PLATTSBURGH — A few days after Kara Bonneau ran the 2014 Boston Marathon, she received her photos from the official race photographer.
Upon opening the link in the email, she found photos of four different people wearing her bib number.
At first, she thought it was a mistake, but after looking closer, she determined that the bibs were identical to hers.
"They're exactly identical to a photograph that I posted on Instagram, so I realized they either printed them out or someone else printed them and sold them," she said.
Bonneau was upset because she worked hard to earn the number.
She qualified for this year's race based on her time from 2013. She said she and many other runners post photos of their bib and their race gear in anticipation of an upcoming race.
"It never occurred to me that posting a picture of my bib could lead to something like this," she said.
Though there's a history of "bandit running" (running without a number) at the Boston Marathon, the expanded race and heightened security meant that it wouldn't be allowed this year.
Typically, a bandit runner would participate without a number and step off the race before the finish line, Bonneau explained.
This year, though, Bonneau said, the runners with her bib number crossed the finish line and accepted the finisher medals.
"So for runners who worked really hard to do that, it was really offensive," she said.
It was frustrating for Bonneau because she had friends who had qualified but not by enough time to register because the race was full.
These four runners wouldn't have a recorded finishing time. Only her bib had the timing chip that, as she crossed the finish line, recorded how long it had taken for her to complete the race.
Bonneau posted the photos of the four runners with her bib number on the Boston Marathon Facebook page, writing that the runners should be ashamed of themselves.
The photos were shared on Facebook almost 750 times.
Since then, the runners have been identified via social media.