The worst part of running unregistered is the fear of getting caught. Years ago, I turned up for a 10k and they didn't have me registered, even though I had signed up, and wouldn't let me sign up on the spot(even though technically, they had race day registration). But I was in from out of town, had talked my friend into doing the race, so I sneaked around the corner and joined in the run anyway. But it was the most stressful run ever; organizers were looking for "bandits" and at the end, I got stopped. I lied and said I'd taken off my shirt with my number and given to my boyfriend. But I didn't have a timing chip, so they wanted to detain me, so I literally ran away. Friends with me saw this happen - it was hugely embarassing.
Later, I was rooting for a friend at a marathon. I was standing near an aid station. A woman without a number stopped for gatorade, and one of hte organizers started to quiz her. She turned to run, but this organizer literally ran her down and stopped her. THey called security and had her physically taken off the course. Obviously, this woman had trained but for some reason, not registered. I'm sure it will be a very unhappy marathon memory for her.
I have seen runners stopped at the end, like me, and literally dragged off. I don't think it's an arrest worthy offense, but you'll never be able to officially run the same race again. I don't think it's worth it.
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