Competitor Group Ends Elite Support (Read 607 times)

Julia1971


     

    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.

     

    (Mental wheels churning).  Thanks!  I'm not directly affiliated with any races but would like to do something to help.  Just not sure what...

    Run the mile you are in.

      Something that hasn't really been mentioned which is a huge factor in all of this is that when prize money is offered, it almost always goes primarily to runners of foreign nationality (usually African, most commonly Kenyan and Ethiopian). While your everyday midpacker may relate well to local elite runners, the fact that foreign elites take most of this money means that your local elite will usually finish outside of the money. (The way out of this is to offer appearance $$ instead of prize $$).

       

      Take the Crazy 8s road race in Kingsport, TN. It's a fun race that I've run several times with a super-fast field drawn by a nice purse. Their prize money goes 8 deep (only on the men's side; no prize money for women.) 1 - $5000, 2 - $2500, 3 - $1500, 4- $1000, 5- $800, 6-$600, 7-$400, 8-$200. They also provide lodging to elites (they even gave it to me when I offered to write up their race on my blog Smile ). Well, check out the top 20 finishers:

       

      1 Shadrack Kosgei 1240 M 28 Nyack NY 22:40.2 1/142 22:40.2 4:34

      Tolossa Gedefa 812 M 21 West Chester PA 22:49.3 1/157 22:49.3 4:36

      3 Patrick Cheptoek 366 M 27 Bowling Green KY 22:55.7 2/142 22:55.5 4:37

      4 Julius Koskei 1241 M 33 Hebron KY 23:06.3 1/177 23:06.3 4:39

      Aschealew Neguse 2526 M 25 Kingsport TN 23:17.6 3/142 23:17.6 4:42

      6 Mengistu Nebsi 2528 M 35 Bloomingdale TN 23:25.6 1/151 23:25.5 4:43

      7 Emmanuel Bor 187 M 19 Chapel Hill NC 23:28.5 1/173 23:28.5 4:44

      8 Nicholas Kipruto 1230 M 29 Albuquerque NM 23:39.7 4/142 23:39.7 4:46

      9Kiprono Kurgat 1251 M 24 Chapel Hill NC 23:43.3 2/157 23:43.3 4:47

      10 Simion Chirchir 374 M 29 Chapel Hill NC 23:50.7 5/142 23:50.7 4:48

      11 Abdelaziz Atmani 52 M 30 Indianapolis IN 24:03.6 2/177 24:03.6 4:51

      12 Boniface Biwott 163 M 24 Hebron KY 24:05.1 3/157 24:05.1 4:51

      13Stephen Njoroge 1607 M 23 Philadelphia PA 24:20.0 4/157 24:20.0 4:54

      14 Fred Kosgei 1239 M 36 Kennesaw GA 24:21.8 2/151 24:21.7 4:55

      15 Stephen Sirma 2013 M 25 Kennesaw GA 24:23.8 6/142 24:23.8 4:55

      16 Abraham Chelanga 365 M 29 Johnson City TN 24:24.4 7/142 24:24.4 4:55

      17 Aissa Dghoughi 582 M 31 Vancouver WA 24:35.3 3/177 24:35.3 4:57

      18 Kipyegon Kirui 1232 M 32 Chapel Hill NC 24:47.1 4/177 24:47.1 5:00

      19 Josh Whitehead 2289 M 34 Madison AL 25:17.0 5/177 25:17.0 5:06

      20 Peyton Hoyal 1064 M 24 Banner Elk NC 25:28.3 5/157 25:27.8 5:08

       

      You have to go down to 19th place to find your first American-born semi-local elite. Is this a problem? Not necessarily, and the race is hugely popular in Kingsport and across the southeast -- tons of runners fast and slow participate in part because of the fast times run there (The WR for 8k on the roads was run there in 1996 in a race I participated in -- the winner ran 22:02 for 8k.) I finished a mere 4 minutes or so back in something like 50th place. 

       

      By cutting out the prize money, Competitor is MORE likely to have local elite winners -- and be able to use them to market their product. This year's CMM was won by a local elite for the first time. Why? Well, he's really fast, but also because they cut the prize money for the marathon down to a $500 time-based incentive.

       

      When I ran the marathon in 2007, I finished in 19th place in 2:38 and had folks to run with the whole way. Last year, that run would have netted me third, if I could have run it solo because I would have been alone the whole way. That's the difference between offering prize money and not: prize money gives a better racing experience to faster runners, but it really doesn't enhance the marketability of the race that much, and may in fact detract from it.

        I will just add a couple more things:

         

        1) Club running and racing keeps things local and enhances the quality of racing just as much if not more than prize money. If you want to support your local elites, support your local clubs and mention to them that creating a quality racing experience for the top runners in town is important.

