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2762 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2007 8:00 PM by NHSenior RSS Go to original post 1 2 Previous Next
  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Dec 20, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by rbbmoose:

    Mary - I know you are an expert on everything and a good friend of Bill Rogers etc. - but maybe you should get your facts straight...

    ....
    ''We began this program in a small way in 1990, and then took it to the form you see it in today in 1995,'' said race director Guy Morse. ''For the first five years of the program, there were just two or three charities.


    ''We raised about n million in total in the first five years. Beginning in 1995, we really increased the charity program in advance of the 100th running of the Marathon


     


    I didn't look it up, so OK, my memory is off a few years and what I remember as being 20+ years ago was only 17; it's still nothing new. ( and I still have my doubts that there were no charity runners before 1990; there have been "under the table" numbers given out before - just because the program wasn't official until 1990, isn't a guarantee here weren't any before that time).

    There is no question that the majority of runners qualify now and that the smaller percentage of runners who raise money for local charities (and help subsidize the qualified runners entries) are a positive and welcomed addition to the field. Our running clubs get requests from some of these charities asking if we have runners who want to participate, and some of them only get 5-10 numbers so we are not talking a whole lot of people for the smaller local groups. Frankly, I would like to see those smaller charites expanded and limit the number of qualified runners if it came to needing to cut back numbers.




    [http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Nov-05-2007).|http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Nov-05-2007).]

  • rbbmoose Pro 324 posts since
    Oct 12, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Dec 20, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:
    There is no question that the majority of runners qualify now and that the smaller percentage of runners who raise money for local charities (and help subsidize the qualified runners entries) are a positive and welcomed addition to the field. Our running clubs get requests from some of these charities asking if we have runners who want to participate, and some of them only get 5-10 numbers so we are not talking a whole lot of people for the smaller local groups. Frankly, I would like to see those smaller charites expanded and limit the number of qualified runners if it came to needing to cut back numbers.

    [/B]


     



    Yup... 80s, 90s. Same thing. Whatever. Lets kick out more of those stupid runners so we can get in more charity bucks.

    Waddle on, Mary.

    Ray

    [http://This message has been edited by rbbmoose (edited Nov-05-2007).|http://This message has been edited by rbbmoose (edited Nov-05-2007).]

  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Nov 5, 2007 7:40 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:

    . Frankly, I would like to see those smaller charites expanded and limit the number of qualified runners if it came to needing to cut back numbers.


     



    Frankly Mary, I would not like to see that. The length of time now required to have the course open is beyond the time most volunteers are willing to give.

    Now someone will chime in that I've just insulted slower runners.

    I did nothing of the sort, I simple said:

    "The length of time now required to have the course open is beyond the time most volunteers are willing to give."

    and that is starting to become a real "this is getting to be too much" issue for many RDs. Cleaning up is the lousiest part of managing a race and there are now fewer people willing to stay to do it. Try asking volunteers to just show up to do the clean up and you might as well talk to the wall.

    Volunteers will give perhaps half a day counting their travel, BUT they want that to be early and not straddle the mid day.

    After the headphone thing gets solved, this will be next major issue for sure and the slower runners will castigate anyone who tries to point out what a problem it is.

    There a number of quality races that now set time limits and specify in the waiver that people will be asked to leave the course after a certain time. I think you will see more of that.

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Nov 5, 2007 8:05 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    I'm not talking by thousands; I'm talking maybe 100 or so more for the little local charities.  What's 100 or so more when you have over 20,000 already running Boston?  It wouldn't keep the course open any longer than it is already.  Frankly I'd much rather see a few more runners who actually give something back to the local communities even if they don't run fast enough to qualify than some of the whiners who would begrudge any numbers at all being given out to charity.  I have been out on the course as a volunteeer many years, so I know exacly what it takes and how long it requires.

    Running for charity has been going on for a long time, and that's a good thing.  In fact the Boston Marathon director, Dave McGillivray, has a long history of running for charity himself.  The most memorable was almost 30 years ago in 1978 (I did look up that one not trusting myself to remember exactly what year     ) he ran acros the country to raise money for the Jimmy Fund (now DanaFarber).  Repeated the run again in 2004, but not being quite so young now, did it as a relay with a bunch of friends. You (NHSenior) probably know some of them.

  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Nov 5, 2007 8:29 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:

    Repeated the run again in 2004, but not being quite so young now, did it as a relay with a bunch of friends. You (NHSenior) probably know some of them.


