The short answer is NO.
While some races will allow you to transfer your entry to another runner, it depends on the race and there are typically cut-off dates by which transfers must be completed. If you are unable to participate on race day, check the race website to see if bib transfers are allowed. Be prepared to pay an administration fee for the transfer option.
If you do not have the race director’s approval, you should not let someone else run with your bib. Here are a few reasons why:
- Your registration data includes your medical conditions, allergies and emergency contact information. If there was a medical emergency, the organizers and medical personnel only have the data attached to the original registrant’s information. If your emergency contact did need to be notified, race staff would have no way of reaching them.
- With your race entry, you signed a race waiver. Whoever is running in your bib did not. This is a serious risk and liability issue for race organizers.
- Race results are now readily available online and under greater scrutiny from the run community. Running in the wrong age group and category affects the results of all other runners. This is unfair to your fellow competitors.
- Why would you want results recorded under your name that are not yours? Check out this website dedicated to the topic. Marathon Investigation
- Running under someone else’s name is a misrepresentation. Both you and the runner risk being banned from the race or even a whole race series.
So, while bib swapping may seem harmless and simply a way to recycle a race entry you can’t use, the reality is it isn’t. The risk to the runner, your reputation, and the race organizer is just not worth it.
Check out this recent story from the 2019 London Marathon.