Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I May Be Slow ...

... but I can honestly say that the only material thing that I've ever run for was to get the sweatshirt that the then-hp Houston Marathon was gave away as a finishing item.

I think I was running the 2004 Bridgefest 5K in Kingwood when I saw the finishing sweatshirt - tells you in 10 years how "old school" I am -- for the race a few weeks before.

Mind you, I had finished my second half, but I wanted to wear that accomplishment.

Just the same when I was seeking a training race for my first half marathon in November 2003 and Seven Hills Running Club's Ken Johnson told me via e-mail that if I didn't think that I could finish their half in a certain time that I shouldn't run it.

I wanted to prove Ken wrong -- and I did.  (But, I should note that, we're very good friends today.)

So what drives me to the point of writing?

I'm an administrator on The Woodlands Marathon's Facebook page as its media relations coordinator.  Therefore, with notifications on, I get e-mailed on most messages and comments.

I wasn't able to be at last night's Course and Medal Review at Fleet Feet Sports in Shenandoah, but there was one comment that drove me to here.

It was, "The half finisher medals were very disappointing".

The individual is registered for the half marathon.  I have a copy of the database (so I could format some data so Willie could wish everybody registered to date Happy Birthday in the Constant Contact mailing.)

I'd almost like to give the person their money back out of my own pocket.

Is that we run for today?

Medals and material things are the most important?

If they are, that's such a shame that you have to rest your laurels on those.

There's so much more to our sport -- sport(s) for my multisport friends.

I really felt bad for Willie - as well as anybody associated in producing the Marathon - because apparently for this one person ... it is all about the bling.

Nothing anybody  else does -- seemingly (and a bit tongue in cheek too) -- really seems to matter.

I have a race to announce Sunday -- and a bridge to cross there myself.

We had a challenge with our shuttle bus strategy at the Toughest 10K Galveston a couple of weeks ago.

We believed that we had enough vehicles to transport runners, but because of a long light - and one other issue, they weren't able to make the return trips as fast as we anticipated.

One runner who is participating in the three-race Series posted in a comment on Facebook -- after we profusely apologized (including walking through a return line to board a bus back to the parking lot and looking this individual right in the eye and saying that we would get it taken care of) -- that it was a "total failure".

All I would say is that total would mean that we were negligent in all things.

That simply wasn't the case.

However, on the Facebook page of the last race of the Series, here they were -- shortly after the "total failure" comment -- posting pictures that they are a "bling whore" and couldn't wait for the next race.


They'll be running on Sunday -- in another Series that I announce for.

I've declined to announce a race because of people participating before.  (I rarely see two of the people and by happenstance bumped into the third a month ago.)

It won't happen on Sunday nor in two weeks, but it is people like this who - and they don't realize it -- are an encouragement to me to do something else with my time.

I love what I get a chance to do.  I take great pride in it.

As you've seen me say many times, my job is make sure people have the information they need on race morning, that we get people lined up and get the race started on-time -- and it is done professionally.

Everything else is gravy -- well, and edification of the participant's performance that day.

1 comment:

Melissa Balcom said...

I completely agree with everything you said in this blog post! I came across this blog post because my brother-in-law Greg Witherow commented on another post. My son Talon is actually collecting race medals to donate to the Snowdrop Foundation on 12/31/14 when his Uncle Greg runs in the Ultra 55. Talon lost a good friend to cancer in May and hopes to honor him with this donation and with running a lap with Greg at the Ultra 55. He has collected hundreds of medals so far. If you have any you'd like to donate, we'd love to pick them up! Please feel free to email me BTW, I've run the Texas Half Marathon a few times and heard your daughter she sing. She is so talented and such a beautiful girl!