Posted November 06, 2013

High school runner refuses to race wearing bib number 666

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(Andy Cross/Getty Images)

High school junior Codie Thacker is looking forward to next year’s cross country season. (Andy Cross/Getty Images)

A high school cross country runner in Kentucky forfeited her chance to qualify for the state meet because she said it would have gone against her Christian beliefs to run with the assigned race number 666, according to LEX 18, NBC’s Lexington, Ky., affiliate.

Junior Codie Thacker of Whitley County High and her coach, Gina Croley, said they tried to get a different number for the regional meet from three different officials but were denied each time.

However, a spokesperson for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association told the TV station that it wasn’t brought to officials’ attention that the request was due to religious beliefs. Had the officials known that, said the spokesperson, they would have changed the number.

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“I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number,” Thacker said, adding that she’s been training since June for this race. “I was so nervous, I thought about it all week.”

Croley said she knew the number would be an issue for Thacker as soon as she drew it.

“I saw it and I was like, ‘Whoa,’” Croley said. “I don’t think she will wear that number.”

Croley was right.

“I told them to mark out my name because it makes me sick just thinking that my name is associated with that number,” Thacker said.

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32 comments
booger
booger

boo hoo. I got that number in HS, and I ran with it! Didn't do too bad either..

JazzMan
JazzMan

Actually, Ms. Thacker's dislike of the number 666 shows she is anti-Jesus. While the number 666 is the "mark of the beast," the phrase "shem Yeheshua" also comes to 666--that phrase is "the name Jesus."

James C
James C

This is a race organizers screw up and nothing more. She never should have been forced to race with that number, because that number never should have been an option for her to run with. 

Race numbers normally come in packages of 100 or 1000. It is not difficult to pick certain numbers out so they don't become an issue. 666 is one of the first numbers your remove as a race organizer, just so it does not become an issue. 

Also for those saying she should have just worn it upside down. Great, so then she gets disqualified for not wearing the required number as directed by meet officials. Plus when they take off the tag portion at the finish (like they do for cross country), she still would have raced with race number 666 and would be in the results with number 666.


I have been around the sport of cross country for over half my life and this never should have been an issue. 

Even if they decide to issue the number 666, the race management should have no objection to replacing the number at the first request of the coaches. All it would take is one mention of the number and it should have been done. 




tonythomasbk
tonythomasbk

Wait.. an 18 yr old that runs a 27 minute 5K is a "Track Star"? Not that that isn't admirable, but jesus h christ.. I'm 49, I smoke and drink and I run a sub 21 minute 5K. In fact, I just finished my second NY Marathon (approx 41K) this past Sunday in 03:38:09 - that's 21 seconds per mile FASTER than a 27:00 5K.  AND I'm slow. AND I didn't make the news for wearing my St. Vitus Bar "Satan is Great/Whiskey is Super" t-shirt.  Total religious cherry picking!

MarinerMB
MarinerMB

Such faith and intelligence from one so young! God bless her! I can't believe the race officials wouldn't give her a new number! To hurt this girls ambitions and future for the sake of a number! Whether or not modern day Christians (or others) think this number actually has significance, the bible said it was the mark of the beast. I wouldn't wear it either!

warren.tenney
warren.tenney

I'm a Christian, and so I can understand where she's coming from, but I think one point that more Christians need to be aware of is that 666 does NOT really signify satanism. It was written into the Bible as a hebrew reference to Nero Caesar in code so they could warn other Christians about "the Beast" (Nero) without the Romans catching on. Still, though, since actual satanists have embraced the symbol, I can see reason for people wanting to distance themselves from it.

