Posted by The Flash on March 14, 2007 at 16:41:10:
In Reply to: A New Point posted by ryan woerner on March 14, 2007 at 13:56:16:
Ryan's right that some of the top dogs are of Hispanic and African descent. Many of these top runners are indeed from varius such as Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, Russia as well as many Latin American Countries. In their respective homelands running is a prized national sport and promising runners are cultivated through rigorous training to win World Championshiips and gold medals. Anybody see Rocky IV? Anyway loads any of these runners immigrate to this area and consequently clean house in the NYRR circuit. Often the prize money won (the pittance the NYRR gives out of their enormous coffer, but afterall Mary Wittenberg needs those new pair of pumps,baby!).... Sorry, I digress. Where was I? Ah,yes the pittance once doled out (sometimes weeks later) is sent back to their family or spent for their stay here. Local clubs like Westchester, Los Compadres, West Side Runners, Warren Street and to a lesser extent Central PArk track Club all use these runners, give them free membership, buy them uniforms, and often help them get situated in this country in NYRR races. These runners are some of the best and routinely win the races up in the park. Are these people ringers? Yes. Is it fair to other clubs? Not really, but powerhouse clubs like the aforementioned are going to win regardless with huge team rosters. Often more than one hundred runers will run in any given race for these clubs. Nobody else can put up those numbers and consequential depth in talent and age groups. The service that these clubs do for the runners themselves and their families surpasses the need for strict fariness. When these runners fully immigrate to the U.S through the help of the elite club community , they ultimatley procur citizneship and often run for our national team. An obvious example would be the 2004 marathon silver medalist Meb Kefleghzi who is Eritrean but was educated here in CA. and now is one of our top representatives on the world stage. What a positive mutual benefit for those coming to our shores and our country in general!
I have heard some grumbling throughout the island when foreign born runners come to S.I races and "take away" prize money from local runners. I personally think it wonderful that our races can draw people from all over the world and tha we have world class talent to compete against and marvel at as spectators. If we want the money we'll have to train harder and to run faster to get it . Maybe that will be some motivation to get cracking and drop a 5:00 in the last mile of Ronaldson! I wish! -Flash
P.S I'am glad people are using this forum more. It's a great tool.
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