The Staten Island Runner

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October 31, 1999  

NYRROArs   by Glenn Ribotsky

An ongoing commentary on issues in the Staten Island and metropolitan road racing community, complied through the auspices of the New York Road Race OmbudsAssociation.


The column this week is somewhat truncated, due to ongoing research that I had originally thought would be done by now, but is taking a somewhat longer time to complete than anticipated. Rather than skip a fortnight, I figured I could at least report on one more item in the on-line-world-is-rapidly-rendering-the print-world-obsolete progression.

Much consternation was caused a couple of weeks back when the Staten Island Advance, in its coverage of the Staten Island half-marathon, failed to include in its published list of Island finishers a fair number of local residents who completed the race. Meanwhile, the Staten Island Running Web Site managed to get all Island finishers (save one) on its listings of results by requesting from the electronic scoring program of the New York Road Runners Club a breakdown of all finishers with a 103 zip code prefix. (The one person not picked up was Sam Corollo, due to a typo in his zip code listing, and he was added to the electronic listing when he e-mailed webmaster Richie Re about the oversight.) Among those left out of the Advance’s listings were such notable local runners as Angela Conte, Gail Marino, and Tony Celentano, all age-group stalwarts the running reporters at the Advance should be more than familiar with. When I asked reporter Derek Alvez (who wrote the article about the race for the Advance) why so many well-known locals had been missed, he originally claimed that the Advance editorial department relies upon local finishers calling in their times if they want to be listed. When I pointed out that there were runners listed who definitely had not called in (Winnie Ng, for example—she indicated to me she didn’t even know she could call in), he then claimed that many of the missed names were not on the original finishers’ list he was given. Well, maybe, but a complete list was available later at the race, and it is curious that arrangements could not have been made to forward a copy to the Advance later in the day, either from the race site or from the NYRRC, or why Advance staff could not have thought to request the listing in the same way that the SI Running Web Site did. (I find it hard to believe that the Advance’s deadline for a Monday edition, which is late Sunday evening, is so tight that they had to go with that “original finishers’ list”.) Moreover, the complete race results were available early Monday morning from the NYRRC’s own web site—wouldn’t there have been enough time for additions to later printings? It all just seems part-and-parcel of the continued lessening of the role of the traditional print media in reporting/archiving any kind of news (and of the Advance’s tendency to be slipshod in its completeness and accuracy). One wonders if this is part of the reason that, out of all the races held on Staten Island, the one that holds out in refusing to release its results to the Staten Island Running Web Site before they are printed in the paper is the Advance’s own Memorial Day 4-mile race.

Glenn Ribotsky
Chair, New York Road Race OmbudsAssociation
84 Vogel Loop
Staten Island, NY 10314