When half the streets in town are blocked by the National Guard in Humvees, it should come as no surprise all the trails in the county are also closed. Still, I expected the East Boulder Trail to be open given its high ground. But then it does lead down to the raging Boulder Creek after three miles. So I decided to run Prospect Road leading east from my house to County Line Road. This made for a 6 mile run. And the hard-packed dirt surface emulates the Boulder Back Roads I’ll be running on in next Sunday’s marathon. I ran into Keith who was returning from the same course. Later, Steve pinged us to text that he also ran this course, taking it a bit further on Pipit to the flood waters.
After well-deserved naps, our relay team met up last night on Keith’s front porch to eat and drink our relay supplies. Somehow this led to tequila shots which I’m fairly certain were not part of our relay provisions. I’ve come to terms with my disappointment in the relay cancellation. In light of the suffering of some of our neighbors from the unprecedented flooding, everyone seems to have come to terms with the letdown. For the less empathetic of us, there was tequila.
We are less sympathetic to the plight of Paul, the Roads Less Traveled race director. He refuses to refund even partial registration fees. We paid $1100 as a team for registration, plus another $300 for volunteers. I should say paid volunteers, but the race director doesn’t use that oxymoron as a descriptive in his emails. I understand Paul would have some expenses to line up porta-potties, etc. But I know these vounteers didn’t work Friday. Their inability to get past the rock slide is why the race was cancelled. Never mind they could have driven a back route along Hwy 285 and Guanella Pass. These mercenaries weren’t as committed as us runners. I won’t dwell on this. It’s not constructive. I do think Paul could at least promote a discount for next year’s event. What are your thoughts on race directors who don’t provide even partial refunds? Or on “paid” volunteers?
I totally get your frustration–my experience today on a simple 5K that was cut short by course marshals that didn’t even know their own course frustrated me. I can imagine how much more magnified that must be for a large event such as the relay that was canceled for you.
I think that people who don’t put in the time and effort to train the way we do will never understand (for example the rental car company employees from your last post). They really don’t have a clue how much dedication and hard work it takes to run a race. The course marshals didn’t understand why I was so upset–it’s just a 5K race, and 0.6 mile. For me it wasn’t just about a race that was cut short *today*. It was about the let down of the 9 weeks I spent training for it. Again, I can only imagine how much that’s magnified for you and your team.
That being said, a race director at that level should definitely get it. And my guess is it’s not even really about the money for you all. If he were so dead set on NOT sending out refunds, he should do something like make a donation to the local Red Cross from the funds he received that won’t be used as intended. I’m surprised that he’s surprised that runners would be so upset about the principle of the matter. To a person, every runner I’ve ever met is quite disciplined, and usually has their ducks in a row. And principles *matter*, especially to those with the discipline to honor them.
On paid volunteers… I’m inclined to think that those who would purely volunteer would do so out of some altruistic motivation–love of the sport or whatever. If the volunteers start getting paid (conceivably very little pay), I think it might bring in a population of people who are there for the “easy” money. I could only surmise the quality of the even would suffer. But that’s pure conjecture, and quite possibly flawed logic.
I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for taking the time.
Ed Mahoney said:
Nice points. One of my teammates was super upset over the training she put into this because she’d never in her life trained so hard.