     



    Sure do, and they certainly appreciate volunteers. Dave has one close friend that I'd never meet personally though I do know him by sight. I worked double duty parking this year at Mt Washington both before and after the race. Dave's friend Josh ran down instead of riding down and he went by me at the bottom of the road where I was slowing down cars which were still going too fast as they got to the tent area.. I was back up the road toward the hill away from all the other volunteers.

    2 or 3 minutes after he went by, Josh came back specifically to thank me for helping. It's good people that do that sort of thing.

  • dg12002 Expert 614 posts since
    Aug 26, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    20. Nov 5, 2007 8:32 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    I would never support a so called charity organization unless it adhered to the Better Business Bureau's Standards for Charity Accountability. Susan G Komen does.

    Last year I researched the Sheriff charity, Police thingy, Firemans dilly, etc... till I saw that single digits make it to the actual work.

  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Dec 20, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by JimR:

    Do you know exactly how many charity bibs are currently distributed and do you actually have a number of how many bibs you feel they should send out in total?

    [http://This message has been edited by JimR (edited Nov-05-2007).|http://This message has been edited by JimR (edited Nov-05-2007).]


     



    I'd be interested in knowing how many qualification by pass numbers that are given to running clubs is in the total.



    [http://This message has been edited by NHSenior (edited Nov-05-2007).|http://This message has been edited by NHSenior (edited Nov-05-2007).]

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    23. Dec 20, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    JimR and NH Senior

    I don't know for sure exactly how many there are in either category now.  A few years back when I was stuffing envelopes (after the 20+ which turned out to be only 17, I'm not going to guess exactly which year      )  about 10% was the answer given for the charities, and I have seen the number elsewhere as well. Personally I think 10% is fine, but another 1-2%, if it were some of the smaller local charities that are really hurting for funds would be fine with me.  The big charities like Team in Training, the Cancer Society, breast cancer research, etc. do big work and certainly should be supported, but they are also big enough to be readily visible at many marathons and have other big fund drives as well, unlike some of the smaller local charities that do good on a smaller scale and also need support.

    I would only be guessing about the clubs. I belong to 2 Massachusetts clubs that have members that live in the towns the marathon passes through, and that have been very active in a number of activities for years, not only in racing and putting on races ourselves, but in providing volunteers for BAA events. A few years back the BAA sent out questionnaires asking about club history, participation in the running community, events sponsored, number of runners, number who did have BQ times, and how many volunteers the club provided for all BAA events. All of those count, probably especially the last one, and we get 10 numbers. I've heard of other clubs that get 5 numbers. I was also told at the time that requests for numbers were being received from "clubs" that were just a few people calling themselves a club soley for the purpose of obtaining numbers for Boston. Those "clubs" were screened out.

    I don't know how many total nonqualified numbers there are, and it wouldn't surprise me if the BAA didn't make it known. I do know that certainly the majority of runners qualify because the first wave has half the runners and they are all qualified and there are also age group qualified runners in the second wave. I don't know what the breakdown is for that second wave of qualified vs. qualification-waved runners.  You could always send an email to the BAA and see if they reply.


    [http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Nov-06-2007).|http://This message has been edited by maryt (edited Nov-06-2007).]

  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Nov 6, 2007 8:14 AM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:
    [B]JimR and NH Senior

    .  You could always send an email to the BAA and see if they reply. Re: The relationship between racing and charities




    I'd hear that the total number of non-qualifying numbers was about 10% as well, but the number of "club" numbers never really mattered to me. It does now.

    Given my current feeling for the BAA, it wouldn't be good form for me to contact those I know inside the BAA. It would not be fair to them (the contacts) to pursue my questions that way.

    I'd done some favors for the BAA outside the Boston Marathon and asked them for a bypass number one year so that I didn't use up one of the numbers given to my then home club. (Like you I belong to more than one running club) I do so much volunteering that I'd get a number from the club if I applied.

    Anyway, the number I got from the BAA was based on my most recent Boston finish time which was a BQ itself. So I was seeded in the 8000 pen.

    Everything changed for me in 2006 when the BAA elected to to put the financial screws to the volunteers getting the by pass numbers by increasing the fee dramatically.

    Charging the charity runners an enormous entry fee has no effect on that charity runner because based on the general amount of money a charity runner has to raise, the large fee can be offset by just raising a tad more money.

    What's really got me upset about the huge fee increase for club volunteers is that these volunteers are the major cog in making Boston possible.

    There are many reasons the huge fee charged the volunteers is a hypocritical thing for the BAA.

    First, the clubs are given the numbers only after they agree that they will use some very specific guidelines for selecting who in the clubs get the numbers. Those guideline just reek with "runners must be a regular volunteer and be very giving to the running community'"

    Why is that hypocritical of the BAA?

