SI Advance Memorial Day Run

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Posted by Glenn Ribotsky on June 02, 2004 at 10:08:07:

The following was just sent to the race committee at the Advance, as well as to certain other selected members of the running community.

I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the Advance Memorial Day Run went this year. For the first time (perhaps ever), there were several aspects--registration efficency, speed of scoring, awards ceremony, refreshment variety and amount--that were up to contemporary professional road race standards. (The situation looked even better when viewed in comparison with previous editions of the race, though that's more a function of the problems in previous editions . . .but I digress.)

Perhaps most importantly, there seems to have been some softening in the "we'll do whatever we want no matter what anyone thinks--and whether we're accurate or not" attitude prevalent in years past. I had mentioned previously that last year's outcry over the cancelled awards ceremony and the slipshod way the Staten Island Athletic Club/Triple Crown Awards dinner was handled may have resulted in some begrudging admission that things had to become more runner and community friendly. Exhibit A: When a problem arose with the female 40-44 age group awards and with Masters Female Team standings--due to Karen McNamara having been input as a male, rather than female--I approached the race committee about having this rectified, and was NOT summarily blown off, as has happened in similar situations in the past. The situation was checked, and the error found and corrected.

We can only hope this represents an enduring change in the way things will be handled, and that the race committee will build on this in the future. It now remains to be seen if there will be positive carry over with the planning/organization of the Triple Crown award process, and if the Advance will solicit the running community's input in this regard. Let's see if there can be continued inclusivity without arrogance.

--Glenn Ribotsky

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