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.