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Boston Marathon medals for sale on eBay as survivors regroup

April 18, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • A Boston Marathon finisher clutches her medal near the site of deadly twin bombings a day later.
A Boston Marathon finisher clutches her medal near the site of deadly twin… (Matthew Cavanaugh / European…)

Those who ran in this year's Boston Marathon will never forget it. And those who didn't can buy a piece of the tragic run for about $200 to $300.

At least five Boston Marathon finisher's medals -- traditionally given out exclusively to those who completed the 26.2-mile race -- were listed for sale on eBay after twin blasts rocked the race, killing three people and wounding more than 170.

"It has been brought to our attention that this year's Boston Marathon Finisher's medallions have shown up on E-Bay," the medal maker, Ashworth Awards, said on Facebook on Wednesday evening. "It is truly sad that people out there are attempting to profit from this."

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

More than 4,000 of the race's 27,000 runners could not finish because of the blast, according to some estimates, and were unable to immediately collect the prized finisher's medal for the famous and grueling event.

Yet those runners weren't totally out of luck, even as officials held their lost belongings in the two days after the race. Organizers handed out finisher's medals to runners who came to collect their things, which had been stowed in yellow plastic bags.

"Thank you BAA," one Facebook user posted on the Boston Athletic Assn.'s page Wednesday evening. "I picked up my bag and medal yesterday and was too choked up to utter a word so thank you to the soldier who handed over my belongings with a kind smile and the volunteer who congratulated me as he placed my medal around my neck!"

"I was stopped a half mile from the finish," a second wrote Wednesday. "This afternoon I went to BAA and received a finisher medal. Tears. Closure."

"Thank you!" a third posted. "I was one who, with only 500 meters to the finish, was stopped. The volunteer who presented me with a medal at the 'Castle' gave me a hug. I started sobbing uncontrollably at that gesture."

But the idea of finisher's medals getting sold over the Internet was upsetting for the medal's manufacturers.

“It’s just disgusting,” Ashworth Awards President Dan Ashworth told the Boston Globe, adding that he thought the medals being sold might have been stolen during the chaos after the bombing. “Everyone was evacuated, so the medals were probably just left there for anyone to take.”

Only 1 of the 5 listed medals had much explanation behind their origins.

"I have run the Boston Marathon several times and sold my finisher medal on ebay each year," the seller, with the username "mlburatto," wrote on the listing. "I earned this medal for finishing the race just over 3 hours. I hold the memories, but I'm not a momento/souvenier type person. If I keep it, it ends up in a shoebox so I hope someone will buy it that will find it interesting or even inspiring."

On Wednesday, another user asked "mlburatto" what would happen with the money from the sale.

"I will keep $120 to pay my entry fee into next years race," the seller wrote. "The rest will go to a first responders or victims fund. I did not anticipate getting so much as I have only gotten about $50-100 when I have sold my medals in the past."

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