Saturday, February 21, 2009

Steal This Race

I was not pre-meditated, but I stole a 5K today. I decided to take it easy and check out the NYRR Al Gordon / Snowflake 5K on my home turf of Prospect Park. I was just going to see if it was as much as a mess as I thought it would be.

Yes, there were people at Grand Army Plaza at 8am looking for number pick up in Winsor Terrace. Yes, there were about a thoundsand people walking towards the starting line with their baggage two minutes before the start. But, Yes, almost 4,000 people finishe the race and I bet they all had a good time. Welcome to Prospect Park. This was probabally the biggest race the Park ever saw.

Do I sound pissed? A little. I sit on the Board of Directors of the Prospect Park Track Club. Back in the early Fall the Road Runners Club announced that they would be moving some of their races to the outer boroughs. (Outer borough, sound like lesser borough.) OK. They also said that the would work with local clubs when they do this. OK. Well, when the Road Runners Club announced that this race would be in Prospect Park, they did it without even making eye contact with The Prospect Park Track Club (the local club). We not only were not consulted, we were not informed.

At the time this freaked us out. It was not a matter of them needing our permission or anything. But our big winter event was scheduled for Sunday, February 22, THE NEXT DAY. If we would have known, we would have move our race, or something!! It has turned out that all our worrying was totally unnecessary. Race registration for the Cherry Tree is way a head of last year, or any year. Who would figure that 4,000 people running on Saturday would have no effect on a Sunday race on the same course.

So, I met my friend Rich at the start and we talked about the Cherry Tree for 5 Kilometers. We also got to say "See ya tomorrow" to lots of friends. I even gave him a hug when the Brightroom people were there, so maybe I will steal a pictures too.

Anyway. Does the elephant ask the fly if it wants to get wet when it takes a bath? Does McDonald's consult with the hot dog vendor when it opens a new store? Why should we expect The New York Road Runners Club to ask the Prospect Park Track Club what it thinks before it comes to "our" park?


  1. You ask, "Why should we expect The New York Road Runners Club to ask the Prospect Park Track Club what it thinks before it comes to "our" park?".

    Because NYRR has a club council and pretends that they work with the local clubs. According to your post, they even said they would. Instead they scheduled this race without consulting you, and knew they did bad--they couldn't even look you in the eye.

    The difference between your situation and the fast food industry is that McDonald's doesn't put the local hotdog vendor on their board to make it look as if they're some kind of a coalition. In reality, you're just extras in a drama which they control.

  2. Janet.

    Do you live in Brooklyn? Do you run in Prospect Park? Can you join the PPTC and run for the executive board next year?

  3. I do live in Brooklyn and run in Prospect Park, and wish my life allowed for promising to be at meetings in the evenings. It doesn't.

    But I should have joined PPTC long ago and will navigate over to your site now.


You do not have to be nice!


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