Thursday, February 10, 2011

Races, Fees, and The City

In case you didn't have time to scour the NY times today, check out this thought provoking article about the NY Police attempting to recoup their expenses for helping put on the NYC Marathon.

As a municipal bureaucrat responsible for administrating utility services myself, I feel the police's pain when they claim they are not being fully reimbursed for all of their costs. In essence, NY Road Runners makes a mint by using city workers for less than cost because the City pays police salaries, not the Road Runners. On the other hand, Mary Wittenberg has an excellent point when she says that any fee for service needs to be predictable, otherwise the whole business of putting on a race breaks down.

I think this article also highlights why marathons are the only running event that matter anymore in America. It is the only part of the sport that is profitable. Maybe the NCAA should consider scrapping XC and holding a marathon instead. The public can participate to make it profitable. Discuss.


P Murph said...

Prior to the Penn Relays 20K, Penn Relays hosted a marathon. I want to hug whomever made that change, because Groves would have made me run the marathon every year otherwise.

I would contend that marathons are not the only part of the sport that is profitable; There are plenty of large races of various distances that are profitable. The thing they seem to have in common is that they are huge and shut down large swaths of their host cities... and have large entry fees. Now it looks like they're about to get larger.

Charlie Ban said...

If I run another marathon, it won't be an urban one. I decided as much before Chicago... and Marine Corps... but that course management overhead just seemed like a real albatross. Part of it came from my time fielding questions and complaints for the Pittsburgh Marathon where people seemed more inconvenienced than inspired by the race (that being a self-selected population that took the time to write, mind you). Part comes from not caring too much about the number of spectators. The rest, I suppose, just comes from wanting a low-key experience and not feeling compelled to run Boston or New York (though Run for Your Life certainly made me think about it).

Ancient Chinese Secret said...

Charlie, you should consider to run Wineglass Marathon in Corning NY. The race is low key, cheap, and net downhill.

As I mention on 10/04's blog, '... I think GRCr should consider to run Wineglass marathon, it only takes 2:30-nish to win, prizes are cash award, a HUGE Ass bottle champagne, medallion, shirts, and free entry for the following year...'

I really love that race.

Charlie Ban said...

Thanks, but no thanks. I don't really want to run another marathon at this point.