I don’t normally talk bad about races or even really write about something that I know is controversial but this has me MORE than fired up.
I should mention before starting my little rant that I used to work for National Marathon [what Rock N Roll USA was before it got bought by Competitor Group]. I don’t have anything against them or the race and am on good terms with everyone I used to work with, but that doesn’t mean I find it any less insane when I found out you HAD to go to DC to pick up your race packet for this race.
Up until today I was under the impression that EVERY single participant in this race had to make their way down to the Armory in DC to pick up their packet. THIS IS INSANE for many reasons but most of all because it’s clear that the reason for this is so that they can make more $$ off of people coming to the expo.
I live about an hour outside of DC and have three little children. On a good day with no traffic it takes about an hour to get to the Armory – on a day with traffic and that is almost every day in this lovely DC metro area – it can take up to 2 hours. Nevermind the fact that I live in this area. If you don’t live close to here this means that you have to leave work early or take off work completely in order to make your way to DC to pick up your packet before the expo closes at 8pm.
After I saw this I decided I was not running the race. There was no way I was spending hours of my day on Friday dragging two kids down to DC while Kid #1 was in school to then make my way into a an overcrowded expo and get my 1/2 race packet. I know for a fact that I wasn’t going to buy anything at this race expo because I NEVER do. I don’t get sucked into thinking there are good deals there that I can’t find elsewhere.
I should also note that I didn’t pay for my entry to this race. As a former Ambassador for National Marathon I was given an entry to this years race. I should probably also note that by writing this post I am probably destroying any chance of being an Ambassador for any Competitor Group races, but it’s the chance I’m willing to take to get my point across and stand up for us *little people* who just love to run and don’t make a million dollars a year.
Today I get my final instructions email for the race, that I was sure I was not running, till I saw that there were NEW rules for someone picking up your race packet.
Excitement ensued – maybe I will run the half if someone can pick up my packet……
Then I read this:
Due to heavy downtown traffic congestion during the work week you will be allowed to pick up your friend’s packet at the Expo under these guidelines:
- You may pick up your packet and one friend’s for no extra cost. If you pick up additional packets you will be charged $20 per packet. You can pick up a maximum of four packets, including your own.
- You must have a copy of the photo ID and the original signed Confirmation Sheet from each person whose packet you are getting. Download Confirmation Sheet
- Once you get to the Expo, bring these items directly to the Solutions table to receive your packets and pay for service (if applicable).
As if the country wasn’t just in a recession now we have to pay $20 to pick up someone else’s packet for them? Well you might say – you can get one packet for FREE. Oh how nice of them. If my husband was registered this means I could pick his up and not have to pay – again – oh how nice of them.
The thing that really gets me is I have worked races - many races and I know that its actually easier having one person pick up a bunch of packets[within reason].
The benefits of picking up other packets mean that less people are at the expo – so it’s less crowded. Less crowded means that less people drove down to the armory and thus didn’t cause even more traffic congestion than there already is. More cars = more pollution.
Funny how they tell you to take mass transit on race day to avoid congestion but don’t suggest this for the expo.
This whole thing isn’t about making sure that someone is not using someone else’s bib much like they do at the Boston Marathon. It’s about making money. It’s a very sad sad day when races no longer CARE about the runners running their races and only see us people who open up our wallets to stuff their pockets.
So sound off…..what do you think about this $20 packet pick up fee? What if anything would you say to Competitor Group if they were reading this blog post??? Have you run a Competitor race? Did you like it? Will you keep running their races?