         

        2) I wrote a screed on this stuff a while ago: "A Somewhat Cranky Defense of Democratic Elitism"; relevant to this thread, I think.

        Julia1971


          Something that hasn't really been mentioned which is a huge factor in all of this is that when prize money is offered, it almost always goes primarily to runners of foreign nationality (usually African, most commonly Kenyan and Ethiopian). While your everyday midpacker may relate well to local elite runners, the fact that foreign elites take most of this money means that your local elite will usually finish outside of the money. (The way out of this is to offer appearance $$ instead of prize $$).

           

          Take the Crazy 8s road race in Kingsport, TN. It's a fun race that I've run several times with a super-fast field drawn by a nice purse. Their prize money goes 8 deep (only on the men's side; no prize money for women.)

           

          I kinda stopped reading after that part.  Hoping this was years ago and not still happening in this day and age.

          Run the mile you are in.

             

            I kinda stopped reading after that part.  Hoping this was years ago and not still happening in this day and age.

             

            Still happening, and in fact when I ran in 1996, there was prize money for both genders, so this is a recent development.


            Will run for scenery.

              I never had any interest in a RnR Marathon, a Color Run, or any of those "novelty events" that seem to be making such big $$$ these days.  So maybe it's a positive sign that CGI is drawing a clear line between what they do and "legitimate" sporting events.

               

              As for "elites", that word has a huge stigma attached to it anywhere outside of sports.  Americans are instinctively anti-elitist, even when they are at the top of the pile!  But let's face it - this is not the NBA.

               

              In the world of trail running, one of the top names in the country is Anton Krupicka.  He lives out of the back of a pickup truck, even when he's not in the mountains.  He eats bags of frozen veggies for dinner.  If he (and countless others) didn't get comped or sponsored airfare and entry fees and gear, there's no way he could afford to train and race full time, muchless get the medical/PT/etc. attention he needs.

               

              As a non-competitive runner, I would love to have world-class talent show up at my races.  Just the novelty and star-attraction factor.  But sadly, even though some of the events I have run lately are famously challenging (Pike's Peak Marathon, Leadville Marathon) the big names don't seem to show at these events any more.  And that makes me kinda sad.

               

              So until we see runners on DWTS sporting diamonds in their teeth, I'm all for supporting our elites.

              Stupid feet!

              Stupid elbow!

                This (the 2nd bullet) tells me it it more about 'the event' than it is 'the race':

                 

                If a participant’s pace falls below the course time limit, they have a few options:

                • Increase their pace to stay within the event minimum pace;
                • Board a “sag wagon” shuttle to move forward on the course, where they may continue to participate in the event, maintaining the minimum pace required;


                Will run for scenery.

                  Prior to reading this thread, I would have described myself as one who "enjoys the event, not the race".  But I do compare my time to the pack, to the leaders (for amusement), to the cutoffs, etc.  Even though I don't race, I guess I do have some inner competition going on.

                   

                  Having a sag wagon and cutoffs that aren't cutoffs sounds so lame.  If you can't run a marathon, maybe do a 10k and then train some more .....

                  Stupid feet!

                  Stupid elbow!

                    I like that I'm getting an RnR Arizona ad on this thread bashing the RnR people.  All publicity is good publicity, I guess.

                    ShuffleFaster


                      Here's a recent quote from Scott Dickey, CEO of Competitor Group that confirms what ya'll have been saying:

                       

                      "We have always been about the back of the pack," Dickey said. "The Rock ’n’ Roll series is more about the lifestyle than the sport."

                       

                      Source: http://www.runnersworld.com/races/rock-n-roll-series-significantly-lessens-elite-program?page=single

                        Someone from my running group just posted this link. Read some of the comments after this. One is supposedly from the CEO of CGI.

                         

                         

                        http://tonireavis.com/2013/09/01/competitor-group-pulls-the-plug-on-elite-racing/

                        MJ5


                        Chief Unicorn Officer

                          They really should call it Non-Competitor Group.

                          Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

                            They are the giant leech sucking all the resources out of the sport.  Crap overpriced overcrowded parade races, crap company. I'll never run one of their events.

                             

                            +1

                            PRs In my 50's:  5k=24:30;10k trail=52:00;10 mile road=1:23;10 mile trail=1:31; HM=1:52; 25K Trail=2:40; FM=4:10

                             

                              They clearly misunderstood.  It's not that I don't care what happens at the front of the field at RNR, it's that I don't care about ANYtHING that happens at RNR

                               

                              +1

                              PRs In my 50's:  5k=24:30;10k trail=52:00;10 mile road=1:23;10 mile trail=1:31; HM=1:52; 25K Trail=2:40; FM=4:10

                               


                              A Dance with Monkeys

                                Thinkin that maybe "Competitor" is no longer an apt moniker.