Isn’t life just the WACKIEST? Below is a blog I crabbily started sometime last week….
You know, I’d give anything (well, about a dollar) for a series of races that offer no shirts, no medals, no prizes, no long-winded sunshine blown up your ass by some paunchtastic doof with a feedbacking microphone at the start line, no mountains of molar-cracking bagels and sad bananas at the finish, and no Energetic Zumba! Woman giving a demonstration for like forever before the awards in order to allow the 90-minute 5Kers to finish up.
What would be nice is an accurate though not necessarily certified (since that costs $$) course where road closures aren’t necessary, a race organized by runners, maybe a clock at the finish, and no entry fee. I know, I know. It’s more complicated than that and I don’t know what I’m talking about and Why Don’t You Do it Then, Whineboat? and blah blah blah. But don’t other cities have series like this? I mean, races for the sake of racing and not for the sake of fundraising?
This past year, for whatever reason, has seemed like the Year ‘o We Don’t Give a Rat’s Ass About Running! Just Give Us a Bunch of Cashola and We’ll Put on a Crap Heap Race and Give You the Bare Minimum! This is closely tied to the idea that you’d better not complain you self-centered prig, because, after all, your entry fee is going to help fund research for laryngitic dolphins or whatever. (By the bye, and for the sake of hackle raising, not one penny of the St. Jude Country Music Marathon mega-outrageous entry fees actually goes to St. Jude Hospital.)
Along with all this, there is the ever-growing belief that only freaks actually care about things like accurate course measuring, timing, and course monitoring after paying for all these “luxuries” in a race fee. Come on! You’re getting a shirt, a bland snack, maybe a thimble of beer, and a goody bag filled with ads, an emery board, and a Chip Clip, Mr. Twig Arms! What more do you want for $45.50? An actual race? HA HA HA HA!
And I know it’s in poor taste (as if I care about that on this blog) to complain about awards, but this past year was really reached the Asinine Award Apex. Money was pulled for winners at CMM because the consensus, I guess, was that no one cares about the winners. It’s unseemly to award superior athleticism in the midst of a parade. At a local 10K fundraiser for lawyers (!), the RD “forgot” about age group awards, seemed irritated to be reminded, and then grouchily announced that those awards would be sent out or whatever later in the week. Maybe a month later, a message appeared on a local running board announcing that awards could be picked up at a running store. The “awards” were some generic reusable shopping bags piled in a box.
Seriously? I didn’t run in either of these races, but these were pretty representative of a lot of races this year. And it’s not the fact of the awards that is so discouraging….It’s the complete indifference toward the race AS A RACE. I mean, back in the 80’s….
And right in the middle of writing this, pulling my hair out, and having a grouchy grandmaster colon clutch, here comes an email from Cheryl: