Bastards with hearts of gold are still bastards, and the perpetrators of Bibgate 2014, if not innocent, are at least trying to justify themselves out of a bad situation.
The two male runners on the right are former Boston College cross country athletes, Boston College cross country assistant coach Tim Ritchie says.
Ritchie, who coached both athletes formerly, but not currently since they've turned to a life of crime, was aware of the situation. In sum, he says the two men were trying to raise money for a friend's charity, "a good one, at that," but by the time they would apply for set-aside fundraising bibs through the Boston Athletic Association, the deadline had passed.
Ritchie refused to give names, saying, "I don't want to do anything that's going to do anything to these two kids."
With the BAA's deadline past, that was the end of two men's legal means. What they did next remains shrouded in mystery, but probably involves Instagram. "I have no idea," Ritchie says. "I'm not in daily contact with them."
Ritchie, himself one of the best half marathoners in the U.S., says he doesn't know how many other runners were on the underground fundraising team, or if there were other runners with other counterfeit bibs.
"I know those two," he says. "They're awesome kids."