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2921 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2007 10:35 PM by maryt091 Go to original post 1 2 3 Previous Next
  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by VictorN:

    The race organizers should evaluate this option, if they haven't done so already. But until they revise their policy, don't register unless you plan to stick to it.

    Victor


     



    I often wonder why when something seems as obvious as having races handle bib swaps, that people don't say "Hey, isn't it strange that races don't have formal bib swaps."

    So, I'll ask the question and I'll give you the answer.

    It's a frustrating, time consuming, rat-hole that race volunteers don't need close-in to race day when they should be focusing on race day, COURSE stuff.

    Notice how many races are screwed up on water, turns, finish line, awards, food and other stuff. At least half the time that happens because the once-a-year amateur race crew tried to be nice and accommodate way too many distractions from runners who ask for special treatment for the most "are you kidding me?" things of which bib swaps is just one.

    Smart race directors put their efforts into making sure those that register early get most of their attention as it should be. It's a race, not a social welfare program for the lazy procrastinators.

    The emails you get from people looking for bibs are a hoot. Every excuse on the planet about why the didn't get off their butts to register on time for a race that they "claim" is so important to them. The importance most often comes from some saying they have run it for years or "all my friends are running". Well if you have run it for years and all your friends are running it, then I do not believe you didn't know the race sells out earlier and earlier every year or that you totally missed your "supposed" friends talking about registering.

    So as to bib swaps.

    First why no waiting lists. You should have noticed that only exists at a few of the thousands of races out there. Is that strange or is there a reason, ya think?"

    4 out of 5 people on a waiting list will have found another race before you find them a match on a runner who is willing to give up a bib. That dozens or hundreds of unanswered phone calls emails.

    The people who have found another race won't even give you the courtesy of letting you know that they are no longer interested. So then you are left with a decision as to whether to skip them so a number doesn't go begging. As soon as you move to next person on the list, sometimes you will promise them the bib and the earlier waiting list person contacts you expecting a bib.

    A runner that doesn't get what "THEY" want will not be satisfied by anything you tell them. You become scum to most of them as you have ruined their year. They say "Surely, there must be room for ONE more". .

    Of the people who are still interested, they will call and email every other day asking what the status is. If you ignore the message they will get pissed at you, if you answer you have no other life.

    Then, you have those who give up their number only to back out of the deal because "my legs feels better".

    All this for no extra money for the event. Ah, you say you wouldn't mind their being a small extra fee. Next time you handle registration for a race, see if the extra fee bit will salvage the registration volunteers that say "screw it, I'm gone, Don't call me next year." This is "the" most sucky part of helping at races.

    And this is with only the activity of perhaps 10 percent of the bibs that might be available for swap. I can not imagine what it would be like at an activity level beyond that. Make the process formal so people think about swapping a bib they know they won't use and the RD Will be the only one left on race committee and you can see where that takes this.

    Many don't realize that the no-show rate at sellout or most distance races is as high as it is. It's anywhere from 15 to 30%. If you think that is bogus, just go look at the number of finishers versus the stated registration numbers. A few high profile races like Boston and New York don't fit the mold.

    Some races try to do this, but they don't do it a 2nd year. Once bitten, twice shy.

    [edited to add]

    I run 25 to 30 races a year myself and I register early and miss a few. It comes with the territory.

    Volunteers are worth more to races than a bus load of runners. Volunteers come first.



    [http://This message has been edited by NHSenior (edited Oct-31-2007).|http://This message has been edited by NHSenior (edited Oct-31-2007).]

  • aye3 Rookie 35 posts since
    Jun 20, 2005

    Victor and others:
    INTEGRITY? Where's integrity in charging $50 for a local 5K or $100 for a marathon? Where's the integrity in charging people entry fees while they can't run due to injuries?

    With all the money that big races generate, they should put a bigger effort on transfering bibs. t's a pain in the ***, but I think we deserve the added effort. Yes, it does cost alot of money and volunteers to put on a race like NYC, CHI, BOS and so on... but we pay an arm and a leg ($100) just to run. For most of us, it cost more to register than a new pair of shoes. Something is not right there. Multiply the 100 bucks by the entries, add advertising, TV media... and so on.

    here are some quotes:
    1) " the 2007 running of the ING New York City Marathon will clear $27 million in revenue (more than $1 million a mile) and nearly a $6 million profit."

