photo courtesy Race Across the Sky.
Leadville 100 Trail race organizers work hard to protect the integrity of their unique and challenging mountain bike race each year so the latest news shouldn’t be too surprising. According to Sky Hi Daily News, 36-year-old Wendy Lyall competed in the 2009 race using 40-year-old Katie Brazelton’s official race number and ended up “winning” second in the 40 to 49 year-old women’s division. Now both women face a class 6 felony for criminal impersonation.
Brazelton wasn’t able to compete in the race so rather than lose her $250 entry fee (numbers are not refundable or transferable), she offered the number to Lyall. Race organizers received an anonymous tip recently which led to the investigation and since then the women have returned the belt buckle and second place prizes.
Of course these women probably aren’t the only ones who raced Leadville last year using a borrowed race number. Race directors argue this is a safety issue (emergency contact and medical info may be associated with race ids) and clearly it can also affect race results. In any event, this case will certainly make others think twice about transferring race numbers in the future, especially as race numbers become more difficult to obtain (think scalpers).