funny, which it isn't.

    I might be part of the reason why the prize winners might not collect their prizes. Organisers wait until most have finshed but by the time I finish they could have showered, dressed had lunch and a kip.

    p.s. I am male.

  • I have only borrowed a number once and am now worried I might have won a FV prize by accident.

    The anouncer said over the Tannoy

    "And here comes number 317, Sammy .... er Sam Williams" as I crossed the line.

    It never really occured to me until then.


  • Obviously I have changed the name of the lady involved.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    "Why would they?"

    If a race is full, and someone can't run because of illness, but someone else wants to run and hadn't got a place, then some people think it's ok to just hand over a number.

    Aside from the prizes issue, if the replacement runner had an accident, they could jeopardise the race organisers insurance, because the original entrant would have been the one to sign any disclaimer, not the replacement.
  • Sorry - didnt know that anyone was replying to this! Anyhow - I dont think that the confusion it causes is deliberate on the part of the person giving away their number, nor do I think those receiving it are doing it in in the hope that they may win something - I just think that they dont look at the possible result of their actions.They just see a number going spare
    Yes, it is happening more frequently because races are filling up.
    Also I take your point about people not staying behind - the only reason I found out Sunday was because I wanted to leave! However, had I actually come 1st overall, I would have insisted we stay.I think overall winners normally stay for presentation or at least make their name known to organisers/collect prize before they leave.
  • Also forgot to say - Nessie the insurance reason is exactly why Race Organisers should be notified. This has been pointed out to me by some Race Organisers too. When something does happen - as it will at some time, then different coloured numbers will become mandatory.
  • Sorry; thought this was a men runing in women's clothing thread. My mistake....
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