    2) Race director for NYC salary = $260,000, Boston = $210,000.

    Injuries happen and things come up. It's pretty ridiculous that I couldn't register for Chicago (Oct) the day after Boston Marathon (April) because it's sold out. To make matters worse I feel I belong there, not because i come up with the 100 dollars, but because i'm a legit runner. I train hard to run a sub 2:50 marathon all year round and deal with running injuries, yet I can't register because some old shlap wants to walk a 5 hour marathon.

    I live in california, so to run any of those races I need to travel, take time off work and most importantly stay healthy. I'm sorry, but it's too difficult to predict 6 months ahead of time.
    I'm in the same shoes as plenty of people. They should provide a small window where it should be allowed to transfer bibs. Make it a 1 week thing. Just make it available.

    I think we forget why we love this sport.  It's athletics on it's simplest, most natural form.  So remind me again why we pay 40 bucks for a local 5k?

  • tribuddha Rookie 98 posts since
    Nov 1, 2007

    aye3,

    So why do you pay $40 for a local 5k? As a runner, you have a choice which races to run. You don't have to run the $40 5k. Running at it's purest is just going out the door and running. No start lines, no finish lines, no courses, just running.

    No one deserves to run a race no matter how fast they run. Chicago sold out in 2006 so when I wanted to run it in 2007, I knew to register early.

    It's easy from the runner side to say all races should allow transfers but most of us never volunteer let alone direct races. It takes a lot of work and we should be grateful that there are people who organize races so we can compete.

  • kirby111 Legend 402 posts since
    Sep 22, 2007

    There are over 30,000 runners there. The race directors and officials will not care to look at each individual bib and person. You should be fine

  • VictorN Rookie 395 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    aye3,

    If you don't want to pay $40 for a 5k and $100 for a marathon then don't. I can point you to a few 5Ks that cost only $10 (recent price rise) and a marathon that costs $27. All are great races. You would have to travel, however.

    No, you can't predict what will happen in 6 months. I injured myself prior to one marathon a few years back and consequently couldn't run it. I didn't cry about not getting a refund. I knew that was a possibility when I signed up for it. Many, many years ago dnf'd when work got in the way of training for another marathon. Not only had I paid for registration, but I had booked hotels and plane tickets. I went anyway, even without proper training, and took a shot at it. It didn't work out, but no need for tears, that's life. Deal with it. If you don't like the risks involved in training for marathons, take up golf. If you don't like the refund policy or the fee charged, find another marathon. But don't agree to a policy with the expectation that you will violate it if you find it inconvenient.

    As to the salaries earned by the race directors, they earn every penny. CEOs of enterprises of similar complexity earn more than that. I wouldn't be surprised if they could earn far more in the corporate world. If you don't like the money they make, then don't support them and race elsewhere. Seems pretty simple to me.

    Should they have an bib exchange policy? It would be nice, but NHSenior points out some good reasons why they might avoid it. If I ever register for NYC again, I'll know when I press that "submit" button what the risks are. If I sprain my ankle, overtrain, or get hit by a car, I won't blame the NYC registration policy. I'll simply adjust my training schedule and find another race to enter...well, maybe not if I get hit by a car.

    Oh, but wait, I'm sorry, I just realized that you are not just some old shlap. You are a legit runner that can run a 2:50. You are ENTITLED. Just show up on race day and let them know that you are legit.

    Victor

  • Brian McN Amateur 240 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I agree with NHSenior on this. I know for the Mt Washington Road Race if you are caught bib swapping and they find out you both will be banned from the race indefinately.
    Also as we line up in the first corral in New York this weekend it's really going to cause a problem if someone in front of us is starting at 7:30's.

  • Twocat Legend 404 posts since
    Oct 12, 2006

    Creating a system to allow bib swapping should not be that difficult.  In fact I am very surprised Active.com has not done it to compliment their existing registration system.  It is true that it makes no sense for ONE race to do it.  As NHSenior points out for a single race it is very problematic.  But, for race after race all over the country?  That is entirely different.  Races can easily offer the option (through the on line registration system) to let people put up their bid numbers for sale.  If purchased they would get a full refund.  The buyer would pay the full entry fee plus something to make the endeavor worthwhile to Active for writing the software.  My guess is that it would work a bit like eBay.  Once a bib goes up the first to click "Buy it now" gets it.  The whole thing would be simple to use and (when amortized across all races) cheap to create.  Then Active.com would send the final list to the race director a few days before the race just as they do now with regular registrations for the vast majority of races that do not sell out.

