Competitor Group Ends Elite Support (Read 613 times)

    Plus the'd need to close the course for a slightly shorter duration if the faster folks stay away.

      My guess is that they realize it is actually GOOD press for them to make this move. Your standard marathon runner likely feels like the fact that someone is fast doesn't mean they deserve special treatment and would prefer that their entry fee be spent on their amenities.

       

      That exact setiment was mentioned on Letsrun.

       

      It's funny though...way back when we were getting our little marathon started and we were approached by a couple of elites for a free hotel and comp'd entry we thought we had hit the big time.

      www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

      Julia1971


        My guess is that they realize it is actually GOOD press for them to make this move. Your standard marathon runner likely feels like the fact that someone is fast doesn't mean they deserve special treatment and would prefer that their entry fee be spent on their amenities.

         

        Yeah.  I don't really understand how elites make their money but I could see this sentiment ruling the day.  I made earned/saved money to travel to [insert city] to run the marathon, why can't they?

         

        And, if you live in a big city, add the fact that maybe I don't want out-of-town elites coming in and winning my "home town" race.  I have to admit that's what ultimately drew me to marathoning - seeing my hometown elite winning the race (which has now been taken over by RnR) made it feel more about community to me.  However, I also realize that elites need to race against one another to get better.  So, I feel very conflicted about this issue...  I'm at the point where I don't trust any of the actors (Nike put on a women's half marathon with a $160 registration fee, so I'd be surprised if they called Competitor out) and would rather cut a check to an organization that sponsored elite runners directly.  But again, I'm ignorant on how the money moves around in this sport.

        You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
        Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

          Ideally, I would only like to run races put on by non-profits and / or to raise money for a charity. But how much transparency is there to enable us to make these choices? I ran Philly Marathon last year - I have no dea who puts on that race, and if they make any profit or not; I run NYRR races, I would hope that they are a NP, but I don't know for sure. Can you ask to see their books?

          Personal bests (bold = this year): 5K - 23:27 / 5M - 38:42 / 10K - 49:31 (track) / 10M - 1:24:26 / HM - 1:51:17 / M - 3:58:58

          Next races: NYC Marathon, Nov 2014 


          Feeling the growl again

             

            Yeah.  I don't really understand how elites make their money but I could see this sentiment ruling the day.  I made earned/saved money to travel to [insert city] to run the marathon, why can't they?

             

             

            If they are truly elite, then it is likely because you are working a job to earn money and they are not.  They are most likely living below the poverty level to chase the running dream.  You can't train at that level and hold a productive job....at least, very few manage it.  Running IS their job, and the elite packages are their payday.  Appearance fees (and to a lesser extent prize money) can make up a large percentage of their actual earnings.

             

            In other words -- it's a hobby for you (and me) but a job for them.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             


            Feeling the growl again

              Ideally, I would only like to run races put on by non-profits and / or to raise money for a charity.

               

              I would not go that far.  I really don't care if someone is making a profit when I race.  But when they screw the runners, the venue, and basically everybody else to maximize their profit, I do care.  There are plenty of for-profit races that treat all of the above so well that you can't tell the difference.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

              Julia1971


                 

                If they are truly elite, then it is likely because you are working a job to earn money and they are not.  They are most likely living below the poverty level to chase the running dream.  You can't train at that level and hold a productive job....at least, very few manage it.  Running IS their job, and the elite packages are their payday.  Appearance fees (and to a lesser extent prize money) can make up a large percentage of their actual earnings.

                 

                In other words -- it's a hobby for you (and me) but a job for them.

                 

                So, they largely support themselves on these appearance fees?

                 

                I'm serious in my ignorance.  And, I'm guessing most runners are.  If there's going to be an uprising, there needs to be an education on how this all works.

                You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                  Ideally, I would only like to run races put on by non-profits and / or to raise money for a charity. But how much transparency is there to enable us to make these choices? I ran Philly Marathon last year - I have no dea who puts on that race, and if they make any profit or not; I run NYRR races, I would hope that they are a NP, but I don't know for sure. Can you ask to see their books?

                   

                  One thing you can do is google '501c3 new york road runners' (or whatever org you are looking for).

                  Also '990 New York Road Runners'

                  You can find a lot of information, like this: http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/132/949/2010-132949483-06d080a3-9.pdf


                  Feeling the growl again

                     

                    So, they largely support themselves on these appearance fees?

                     

                    I'm serious in my ignorance.  And, I'm guessing most runners are.  If there's going to be an uprising, there needs to be an education on how this all works.

                     

                    For national/world class elites, the appearance fees can be worth as much or more than the prize money to them.

                     

                    Let's take a look at the lifestyle of say, the next tier down of elite runner, someone like a Hanson's/Brooks Project runner.  The Project puts them up in communal housing (guys' and womens' houses, forget a private lifestyle), they work some hours in the shoe stores (forget making enough to pay for traveling to races around the country).  I don't know specifics, but Brooks probably covers their gear and maybe kicks in some towards the houses or living expenses.

                     

                    Any way you cut it, unless you are one of the top world-class distance runners in the US you are doing it for the dream and living a low standard of living.  Leo Manzano, US silver medalist at the last Olympics, is currently without a sponsor.  Note the quote '' "People are making $15,000 and calling themselves a professional runner."

                     

                    This has always been part of the situation with US distance running -- A B level Kenyan can come to the US and race B- level races, and support their extended family.  Some of the best Americans must give up better opportunities to make a living to toe the line with them.  That's why you have people like Bob Kempainnen and Dan Lincoln leaving the sport in their prime to start med school while they still can.

