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Religious beliefs keep high school runner from wearing bib number '666'

A cross-country runner at a Kentucky high school reportedly dropped out of a regional competition because her bib number was 666, conflicting with her religious beliefs.

Codie Thacker, a junior at Whitley County High School, had trained for the race since June and would have gone onto the state championship with a win. But the random number she was assigned — the mark of the beast as described in the Book of Revelation — was simply too much to ignore, Lex18.com reports.

“I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number,” Thacker said. “I told them to mark out my name because it makes me sick just thinking that my name is associated with that number.”

Gina Croley, Thacker’s coach, immediately knew the number would be an issue for the student athlete.

“I saw it and I was like, 'Whoa,'" she said. "I don't think she will wear that number."

Croley and Thacker both tried to acquire another number for the race, but they were told by three separate officials that couldn’t happen, Lex18.com reports.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association told the station that Thacker’s request would have been granted if they knew the request was due to her religious beliefs. Thacker, however, has no remaining races on her schedule this year.

"I was so nervous I thought about it all week," Thacker said of the race.