Wow, I guess I really struck sensitive nerve with runners yesterday with my post about fees for races (post can be read here ). Altogether I literally got hundreds of emails, tweets and comments from the frustrated, to confused, to the angry runner. I was kinda caught off guard by the response, but I guess I really should not have been. In this economy felling like you are being taken advantage of is infuriating.
Some of the rants and observations from you were awesome, here are a few of my favorite:
From Amy B of Second City Randomness : Also, can I just say it seems the overall quality of the swag bags has gone down? When I first started racing (um, not that long ago!) I used to get some of the best stuff! Loads of granola bars/gift certificates/coupons/etc. But the last two or three races I’ve done, they’ve literally handed me the shirt and walked away. What gives?
From Nichole of Live For The Run : Great debate. Local versus big time, 5K versus 1/2 marathon…I know I’ve chatted with my friends and we would certainly do more but the fee for the race + travel fees can limit your plans, kind of a bummer but a necessary evil. The SF Rock N Roll marathoners got a beautiful Tiffany necklace, and for the Ironman 70.3, we got a bag and a water bottle. Go figure.
From James of Runblog.ca : I have no problem supporting a race like that where I can see the money is spent wisely, and the runners get some of the benefit, along with a hospital charity. These larger races spend huge sums of money to bring in elite athletes – paying airfare, hotels, and meals along with appearance fees. While it may raise the overall status of the race, it does nothing for the average runner who is the source of all that money.
So what are we going to do about it? What can we do about it? If the runners have the money to spend , don’t the runners have the control? Usually the people with the money have the control and once we give it to race organizers they now have the control- the control to raise fees, control to skimp out on giveaways.
This is probably a futile discussion since nothing is likely to happen so I will curb any future rants regarding this. I would love to hear back from race directors on this subject and hear their feedback.
Going to quickly change subjects……The other night I attended a media event for the Patagonia Expedition Race . I got a glimpse into adventure racing and it looks awesome! I definitely could see myself one day training for an adventure race, certainly not while I am still living in NYC.
Adventure racing combines adventure sport disciplines, usually including navigation, trekking, mountain biking, paddling, and climbing, in order to cover a variety of outdoor terrain. Generally, teams are comprised of four people and must include both men and women.
The Patagonian Expedition Race is the Super Bowl of expedition racing, taking teams of four through lands previously unknown to the human eye. Racers receive minimal assistance as they traverse through the pristine southern Patagonia by means of trekking, climbing and related rope work, kayaking, mountain biking, and backcountry navigation. They often cover hundreds of kilometers without seeing a soul.
Seriously, how cool is that! Check out their website, some cool information about the race and Patagonia on there.
Want to rant about race fees, feel free to. What is the most adventurous event you have tried? Have you tried trail running?