    The club volunteers are the most active people in the sport and are the single largest group of people who stage and/or help manage road races. The huge increase in the number of road races is the absolute birthing and nurturing ground which provides the runners available and willing to do these marathons.

    That means the clubs indirectly and directly and most assuredly, provide many of the runners who run Boston or volunteer for Boston.

    These volunteers are indeed most often the glue that keeps these club together and are often the glue that helps manage countless charity events that are not club managed. Without these seasoned club volunteers, thousands of local and region charities could not hold their fund raising events.

    The BAA has rewarded these club runners with a number, but the huge fee just has to be an insult. I can't imagine what basis the BAA justifies the huge fee for the volunteers. The BAA can't need the money because that can't be a large number to them.

    (That's why I'd like to know the actual number so I could do some math an publicly hold the amount under the nose of the BAA.)

    I could be wrong but at the BAA I think it is just unthinking arrogance as they are impressed with themselves and the Boston Marathon.

    To be sure Boston is "THE" event in the world and the BAA wields that like a sword.

    What's made this all worse is that my home running club did not react to this form of non-criminal extortion and take the pile of numbers and send them back last year with a "no thanks" note. They wouldn't even send a letter of protest about the fee increase for fear of retaliation.

    I am very saddened by the lack of backbone of people in groups. You take otherwise good normal people and put them in groups and their spine turns to jelly. They worry about offending every fringe runner for fear of the emotional blackmail that is issued at the drop of a hat by the messenger shooters. This all has caused me to open my closed eyes and rethink why I've been doing what I've been doing.

    (Of course, one could say that I'm attempting to use emotional blackmail on the BAA. Why would I avoid a tool that seems to work so well in this century?)

    About the only bright thing on the horizon is that some and probably more events are getting some backbone regarding use of safety hazards. Right now the inmates (headphone users)  are running the asylum but that's going to change.

  • maryt091 Pro 781 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Nov 6, 2007 5:49 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    NHSenior

    I too was appalled at the increase in entry fee this year. If it had been me, I would have sent the things back as well after I opened the package and saw the huge price increase, but there were enough people in my club that wanted them despite the price, I didn't do anything. There was a fear protest might result in no club qualification-waived applications the next year.

    At the time I couldn't run at all, was trying to schedule knee surgery and didn't know if I would ever be able to run again, so my mind was on other things as well.

    I used to know Marja Bakker well enough that I wouldn't mind talking with her personally about the increase, but she's gone now, and I am just marginally acquainted with some of the other folks - not well enough to give them a call. I met Guy Morse maybe once across a table, and Dave McGillivray a couple of times, but not enough to call him even a slight acquaintence. I emailed Barbara Sicuso, Director of Registration, the first year the price went up - I had helped her stuff envelopes a few years back - and her response then was that there is extra effort involved in sorting out the club freebies and who deserves how many, who uses them, etc. and the extra amount that year was $25, so not that huge a deal. I've really lose touch with her, however, and the people I know now who still know people in the BAA weren't interested in pushing the issue last year.

    I do know someone who knows someone who ran across America with  Dave, so maybe it's worth trying an early roundabout inquiry to see if I can find out and if need be protest the plans are for this year without making trouble for my club..

  • NHSenior Legend 387 posts since
    Nov 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Nov 6, 2007 8:00 PM (in response to JimR022)
    Re: The relationship between racing and charities

    quote:


    Originally posted by maryt:

    NHSenior

    and the extra amount that year was .5, so not that huge a deal. I've really lose touch with her, however, and the people I know now who still know people in the BAA weren't interested in pushing the issue last year.

    I do know someone who knows someone who ran across America with Dave, so maybe it's worth trying an early roundabout inquiry to see if I can find out and if need be protest the plans are for this year without making trouble for my club..


     



    Mary I wouldn't dream of putting your club on the spot and I don't think approaching Dave M would be productive. Dave M may be the RD for Boston but his relationship there is bit different than some think. Most RDs run the whole show where Dave, who manages other events too, will be the first to tell you all he wants to do is "put out traffic cones".

    It's almost like he taken the best parts of this sport/profession and shed the less fun parts. He's a pretty sharp character so I guess that it is no surprise that he would position himself where he is most effective for the BAA and for himself for what he is lucky enough to do for a living.

    I'm not surprised that some of the BAA folks didn't want to get into it last year. Shafting the volunteers with almost a $125 dollar increase over the already high entry fee in one year doesn't provided any kind of a base I would want to get in public pissing contests over if I was the BAA. (The $250 total was if the entry was sent in after a certain date, the early date was $200.

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