                     

                    Most of our elite athletes could never afford the absurd cost of CGI events and without appearance/prize money have no reason to run them.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     

                       

                      So, they largely support themselves on these appearance fees?

                       

                      I'm serious in my ignorance.  And, I'm guessing most runners are.  If there's going to be an uprising, there needs to be an education on how this all works.

                       

                      I think this is spot on. Part of the problem is that, from what I understand, most of the contracts prohibit the athletes from disclosing the terms. So, we know that Ryan Hall will get an appearance fee for the New York Marathon, but don't know how much. Same for his shoe contract.

                       

                      From my limited understanding, there isn't much money in the sport at all. The shoe companies are the main supporters, but only a few athletes make enough to live on. Appearance fees, other advertising endorsements, and race winnings are the other sources of income. Race winnings are hard to count on since you have no idea who else will show up.

                       

                      Add in the economic opportunity differences between East Africa and the US and you can see that while many runners are living below the US poverty line, for many East Africans there aren't many better options. That adds to the volume of non-big-name elites that are from East Africa and are usually referred to as "the kenyans" who the spectators assume will win.

                       

                      --

                      Nashville, TN

                       

                        Yes. My understanding is that many work part time, in shoe stores for example, and try to make the difference by winning something. Its a hard knock life.

                         

                        RnR were jerks before. This isnt a shock.

                         

                         

                        So, they largely support themselves on these appearance fees?

                         

                        All about that bass

                        Julia1971


                          Okay.  So, say the running clubs in my city made a competition of sorts to sponsor...  10 elite athletes to run in a race in our city.  (I hope no one in my running club is reading this Smile ).  Would there be anything stopping us from doing that?  And beyond airfare and hotel, how much additional money is the appearance fee?

                          You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                          Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                          Julia1971


                             

                            For national/world class elites, the appearance fees can be worth as much or more than the prize money to them.

                             

                            Let's take a look at the lifestyle of say, the next tier down of elite runner, someone like a Hanson's/Brooks Project runner.  The Project puts them up in communal housing (guys' and womens' houses, forget a private lifestyle), they work some hours in the shoe stores (forget making enough to pay for traveling to races around the country).  I don't know specifics, but Brooks probably covers their gear and maybe kicks in some towards the houses or living expenses.

                             

                            Any way you cut it, unless you are one of the top world-class distance runners in the US you are doing it for the dream and living a low standard of living.  Leo Manzano, US silver medalist at the last Olympics, is currently without a sponsor.  Note the quote '' "People are making $15,000 and calling themselves a professional runner."

                             

                            This has always been part of the situation with US distance running -- A B level Kenyan can come to the US and race B- level races, and support their extended family.  Some of the best Americans must give up better opportunities to make a living to toe the line with them.  That's why you have people like Bob Kempainnen and Dan Lincoln leaving the sport in their prime to start med school while they still can.

                             

                            Most of our elite athletes could never afford the absurd cost of CGI events and without appearance/prize money have no reason to run them.

                             

                            Wow.  That WaPo article was eye opening.  I had NO idea super elites can make that much money just to show up...  Is that part of the problem?  Have these appearance fees gotten out of hand?  I can understand wanting to make a living but...  Yowsa!

                             

                            I occasionally read these articles about the problems elites face and want to help in some way.  I'm just trying to figure out what the average runner can do.  I just don't think we can rely on corporation and non-profits to care about our sport as much as we do.

                            You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                            Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


                            Feeling the growl again

                              Okay.  So, say the running clubs in my city made a competition of sorts to sponsor...  10 elite athletes to run in a race in our city.  (I hope no one in my running club is reading this Smile ).  Would there be anything stopping us from doing that?  And beyond airfare and hotel, how much additional money is the appearance fee?

                               

                              It depends what level of elites you want.  Offer some level of prize money.  Establish elite qualification guidelines and comp entries if they are met.  This alone should get you a good representation of local and a few regional elite if you publicize it well enough.  If it is a large or cold race, give them their own indoor area to stay pre-start and do some warmup before going to the line just before the start.

                               

                              If you desire even better elites, then you start talking 1) lodging, 2) travel expenses.  In the elite housing offerings I had, rooms were shared for 2 athletes.  I was never good enough to be offered travel expenses, that I recall.  Most were driving distance so I didn't even ask.

                               

                              Lodging was never offered (to me) for any races under 10,000 people.  YMMV.

                               

                              So, depending on your budget and goals start with the cheapest options (comped entries, then prize money) and work your way up.  Appearance money is probably not common outside a few dozen of the largest races who are trying to attract national caliber athletes.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               


                              Feeling the growl again

                                 

                                Wow.  That WaPo article was eye opening.  I had NO idea super elites can make that much money just to show up...  Is that part of the problem?  Have these appearance fees gotten out of hand?  I can understand wanting to make a living but...  Yowsa!

                                 

                                 

                                There are a small number of people worldwide who can command such appearance fees.  Some do argue it should be skewed more to prize money vs appearance money though.

                                 

                                As for thinking that is a lot of money, one also has to realize that most of these athletes will probably have a short window when they will be competitive enough to get those fees and only a couple races a year....and they're probably done by about age 30.  One has to make a lot more money for those few years than a normal job to justify doing it, as it will compromise their long-term ability to develop a real career.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand