Friday, February 09, 2007

RUN: Comment submitted from SCR Website

The comments below were submitted via the Space Coast Runners website. It brings up some good points that I myself have not been able to put in a coherent form. So anyways, I can take credit for this, but thought that it was worth a pondering.

"I don't like referring back to 'the old days' or 'how we did things up North' but something needs to be said about the cost of racing in Brevard County . Every race is a fund raiser for an organization. Racing in Brevard County is very expensive, especially if one wants to gain recognition in the local SCR series. Why is this happening? Why has the sport of running competition been hijacked by every organization seeking to fund their special interest?

"These organizations do great work, provide volunteers, food, etc. These non-profit groups should be commended in every way. I have admiration for their efforts and realize they look for every means possible to gain money needed to provide for their cause. However, I resent the fact that runners have been tapped as a continuous revenue source, with no alternate venues for competition. Apparently, Run-Triathlon directors have decided they can't go it alone and have relented to charging fees to gain volunteer support from the non-profits. Then there are all the companies like ESM,,CFT, Alta-Vista on the profit side.

"The most recent issue of Brevard Business News featured an article 'Reindeer Run Proceeds presented to UW'.The article tells the story; the 11th annual event garnered $14,069 for United Way with participation of 411. I believe in the work of UW. But every race is like this, a huge paycheck presented to a group in a sport that charges a $20 entry to compete. That's a dollar per minute of pain for a good 5k runner!

"Back to my 'roots' in Westport, Connecticut, I raced the Summer Series of ten races. I started running these races in 1969. The website shows the cost of racing in 2006 for a 10 race series is $25 for residents, $35 for non-residents, $5 and $7 for single races. The races were free when I raced. Westport, CT races have fewer athletes than Brevard but do we need the 'bells & whistles' that seem to increase the costs to the athletes? Look at the link to the 3.1 mile course. Check out the record times, the map, etc. When I raced the series, Jim Fixx came from New Canaan and Dr. George Sheehan often drove up from N.J. (Speaking of Sheehan, everyone should read 'Chasing the Hawk').

"So, what can SCR do to change this situation? Has anyone done the math to figure what it costs to do the SCR series? Is it reasonable for a high school student making $8 per hour at a part time job?

"Something I'll do is contribute by race directing the 2007 Melbourne Village 3 mile cross-country run. This race will 'NEVER' charge a fee to the runners. I've done this several times before when my schedule allowed. Website

"Recently started cycling with area 'competitive' riding groups. This is very interesting because each ride becomes a race at the end. Very intense, focused, and serious and no cost! Show up at 6:30-7:00 and ride with 25-30 of Brevard's best riders. Bernie did his vent on cheating (well done Bernie) so this is my rant.

"Get rid of the t-shirts, the donuts, and the gold statues. Let's just race."

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