Competitor Group Ends Elite Support (Read 606 times)

    One of the things that jumps out at me in this thread is that I grew up outside of Philadelphia and never heard about the Philadelphia Distance Run until now.  I was well aware of Philadelphia Marathon, the Penn Relays and the Core States Cycling race, but I don't remember hearing about this race.  I left the area in 1990 and I was less into running then, than I am now, but I am still surprised I never heard of it.  Perhaps I tuned it out or local media did not embrace it the way they did the other races.

    I know lots of folks who used to run the PDR (Philadelphia Distance Run).  I've never heard any of them say that having CGI run it has in any way been an improvement.

    meaghansketch


      And, just BTW, they had considerable problems with the aid stations at Virginia R&R - left water and gatorade to warm up in the sun so it was undrinkable, not enough "volunteers"...

       

      Similar issues at the Rock 'n' Roll USA race (formerly the National Marathon) in Washington, DC this spring.  Far too few volunteers, they ran out of prepoured water/gatorade cups, people were having to line up at the tables in order to get a cup of water the entire first 1/2 of the marathon.  I was running a 4:10 pace so not fast but hardly at the back of the pack.  They blamed the issue on the weather-- it was 50 degrees and cloudy.

       

      I actually hope that this lack of volunteers is a sign that people aren't willing to donate their time to help a private equity group make more money.  I think the fact that they took over existing races with good histories and reputations let them get away with this for a number of years but I wonder if the tide might be turning.

      Up next: ???

        I know lots of folks who used to run the PDR (Philadelphia Distance Run).  I've never heard any of them say that having CGI run it has in any way been an improvement.

         

        I am not really sure what point I was trying to make, but I certainly was not trying to say that CGI had somehow improved PDR.  I was lamenting the fact that I grew up near one of the country's premiere races and I never knew about it.  Perhaps PDR could have done a better job of marketing their race to non-running locals, but I don't just don't think that the mainstream media (and general public) were and are that interested in this kind of race.  It is a shame.  I am now quite interested in classic road races, but I 'll never have a chance to do one of the great ones that was in my own back yard. 

        2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20

           

          They are still providing a venue for thousands of runners - including the best athletes in the sport - to run.

           

          And, is this going to be the litmus test that we judge race organizers - whether they're supporting the development of the sport?  Because I'm guessing a lot of charity runs would fail that test.  They're primary motivation is to raise money for their cause.  I'm not sure how much they're giving back to the sport either.

           

          I sorta think you are half serious with your defense of CGI, or playing a devil's advocate role, but here are two quick responses:

           

          1) They are providing a venue for thousands of runners to run, but it is a poor venue for not only the best athletes in the sport to run in. Running is great actually because it doesn't need a venue to RUN. What we (not all of us -- this is the specific "we" that is critical of CGI for this move) want is a great RACING venue. We think that the "experience" of the marathon for all runners is enhanced by creating great racing conditions for the front of the pack. Does it, really? Well, this is sort of an empirical question. It does for me, but then again I am not the target audience.

           

          2) It is a litmus test -- one among many. A lot of charity runs do fail that test, and it does diminish the race experience, at least for a certain type of person. Those who came up competing in high school and perhaps college often feel pretty disappointed with the competitive vibe at local road races. So what, you might say. Those people are not entitled to having the race experience after they graduate. And that's true. But they are entitled to advocate for it and defend it and complain that it doesn't exist more, the profit motives of corporate America or the charity motives of race organizers to the contrary.

           

          We also recognize that the loss of Elite support at CGI is not the end of the world or the end of the running community.

             

            I actually hope that this lack of volunteers is a sign that people aren't willing to donate their time to help a private equity group make more money.  I think the fact that they took over existing races with good histories and reputations let them get away with this for a number of years but I wonder if the tide might be turning.

             

            That's it, right there.  Buy a local race, jack up the price, hoodwink volunteers.  There is probably some donation to groups that organize volunteers to supply labor -- akin to buying labor well below minimum wage.  The fact that there's a place for individuals to volunteer is shameful.  Perhaps runners should hand Competitor's volunteers some flyers for their local running club or charity races to help them better give of their time.