  • joev9 Rookie 474 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by aye3:

    To make matters worse I feel I belong there, not because i come up with the 100 dollars, but because i'm a legit runner. I train hard to run a sub 2:50 marathon all year round and deal with running injuries, yet I can't register because some old shlap wants to walk a 5 hour marathon.


     



    oh wait, i misunderstood. i didn't realize you were a legit runner. that changes everything. you should be able to do whatever you want since you can run so fast.

    seriously, STFU and take your overinflated ego to some other website where they give a damn. arrogant a-holes like you have no place in this sport.  it's just running!!!

  • Richard21142 Legend 769 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by joev9:

    oh wait, i misunderstood. i didn't realize you were a legit runner. that changes everything.


     



    aye3 has a valid point.  If you are going to call it a "race", then there should be room for the faster runners.  Otherwise, simply call it a "fun run with elites".  Note that the NY marathon has qualifying times for better runners.

  • joev9 Rookie 474 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by Richard21142:

    aye3 has a valid point. If you are going to call it a "race", then there should be room for the faster runners. Otherwise, simply call it a "fun run with elites". Note that the NY marathon has qualifying times for better runners.


     



    i don't disagree that it is a race and that the FAST runners should be comped, feted, and start up front and all that but a 2:50 marathon is in no way, shape, or form "elite." i have friends pushing 40 that can run around 2:30 and have much, much smaller egos than aye3!!!

    Let's review aye3's quote:

    "It's pretty ridiculous that I couldn't register for Chicago (Oct) the day after Boston Marathon (April) because it's sold out. To make matters worse I feel I belong there, not because i come up with the 100 dollars, but because i'm a legit runner. I train hard to run a sub 2:50 marathon all year round and deal with running injuries, yet I can't register because some old shlap wants to walk a 5 hour marathon."

    So, let's see a 2:50 at Chicago wouldn't have even placed in the top 100 men and would have beaten the 14th woman. Let's even assume that maybe aye3 is an age group ace, his 2:50 would have placed 5th in 40-49 and 4th in 50-59. Yeah, I can see his point, he's legit and really would have had an impact in this race. It's a travesty that he wasn't allowed to get in...

    I have absolutely no use for people with attitudes like aye3.  No matter how fast you are or think you are, there is always someone faster.  Running should be for you good health (physical and mental) not for giving you the impression that you are entitled to anything because you run faster than someone else.

  • MilebyMile Amateur 307 posts since
    Aug 15, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by joev9:

    i don't disagree that it is a race and that the FAST runners should be comped, feted, and start up front and all that but a 2:50 marathon is in no way, shape, or form "elite." i have friends pushing 40 that can run around 2:30 and have much, much smaller egos than aye3!!!

    Let's review aye3's quote:

    "It's pretty ridiculous that I couldn't register for Chicago (Oct) the day after Boston Marathon (April) because it's sold out. To make matters worse I feel I belong there, not because i come up with the 100 dollars, but because i'm a legit runner. I train hard to run a sub 2:50 marathon all year round and deal with running injuries, yet I can't register because some old shlap wants to walk a 5 hour marathon."

    So, let's see a 2:50 at Chicago wouldn't have even placed in the top 100 men and would have beaten the 14th woman. Let's even assume that maybe aye3 is an age group ace, his 2:50 would have placed 5th in 40-49 and 4th in 50-59. Yeah, I can see his point, he's legit and really would have had an impact in this race. It's a travesty that he wasn't allowed to get in...

    I have absolutely no use for people with attitudes like aye3. No matter how fast you are or think you are, there is always someone faster. Running should be for you good health (physical and mental) not for giving you the impression that you are entitled to anything because you run faster than someone else.


     



    Relax Joe have a drink its Friday!

  • joev9 Rookie 474 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Sounds like a great idea.  Sorry for going off...

  • JPGarland Legend 776 posts since
    Dec 7, 2007

    In 2006, 2:48:10 was 302 overall in NY and 3rd in 50-54 (where it was 2:48:19 gun time).  That was me.  Do I deserve special treatment?  I wouldn't say so as an open athlete, but as an age-group award winner, I'd try to get into a race.  But if I were kept out, I wouldn't complain about the field being filled with 5 hour runners.  Nor would I want someone else to be kept/thrown out to get in.

