The owners of a company that manufactures medals for the Boston Marathon said they are disgusted to find out people are selling them on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
Kim Ashworth, of Ashworth Awards in North Attleborough, said she was unaware the medals, which feature blue-and-yellow ribbon, are showing up for sale online and is concerned thieves may be profiting from Monday’s tragedy. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were five active listings on eBay, with bids ranging from $162.50 to $306.
“I think it’s absolutely horrible,” said Ashworth, who finished the Marathon a half-hour before the explosions and whose twin sister completed it just nine minutes before the bombs detonated.
“I don’t know of any runners who would do that and sell their medals for a profit,” Ashworth said. “I know several friends haven’t gotten medals who were stopped at the 25-mile mark. A lot of people left the city or didn’t want to go back to the site.”
Some runners reported that the Boston Athletic Association handed out medals to runners picking up their belongings at the Park Plaza Castle.
Ashworth’s husband and the company’s president, Dan Ashworth, said he believes the medals were probably stolen after the blasts. “It’s just disgusting,” he said. “Everyone was evacuated, so the medals were probably just left there for anyone to take.”
An eBay official said the company does not allow listings that “graphically portray, glorify, or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering” and added that teams are monitoring listings to ensure they comply. In addition, people can report items to eBay for review. But as of Wednesday evening, all five medal listings remained.
Ashworth Awards, which has made Boston Marathon medals for 31 years, provided 26,000 of them to the Boston Athletic Association before the race. The Ashworths said they would work with the association if requested to help provide medals to runners who did not receive them.
Kim Ashworth said she has displayed medals from past marathons on the wall at her home, but this year’s is still sitting on her night stand.
“It will always have a different meaning to me. There is a lot of sadness around it,” she said. “There was such elation after finishing the event. I still have a sense of pride, but there is numbness. I haven’t fully processed what happened.”Jenn Abelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.