Posted by Glenn Ribotsky on June 01, 2005 at 07:13:01:
--and perhaps it's been there in previous years, but I was perusing the Pepper Martin application and noticed that in the waiver/disclaimer section, the final sentence, printed in capital letter, was "THE RACE DIRECTORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY ENTRY".
I find this troublesome, as there is no explanation there of what grounds would be used to reject an entry.
I wrote a very extensive piece for UltramarathonWorld.com some years back, regarding a Long Island ultra put on by Greater Long Island Running Club that had a similar disclaimer addition. In it, referencing USAT&F regulations, RRCA regulations, and others, I indicated that there were really only a very narrow range of supportable reasons for rejecting a race entry. Among these are previous substantiated claims of cheating (i.e, not running full course and claiming a prize, etc.) at that race or at other races, refusal to pay the entry fee, or refusal to provide informatin on the entry that was necessary for the proper administration of the race (such as age). Health concerns, such as the impression of race directors that an individual was "too heavy" to do the race safely, were not in the end supportable--a well-planned race has an indemnification in its waiver about health concerns, and we have all had the experience of being surprised at a race by a seemingly heavy individual who ran faster than we thought s/he could. (And, many races do have Clydesdale/Athena divisions; these are not always the province of the merely tall.)
I further pointed out that a race that uses public property (as Pepper Martin does) must abide by the rules of the municipality that controls the property, and this usually includes anti-discrimination law, further limiting the grounds for rejecting an entry.
I then went on to advise any race including such language on its literature to demarcate specific reasons for rejecting an entry or face possible legal problems, or eliminate such langauge entirely.
My contentiousness with the Pepper Martin/Kiwanis Club/Democratic Party regarding this race has a long and well-known history, but it is true that the race has gotten better about adhering to race standards and practices in recent years, though in fairness it should be pointed out much of this came about not only after many years of advocacy but after some political weight was brought in. I have no idea at this point why this langauge is in the waiver, but given the history, I am suspicious, inasmuch as the race has rejected entries on shaky grounds--the Orazem brothers were banned many years back, for example, for listing figures from reggae music as veterans they were running in memory of. I found this entirely unsupportable, akin to telling someone they could not run due to skin color or ethnic background, and said (and wrote) so loudly; there was apparently some consternation when local politcos got involved (it certainly was not a way to endear the race or its associated personages to the voters) and today, as far as I know, the Orazems are allowed at the race (and I'm sure I'll hear about it if this is not the case--ain't no one more happy out here than someone given the chance to tell me I'm wrong).
What I'm wondering about is why this statement should be on the application now, and on what grounds an entry could conceivably rejected--as a race that has been steadily losing participants over the years, one would think that Pepper Martin should not be rejecting ANY entries. Does anyone have any ideas or information about this? Thank you.
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