    NY has qualifying standards, using either a full or a half-marathon.  They're really not that tough.  There are a number of other ways of getting guaranteed entry.  But you have to register, and pay your fee, by May 1.  There's then a lottery for the remaining slots.  London also has automatic entry times, although they only apply to UK residents.  I don't know about Chicago.

  • rbbmoose Pro 324 posts since
    Oct 12, 2007

    quote:


    Originally posted by jpgarland:

    In 2006, 2:48:10 was 302 overall in NY and 3rd in 50-54 (where it was 2:48:19 gun time). That was me. Do I deserve special treatment? I wouldn't say so as an open athlete, but as an age-group award winner, I'd try to get into a race. But if I were kept out, I wouldn't complain about the field being filled with 5 hour runners. Nor would I want someone else to be kept/thrown out to get in.

    NY has qualifying standards, using either a full or a half-marathon. They're really not that tough. There are a number of other ways of getting guaranteed entry. But you have to register, and pay your fee, by May 1. There's then a lottery for the remaining slots. London also has automatic entry times, although they only apply to UK residents. I don't know about Chicago.


     




    JP- I'm of similar vintage (a bit younger) and a tiny bit faster times... I did try to get into Master's elite for Philly but turned down - no big deal - there are enough races around that I don't mind registering a bit early or paying the entry fees. - I do think the London Marathon is a bit obnoxious - my wife loves London so I wanted to do it - but because I was a yankee my times wouldn't get me in (and I didn't win their lottery)... I guess they may still be a bit PO'ed about that Boston Tea Party and the whoopin' we put on them back in 1776.

    IMHO, it would be nice if there were some semi-elite-old-guy-races - but I'll settle for satisfaction of beating most other fossils and a number of the youngsters..


    Ray

  • aye3 Rookie 35 posts since
    Jun 20, 2005

    Wait a minute!  I'm not saying that I'M a great runner.. 2:50 is NOT fast, I know that.   BUT, it's frustrating to see people walk most of the race while other people who run regularly sit and watch.  Mostly because they were running/training for another race during the registration period. 

    I'm not vain at all, just speaking the truth. There is a huge GAP between 2:45 and 3:30 (marathon). The bottleneck affect happens b/t 3:30 and 4:30. Why is that? Because they're is a lack of people running those times? Or is it the fact that those people who run under 3:30 run more often and can't register early because they're racing somewhere else?
    or how about those "charity" companies. They hold plenty of bib's for them.... but you have to raise $3,000 to run. If you don't it comes out of YOUR pocket (yes, they charge you). So if your trying to do the "right" thing, but can only raise $1,000, they charge you $2,000. What? $1,000 is not enough?

    BTW...Qualifying time for NYC is 2:55. If there is a lottery system or a 1st come basis thing. It should be divided into 2 groups, sub 3:30 and over 3:30. That way at least there's a better chance to get in. I don't see a major problem with switching bib's 2 weeks before the race (allowed time period). It's all computerized anyway.

    It all boils down to MONEY. I agree race directors should get paid well, they deserve the money. But NYC made a surplus of 6 million dollars!!!! They have 4 execs. making 200,000 or more and still 6 million. Yet, we pay $100 entry fee, and a $10 for a bus that you practically HAVE TO TAKE. Come on, and with all this you can't change bib's. Hell.... create a job for that purpose alone. I can't believe people sit here DEFENDING the cost of racing. I would like to see NYC or another big race say ... "let's LOWER race entry fees a bit, because we made too much money".

    Are you a legit runner? Do you run because you love it? Do you train everyday? through injuries? Do you try your best come race day? Then, yes you are... and you should be pissed off at people waving at the crowd and walking at a RACE.

    I race because I love it. I do find local races that cost $15 or so, but I would like to be able to race more, YOU and ME, BOTH deserve that right as RUNNERS. But, i'm forced to pay the $40 for a 5k.

    Road running has become a big money maker, a popular pastime for people and fundraisers. The more popular races are getting the more WE pay. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

    BTW... i'm sorry i'm not rich enough to register for 10 races at once and not make a few of them. That just sounds pretty silly, if you ask me.

    AND... I'M NOT CRYING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, I JUST DON'T THINK IT'S COOL TO SIT BACK AND LET BIG CORPORATIONS RUIN OUR SPORT.

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