Thursday, March 15, 2012

Race Matters

So I went and had my little tete-a-tete with the LM race director. Before I had walked into the room I had already expended some time thinking about my concerns. Primarily, why does the race refuse to respond to emails, why does the route keep changing, and what assurances are there that this race is going to launch? I concluded, before I even uttered my first question, that I was unlikely to get the answers I was looking for. My expectations were accurate.

In brief, the answers go as follows. There are approximately 600 marathon runners signed up the just under six weeks to go. They are sorry they have had to change the route, but things come up and because it is a new race they are learning as they go. They do not believe the route will change again. They are confident the race will be certified and therefore BQ eligible. They are unsure why some emails have not been answered, as it is their goal to respond to all inquires. Again and again they stressed how they were learning as they go.

And I understand that things happen. I understand that sometimes a change must be made. I expressed that I’m not unsympathetic based on my own experience organizing races. But, I also said that what is most frustrating about all of these things is the lack of communication. If you change the course, then announce it—own it—don’t just subtly make the change and wait for people to respond.

So, I received the answers I expected. They did apologize. They insist they are doing the best they can. I’ve already signed up for the race. I believe the term is sunk cost. At some point before my conversation my anger was replaced by the realization that I can’t stop them from changing the route and that I’m running this marathon even if it is 26 times around a 1 mile loop. Maybe I’ll get a break this time and it will rain during the race, I’d be alright with that. In the end, it is all about the opportunity to race.

I had, for anyone who cared, taken the time to create a hills chart of the old (really the second) marathon course. I even drove the route last Friday and recorded it with a fancy HD camcorder I borrowed. All of that is useless. In another post I’ll update the course information.


Jamie R said...

It's funny how much more put together the Qualifier is in Midland to Bay City and it's a first year event. They had the news drive around and do a story of the course for them and put it up on the website.

They've been certified for a good amount of time now. They had to work with 6 townships, 3 cities and not even the problems that Owen is having.

He was just too proud and tried to do it all on his own. I'm just excited that the Qualifier will have energy gels and are willing to do ANYTHING to make the course very BQ friendly!! You should check that one out!

Nitmos said...

You drove the course with an HD camera? Can I borrow some of your free time?

Redhead Running said...

I'm sorry this is turning out to be such a sh*t storm my luv. My only hope is that it all comes together on race day with some cloudy skies just for you and your trouble.

That's right, I hope it's crappy just for you! I'll be miserable in it and spectating will be horrible, but I'm willing to take that for you to have a great race! See aren't you glad you're marrying me?

Viper said...

And this is why I don't bother with route research. I hope the final course turns out to be fast for you. Cheers!

B.o.B. said...

egads! i am now starting to understand how tough it is to put on a race, however i would not try to put on a FULL MARATHON without a helluva lot more information and know how. i'd also not put it out there for people to spend their hard earned money if i didn't know what the hell i was doing.

Vaudiophile said...

The difference between the qualifier and the lansing marathons is one is being built by the Crim Foundation, who are complete pros all around and know what they're doing, and the other is slapped together by some old dude.

I hope this race comes together for you, but with only 600 people running and the resources, volunteers, and staff they need, this has complete flop written all over it. If it even happens, it may fall down dead after this year if the current runners are as upset as you are.

Jessie said...

Well, im glad you are walking into it with knowing what to expect.