Kathy Brown, 40, who ran to raise money for multiple sclerosis, after her uncle passed away from the disease, was issued number 34033.
The Framingham woman noticed a Twitter handle on the bib number and discovered the woman was Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley's wife Chelsa, a New York city stylist and fashion writer.
Crowley, who lives in Medway, and his wife ran the Boston Marathon last year. He did not finish so he was issued a number for this year. His wife did not have a number.
After being attacked on Social Media after the WCVB-TV investigation, Crowley apologized on behalf of his wife.
Crowley wrote: "I sent an email to Kathy Brown, the woman who rightfully earned #34033 to apologize for any disrespect, hurt feelings or confusion. 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. (#34033 = first 3 numbers of my number + "33" which is Chelsa's age. We chose a number close to my number to ensure we'd be next to each other at the start.)"
Boston Marathon organizers said before the race there would be a crackdown on bandits this year, due to tighter security. The B.A.A. said they are now looking into multiple accounts of bandit runners.