Posted by Glenn Ribotsky on June 11, 2005 at 08:28:41:
In Reply to: Re: Perhaps I did not notice this before-- posted by ernie beach on June 11, 2005 at 08:01:42:
I would think that living in "a society willing to sue for just about anything" would precisely be the reason that the language in question should be stricken from the application; it does open the race up to a potential lawsuit, and since at least one of the race directors is, after all, a judge and lawyer, the logic of indicating one may be rejected from the race "for any reason" escapes me, for reasons already documented. I would think this language is far more likely to threaten the survivial of the race than to help it.
As far as the rest, I would also think that any race looking to be successful has to at least give some credence or consideration to criticisms about it or problems that arise. The fact remains that my "badgering", which involved mostly taking the issue public, if one looks at the record of the Advance or the SI Register, only came about after years about of attempting to engage the Pepper Martin principals through letters and phone calls, and having never received an answer or acknowledgment--not one. (It's actually in the range of 15 years, Ernie, and I have the letters/documents to prove it. One of the petitions asking for better race administration, signed by over 100 runners from SI, dates from 1992.) I am not the only entity who did not get a response--the Metropolitan Atheltics Congress will confirm it never got answers to its inquirieis as to why the race indicated it was TAC-certified when they had no record of that.
The idea that a race would so long consistently ignore such entreaties--no matter the source--implies that the race committee has had little concern for the race as competitive running event, and looks upon the race as serving other other purposes (I and others have suggested it is more about local political agendas).
As I've mentioned, it took unfortuante political pressure, including contacting local Democratic party leader John Lavelle and Assembly Majority leader Sheldon Silver, to get the race committee to make changes. Again, no one was told of these changes, to my knowledge--it was just noticed they were there after the contacts were made. (I imagine there was some discussion about costing the party and its candidates votes.)
And again, I did give the race credit when it did make these changes (see this site's archives).
It still does not answer why this language should be in the application, though, where I cannot imagine it is doing any good, and may do the race harm.
Despite what Ernie or many others may think, I am not looking for the demise of this race, or any others. What I and NYRROA try to do is ensure the best possible race experience for the people who should come first--the runners. If runners' needs are not at the top of the agenda, why put on a race to begin with? One could just as easily have a charity walk, or another event (and some organizations, of course, do). This does mean, however, that at times race practices need to be questioned and criticized. And it should not matter from what quarters that comes--there's been far too much smirking about me, and not enough examining the issues.
Over the years a lot of people have come up to me and indicated that they agree with at least some of the points I've brought up about problems with races. Most have said this to me in confidence, though, and have indicated they are reluctant to go public with their opinions--they seem to fear some sort of retribution. Perhaps that feeling is why such application language as is being discussed here needs to be removed.
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