A Kentucky cross country runner decided to drop out of this weekend's regionals rather than race in the bib number 666, because she said it conflicted with her religious beliefs.

"It's the mark of the beast. That's what the bible says," said Whitley County High School junior Codie Thacker upon seeing the randomly selected number assigned to her.

Despite Thacker and her coach asking three separate race officials for a new number, she was turned down and decided she'd rather miss the chance at qualifying for state than "risk [her] relationship with God." (A KHSAA official says they would have made a substitution if they knew it was because of her religious beliefs, something Thacker says she made quite clear to them.)

Maybe I'm displaying a stunning ignorance of eschatology and anti-Roman sentiment here, but...if you flip it upside down, it's a completely different number.

[LEX-18]