Full disclosure....I was not one of the guys who went the wrong way. I am also a member of the Central Mass Striders, which as of right now, has won the race's team competition and thus the Grand Prix for 2014.
[11-04-2014 - Update: The race is awarding $1250 to each of the two guys who went off course.
There were only 2 runners misdirected, not 3. The third runner had dropped out before that point. It is good to see them turn it around quickly and try to right the wrong with the monetary piece at least.
[11-03-2014 - What I am hoping is that I can update this block here of the blog with a nice update possibly later about how the
As most people who read this blog know, this past weekend
“We don’t really know what happened,” race director XXXXXX said. “The turnaround was marked. I placed a sign out there this morning. With all the wind today it very easily could have blown over, but it was up later. We need to interview the volunteers that were out in that area.
I am in no way putting the blame on the RD solely at all and I know she has to be proud of the rest of the day's events (and rightfully so)...as it really was a fun race and I know 99.99% of the people there had a great time (Would I go back? Absolutely. Would I recommend this race to people? Absolutely.)... But if there were no course marshalls standing at that turn around (or no sign), then someone is to blame and it's not terribly important to know who...but what is important is for them to admit the mistake, take ownership of it, and do the right thing...
Now, if the above statement from the paper is true, then it HAD to have blown down. But did the volunteers also blow down? Did the
I heard a LOT of other people complain about there being turns with no one around. I had it happen a couple times. We got to a fork or intersection and no signs visible. We put up our hands a couple times and had a policeman finally point in the right spot. One section (around mile 20-21) was confusing and I had to take ownership of looking up both ways and trying to figure it out, before finally seeing the right way to take (because there was fortunately a visible mile marker up the road a ways)...No one was there directing people. I had a couple people talk about this part of the course too. To me, in a race that charges over 100 bucks to 'late registrants' (admittedly), and who bids to hold a championship race, you have got to have people at ever intersection. Again, I get it....volunteers....they are braving the cold...they are there for nothing...they are there for ME...I shouldn't be bashing them....well...two things... 1) Sometimes they WEREN'T there for the me..or for the other runners...and 2) I was there braving the cold and paid to be there. So were the race leaders. When volunteers aren't where they are supposed to be, I don't blame the volunteers. I blame the race. The people that are supposed to make sure there are volunteers there. When you run a race and attend an event like this, you should have faith and assurance that you will not be cheated out of money or place or experience simply because someone missed their queue. This shouldn't happen. I'm not only picking on this race solely here...I'm talking about every 'big' championship race that has this happen. I understand in a local 5k organized for the elementary school or church, if there's not someone at every turn...but in a major area marathon and championship race with things on the line... it shouldn't happen. There was a big XC race in New England last year as well that had a pretty big screw up with course direction. Embarrassing. We as runners shouldn't be chastised for criticizing race directors and organizers for screwing up. It's almost taboo to mention it sometimes...you get the 'oh they're doing hard work and putting in long hours and the volunteers are out there giving their time... etc.'... that's just a plain bad excuse. If I am doing a job or spearheading a project and I can't do it right, I shouldn't be doing it. And if someone wants to criticize me for it, that's their right.
All this ranting above aside, here are my thoughts on this.... You can NOT shoehorn people into results. It's an argument I've surprisingly heard before and it's frankly nonsensical. When people go the wrong way, regardless of who's fault it is, and they don't finish the same course as everyone else, how on Earth can you put them into the results? Would these
Now what do you do? First, you give those
Lastly, I have 3 pet peeves... 1) People who are naturally just always late 2) People who tune out when you are talking and don't pay attention 3) Being told I should just come out to USATF meetings or run for office when I voice an opinion on a matter...as if we aren't allowed to say anything about it or offer feedback, suggestions, and opinions unless we hold an official spot on a board or attend meetings.
Ok that's it. I'm done. Let the bashing of me commence...