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Author Topic: Endorsement Rules Discussion  (Read 39225 times)
Dallen
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« on: April 02, 2009, 08:24:35 pm »

This is a excellent plan and has the potential to do great things for the running/racing community.

A similar program exists in Chicago (albeit for profit) where races must comply with many rules to be an official "registered" race. It works great because races won't attract runners and grow if they are not "certified". This means that essentially every race I have run here was accurately measured, accutately tmed, had accurate mile splits, sufficient porta-a-potties, a safe course, etc. No more poorly run races put on by somebody looking to make a quick buck. Their guidelines are here http://www.cararuns.org/Racing/Race%20Directors/~/media/Files/CARA%20BEST%20PRACTICES%20GUIDELINES.ashx I would suggest adding many of them to the list. I would love to see this turn in to a program that encourages an appropriately organized race in addition to encouraging support of the locally elite athletes.

 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 11:26:35 am by Sasha Pachev » Logged
maryannsc
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 10:34:01 am »

Wow!  Looks very well thought out and put together! 

I still don't think race directors are concerned about runners eating a 10 cent banana and a 20 cent bagel and a 30 cent cup of gatorade.  I think it would be more of a hassle for them to make separate results and separate timing which could throw everything off, but I don't know how much a timing chip costs to rent.  The t-shirt is the big expense though ($2-$15 each).

If we volunteer, it's almost the same as if we paid for the race anyways, if not more, so they should give you the same things as everyone else.

I spent up to 5 hours helping someone organize a race once to get a $20 race entry fee waived.  Then it ended up making it so I couldn't warm up because they needed more help right before the race again, so I didn't run well and didn't win the prize that I was hoping could help me pay my bills.  I didn't expect that the job I volunteered for would be so involved, so really, at the end, they were making a profit off of me.  When I asked them if I could at least take home some of the left over refreshments, they were stingy and acted like I was some greedy person.  So I went home hungry.  I've learned from that.
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Michelle Lowry
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 06:31:30 pm »

I don't think asking a runner to volunteer for fee waiver is appropriate if they are competing for top 3 or 5 slots, because it jeopardizes their warm up and pre-race chee, just as Marianne found in her experience.  I'd rather pay the entrance fee than volunteer, but the best is to get a free entrance and not have to volunteer  Grin 
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Maurine Lee
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 07:41:31 pm »

Not that I will ever be an elite runner - but I have helped at a lot of races.  There are several ways to volunteer that would not affect the race results.  For instance, marking the course the day before. Setting up the course earlier in the day.  Helping take down the course and race accoutrements afterwards.

I really think all runners should volunteer at one race for every 5 races they run.  It helps them to appreciate the efforts that the race director and volunteers put in to set up the races for us.  I like to volunteer during my recovery weeks or when injured so that I am not impacting my own schedule.
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 11:48:53 am »

Note the language:

"You are allowed and encouraged to ask elites to volunteer as long as you arrange it in advance and the runner does not feel the job will interfere with his ability to perform or recover."

The spirit of this rule, as well as every other, is that we are seeking a 100%-100% relationship. We give you everything we reasonably can, and we want you to give us everything you reasonably can. We do not want race directors to expect elite runners to hurt their performance by volunteering.  But at the same time there are things they can do. There is no reason a runner could not carry a couple of light boxes or help for a few minutes directing people during registration while he is stretching. There is no reason he could not give a 5 minute talk at the awards ceremony on how to properly train for a marathon. There is no reason he could not jog to an aid station as a part of his cool down and hand out water for 20 minutes if he is waiting for awards. And there is no reason he could not ask his family members or friends to come and volunteer in other capacities that he cannot fill without hurting his race.

Remember what we are up against. There is a perception that elite runners think of themselves as being better than everyone else, and thus they are too good to be asked to volunteer. This perception is hopefully incorrect, at least I hope nobody on our team thinks that. If we want to have a soil that produces top running performances this perception must be eradicated, it is a weed, it must go, we must do everything we can to get rid of it.  Elite runners would get a whole lot more community support if they collectively demonstrated a spirit of service.
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 11:59:31 am »

Some more thoughts. One of my goals is to get the race directors of Dog Days 5 Ks and Dog City Half Marathons thinking on what they can do to reduce the cost of having a runner in the race. Our rules create a possibility of having to give 30 comps. This hopefully will help him solve that problem, and the end result would be lower entry fees for everyone, or at least a lower entry fee option.

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Michelle Lowry
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 05:55:33 pm »

I was the race director for the Cougar Run for four years, and have given about 800 hours to that event alone.  It benefits BYU women's track.  I was happy to give service to a program I feel so passionately about.  Those service hours are probably enough for a lifetime.  I gave it up when I started working and running seriously.  Service is sometimes given in chunks and there are times and seasons for it (like when you are injured : ) ).

I believe in charitable work, and in donating time and money to charities I deem worthy of my scarce time and money.  It's like thinking someone should give $10 to every charity that asks, instead of big chunks to charities you really are aligned with.