KatieNelsonBurns
KatieNelsonBurns

Everyone has a superstition of some sort. Why is the knee-jerk reaction always to make fun or denigrate people? So, this girl has a superstition about a number. So do the Chinese with the number 4. Many hotels skip floor 13 because numerical superstitions are so prevalent. The race administrators said they could have accommodated the girl if they had known it was a religious issue. Why not just accommodate to begin with? It would've taken 5 minutes as opposed to now running this young girl's name through the mud. This is a kid running cross country and still in school....not "I'm a teenage pregnant dropout addicted to crack." I can't believe some of the comments here. No wonder "bullying" is such an issue in America. A bunch of grown people making fun of a kid. Congratulations. 

jkane9999
jkane9999

Interesting...I have a problem quite the opposite.  I let the organizers know well in advance that I will only participate if they assign me number 80085.  Sadly I've had to drop out of numerous races.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

If something similar had happened to a Muslim, however, there would be a ferocious outcry about religious repression and intolerance.


Genghis_Sean
Genghis_Sean

If only it wasn't permitted to teach religion to anyone until they had reached the age of reason, we'd have much less idiocy like this.

StevenZigler
StevenZigler

666 upside down is 999. if they're not going to use their brains can't we just move these people to their own private island?

muser
muser

I can't imagine a sadder existence than when something you DON'T believe is your biggest focus...some of you need lives...or God. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

They could have given her another number, it wouldn't have taken much effort. That said, why in the world would she think God would hold HER responsible for wearing the number? Is the number 3 bad because Jesus was in the tomb three days? Or 33 because that was his age at death? Or 40 because the devil tempted him after that many days in the desert? Etc., etc., ad infinitum. Numerology is heavily used throughout the Bible and I can't imagine that God would take offense at any innocent use of any number. One of the biggest failings on religion, in my opinion, is the use of fear to bring about obedience. And Christianity isn't the only one.  To think that some offense should be taken because you're assigned a random number is a little too much for me to take.

sjaudey
sjaudey

I heard she was also offered the number "1134" but she had a heart attack upon seeing the bib upside down as it was being handed to her. 

and then she was struck by lightening.  #thetruthisoutthere

Jd Indy
Jd Indy

Race officials offered to replace the bib with one that read "skank" but the runner again refused.....

R C1
R C1

To be fair if your relationship with God won't let you wear a bib with 666 on it, you have some bigger issues to deal with.

Bahia
Bahia

superstition, most everyone has some.

sdrick
sdrick

Wow how dumb is that??!!

RJC
RJC

That's just stupid. It's a number on a bib for a race. Score one for religious brainwashing.

StevenZigler
StevenZigler

@WHO*IS*ESPN

i bet you don't know the difference between fiscal policy & monetary policy. keep living under a rock. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@sjaudey Good one. I was wondering why she just didn't turn her bib upside-down.  999 is okay, right?

tiger3389
tiger3389

@RJC so much for the non-judgmental secularists.  Good for Thacker.  I hope my kids end up with the same convictions and strength of character.

ecemp1
ecemp1

...as opposed to the judgmental Christians? As one myself, I feel like it was an opportunity missed. It sounds like she may not venture anywhere that is not pre-sanitized. Will she ever visit a drug rehab clinic or a homeless shelter and spread the Good News? It shows that she is scared of a number and shows others that we Christians can't put our money where our mouth is. I can't believe I'm going to use this as an example, but didn't Harry Potter say something like 'fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself'?

RJC
RJC

@tiger3389 Sorry, if you give up something you worked so hard to get to the brink of because the number on your bib in the realm of hokie stupid unintelligent brainwashed morons is associated with "the devil" then you deserve to be mocked... and sterilized for being to dumb to reproduce. IT'S A NUMBER!  No different than 13, 7, or 69. But hey 13 if bad luck, and 7 associated with gambling and 69 with sex so you'd better boycott those too! I have no issue with having religious beliefs or being religious but when your "belief" goes so far as to impede common sense,  logical intelligent thought, and the ability to rationalize then yes I have an issue with it... you are brainwashed... and that's downright pathetic.

bob_lazaar
bob_lazaar

@tiger3389 @RJC Yup, nothing like basing life decisions on fairy tales! I hope your kids end up smarter than their parents.