             

            I hope that the National Marathon and the other race weekends bought by Competitor revert to public ownership once private equity moves along.

              I liked National; it's in my backyard.  But I stopped running it when it became RnR USA.

              This discussion made me curious about what they were charging these days so I went to the web site and was met with this:

              Wow.  Apparently, if you run multiple RnR races you get special "heavy medals" that say things like "Rock Legend" and "Rock Idol."

              Fascinating.

              ShuffleFaster


                I liked National; it's in my backyard.  But I stopped running it when it became RnR USA.

                This discussion made me curious about what they were charging these days so I went to the web site and was met with this:

                Wow.  Apparently, if you run multiple RnR races you get special "heavy medals" that say things like "Rock Legend" and "Rock Idol."

                Fascinating.

                 

                Good to see they're already putting the money they saved by dumping the elites to good use!  Roll eyes

                  Wow.  Apparently, if you run multiple RnR races you get special "heavy medals" that say things like "Rock Legend" and "Rock Idol."

                  Fascinating.

                   

                  They forgot "Dumb as a Rock."

                  Julia1971


                  All in for Boston

                    FWIW, The National Marathon was never particularly well-run or profitable.  But, as MeaghanSketch already wrote, this year it reached an unprecedented level of FUBAR.  It pretty much ruined any lingering sense of loyalty to the marathon that I had which is why I'm heading to that shindig they run up in Massachusetts in April.  I may still run the half, though.  But, I'm glad the CGI proved people will show up for it (apparently, it's one of their most successful races) so that when they eventually sell, someone else will take a chance on this race.  D.C. is a world-class city and it deserves a world-class marathon of its own.  (MCM is great but it's the Marine Corps' race not D.C.'s and a significant portion of it is run in Virginia; not in the city).  As far as the volunteers, thinking back on it, I feel like there were a lot of kids manning the water stops.  I'm guessing it was do-gooder youth organizations that played a key role there.  Some of them may have also volunteered since the race brings revenue to the city but, yeah, maybe don't realize RnR is a for-profit.

                    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

                       

                      Good to see they're already putting the money they saved by dumping the elites to good use!  Roll eyes

                       

                       

                      --- So if I spend about $1,500 bucks on race entry fees, and I run 10 events in one year, I can get a Pink medal with a Microphone in it?

                       

                      PASS.

                      The Plan (big parts)→  ///  March:  Shamrock Marathon  ///  April:  24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon ∞


                      Fat butt on couch

                         

                         

                        --- So if I spend about $1,500 bucks on race entry fees, and I run 10 events in one year, I can get a Pink medal with a Microphone in it?

                         

                        PASS.

                         

                        As I said in a prior thread on the topic, those medals are literally worth their weight in gold.

                        "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

                         

                          You know, good point.  I could do 10 training runs of 13 miles, 0 entry fee, and have 1,500 bucks left over to buy one of these medals.  Or "metals" actually... :-)

                           

                          No microphone on it though. Sad  Lol

                           

                          PS.  Addendum:  The Virginia Beach R-N-R Half has been around since 2001, one of their older races...   I heard some stories this weekend after the race of folks who were stating the number of attendees to the race was on the decline.  Does anyone have any solid numbers on if the RNR races have passed their prime and in decline year over year?  --- My thought is that a decline in attendance at these races would be inevitable, just wondered if that trend had started yet...

                          The Plan (big parts)→  ///  March:  Shamrock Marathon  ///  April:  24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon ∞

                            --- So if I spend about $1,500 bucks on race entry fees, and I run 10 events in one year, I can get a Pink medal with a Microphone in it?

                             

                            PASS.

                             

                            I guess it would cost "only" $400.

                            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              Currently, an ounce of gold is actually less expensive than the $1500.


                              Fat butt on couch

                                Currently, an ounce of gold is actually less expensive than the $1500.

                                 

                                I hear a crotch monkey is worth more than an ounce of gold.

                                "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