I don't want to feel pressured to give to just any charity (including my time).  I think there should be a separation between my running live and my philanthropy.  I feel like its an infringement of my personal space for someone to suggest I should need to volunteer at a race.  I guess I just don't like being told what to do.  I remember feeling when I was the director of the Cougar Run that any past athlete should donate their cash prize back to the program, but now I realize that cash prizes are earned through so much effort, and that may be too much to ask of an athlete, to have them wear the two hats at the same time (competitive runner, supporter of a charitable cause).

I look to James Barnes and the Provo 1/2 marathon last summer.  Lots of times there are fewer volunteers than are needed, so once you say you'll help guide traffic, you are stuck for over an hour doing it, you don't get in a warm up, and you are just running instead of racing the race.  That's what happened to James.
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Dallen
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 08:17:39 pm »

Nobody is being forced to volunteer with Sasha's rules. It it a trade off for the free entry. If you don't want to volunteer, just pay the entry fee.
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 08:35:16 pm »

Or run a different race.
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Paul Petersen
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 06:07:38 am »

In my experience, there are plenty of races that are quite happy to comp a good runner, and expect nothing in return other than to put on show (ie - win the race or at least come close). I rarely ask the director for a comp unless I think I can win. Otherwise, I'm happy to pay the entry. Goodness, it's only $30 or so. If $30 changes my world, then I have bigger problems.

All that said, volunteering or getting involved in some other way in races is a healthy thing for any runner to do. It shows us the other side of races, the side that we usually do not appreciate. I am shocked at times at how demanding runners have become, and if something is not just right, we complain loudly about how the band is no good or how the goodie bag stinks or how my garmin measured the course to be 0.05 miles too long. It's worse than old people at a restaurant. After I tried stuffing goodie bags for an evening, and I realized how much work goes into putting on even the smallest race.
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allie
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 07:28:11 am »

lots of times when i am running a race or waiting at the start line, i think to myself "wow, this is a lot of work" (probably 10x more than i think) and then i see all the volunteers at the aid stations and finish line...doing it all for free and always having a blast cheering on the runners and just being so supportive. it wouldn't be possible to put these races on without the many volunteers who do the dirty work to make it happen - like the "chip removers" at the finish line - DIRTY JOB, imo. Smiley
so, i have always appreciated the volunteers, but as a runner, it never really occurred to me that i should try to get on the other side of things and volunteer for a race - until i went to boston last year. i met a man who was a member of the New York Road Runners and he was talking about how he was trying to get a guaranteed entry into the NYC marathon. one of the requirements is that runners have to volunteer for at least one NYRR-approved race. i thought that was such a neat idea. so i decided that instead of trying to run every marathon i could, i would pick one per year and sign up to be a volunteer. this year it will be the UV marathon, and i am excited to be able to be a part of the race from a different perspective.
http://www.nycmarathon.org/9_1_guaranteed_entry.htm
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Sasha Pachev
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 10:06:11 am »

Paul:

For some runners $30 does change their world. Everybody is different. Some have stable jobs. Others do not. With the economy going downhill there will be more without stable jobs. Some are suffering from bad decisions made in the past and are living on the edge of their means. $30 puts them over the edge. Even if the job is stable, and finances are OK, and $30 in all honesty can be handled, some may have a spouse that complains about the cost of running. In that $30 fee may have political significance that would make a difference between being able to run 90 miles a week with a happy spouse vs barely 40 with an unhappy one.

US distance running will not flourish if having middle-class or higher income before turning 25 is a requirement to be able to afford to race frequently.

There is a problem, though, if the well-off elites do not ask for comps. The race director says to the ones that are not, so-and-so paid the entry fee, and he is faster than you. So the guy has a choice to either not run, or to strain his finances. We need to be united.
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Paul Petersen
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 10:14:42 am »

Well, point taken on the "political" aspect of racing.
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adam
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 10:25:04 am »

Sure would change our world...I tried to exchange volunteer work for an entry into the Provo half and nobody ever got back to me...and I live a block away. To get the cheapest entry I had to register two months in advance, otherwise, if I waited for them to get back to me, I'd have to have paid even more. Same thing for the Orem thanksgiving run...I registered like in sept, w/ no shirt to get it as cheap as I could. $30 right now means I can pay some bill or buy the gas I need to get to work, or save money, or pay to print some baby pictures, or clothes that actually fit anyone of us.

Sometimes I wish I could get paid the same rate for working as I pay for some of these races. Or that I could sell used diapers. If I could, I'd be stinkin rich.
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Paul Petersen
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 11:01:59 am »

Eh...I guess my above statement was a bit brash and insensitive. I apologize. Won't be the first time or the last time.

Also, it seems like this has turned into a new thread, one that is interesting and worth continuing, but perhaps should be moved by admin to its own post topic, so that the Endorsement Rules can be a stand-alone locked post. Up to Sasha though.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:06:56 am by Paul Petersen » Logged
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