Cross-country runner pulls out of race after being given No. 666

Cross-country runner Codie Thacker pulled out of a regional championship for religious reasons...

Cross-country runner Codie Thacker pulled out of a regional championship for religious reasons after being assigned bib No. 666. (LEX 18)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

Student athlete Codie Thacker was given the ultimate test this week. She chose God.

The cross-country runner had been training for the regional championship since June, but pulled out on race day because she was assigned the No. 666.

“I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number,” Thacker told NBC affiliate LEX 18.

The number 666, according to the Bible, is the mark of the beast.

Kentucky high school coach Gina Croley knew the designation would be a problem for her student once she pulled it out of the envelope.

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

Thacker and Croley asked three separate race officials to have the number changed. All three declined the request.

Frustrated with the response, Thacker felt was she forced to choose her beliefs over her aspirations of competing for the state championship.

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

A Kentucky High School Athletic Association spokesperson said it wasn't brought to their attention that a request was being made due to religious beliefs, adding that a number change would have been granted under those circumstances.


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