Posted by Glenn Ribotsky on November 29, 2004 at 07:53:26:
In Reply to: Re: Bandit Running Question posted by Fred Rigolini on November 28, 2004 at 19:58:45:
I have understood the points of view of some who run as bandits to protest a badly organized race or an overly expensive one, but I think there are better methods of addressing those issues.
Bandits make things harder for everyone--the race organizers, the volunteers, the scorers. They are, essentially, taking something for nothing, and putting an additional burden on those who already have enough responsibility.
While I have not done this recently, in the past I have gone so far as to make sure that any bandits I knew by name were not only banned from the race in question, but banned from any other events put on by the sponsoring organization, and I have reported them to the local branch of USAT&F (which was TAC at the time), which is still ostensibly the governing body for the sport in the US. If such bandit is a USAT&F member, the issue may be investigated, and if there are enough corroborating witnesses/evidence, the person's membership, and eligibility for benefits (i.e., insurance, championship consideration/prizes, etc.) can be revoked. It may not be as serious a situation as cheating in a race or using illegal performance enhancers, but the issue is considered when brought up by credible witnesses.
The degree to which this is an issue depends on the race, of course; some have an unofficial policy of allowing bandits, and don't make an issue of it--that's their choice, but I bet their staffs wish they'd consider making it easier.
I do think that entrance fees being too high ( a common claim of bandits) is an issue in road racing, and more effort should go towards finding ways to keep them reasonable, such as getting better sponsorship arrangements for cost coverage. Easier in these economic times to say than do, of course.
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