Foursquare Co-Founder Apologizes for Bib Fraud

Runners leave the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Allegations of fradulent bibs used at the 2014 Boston Marathon have been swirling in the days since the race. Pictured: Runners leave the starting line of the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Hopkinton, Mass.
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

On Thursday, several runners in the 2014 Boston Marathon came forward claiming they had found photographic evidence of fraudulent bibs being used to gain access to the race’s course. In the aftermath of the story, several others came forward claiming the same thing: their number was being used by a runner other than themselves.

Kathy Brown believed her bib was one of those used for counterfeiting. She had a valid bib for the race but said she found photos of someone else wearing a bib with the same number, WCVB reported.

After looking closely at the photos, Brown said she saw a Twitter handle written on the allegedly counterfeit bib. And after doing some digging, the handle led her to Chelsa Crowley, a fashion writer in New York and the wife of Foursquare co-founder and Medway native Dennis Crowley. Some of the tweets Brown found seemed to indicate the allegations were true.

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Brown contacted WCVB who in turn reached out to the couple. After that, Dennis came forward to admit to and apologize for making and using a fradulent bib for his wife Chelsa.

In a short essay on Crowley’s Medium page, he wrote that he and his wife had “lost perspective.”

From his message:

What we did was wrong and we're sorry. Our biggest regret is that our actions have overshadowed the event for those who ran and ran to honor others.

I grew up right outside Boston and this race means so much to me and my family. Chelsa and I are going to work to make this right, but out of the public eye.

The Boston Marathon is about something much bigger than us, and we appreciate the reminder.

Crowley and his wife participated in last year’s marathon, but were split up shortly before the finish line. She was able to complete the race before two bombs went off on Boylston Street. Crowley, along with thousands of other runners, was held up before the final stretch.

For this year’s race, Crowley was allowed to run again under the Boston Athletic Association’s new rule granting a bib to anyone not able to finish because of the attack last year. But, as Crowley explained in a statement made to, he and his wife wanted to cross the finish line together this year and Chelsa was not granted an automatic bib.

From his apology on

Our intent was never to 'steal' anything from anyone -- our intent was to finish the Boston Marathon together as we tried to do last year.

In the days leading up to the 2014 Boston Marathon, Crowley posted an essay on his Medium page expressing a strong desire to finish what he started at last year’s race.