Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When I Rule The World... [Running/ Racing Edition]

My mom and I will often play a game... Well, it's more like something we say... When we are talking about something we dislike or do not prefer, we will say something like "When I rule the world _____________" and talk about how we would do something differently or eradicate the "bad thing" from our hypothetical perfect world.

Pondering what I would change if I could...

I was thinking about it the other day and I had some "issues" I wanted to address when it comes to the running/ racing world. Obviously they will need a little explaining, but hopefully they will make sense in the end.

When I Rule The World...

-Race Pictures Will Be Included In Registration Costs.

I have only run one race where pictures from the race were "free" (I put free in quotations because I would assume the photographers somehow got paid), so I know this is NOT currently the norm, but in my world, these would be included as part of your registration fee. Let me be clear, I understand that race registrations are expensive. I also understand that photographers who are on the course are not there as volunteers and would like need to get paid for their work.

I think a great compromise would be for races to increase their registration fee by a small amount (say an additional $5 per participant) and allow runners to select maybe three comped photos. They would be digital downloads, so there wouldn't be any overhead in printing and shipping. The race could even specify pictures - maybe one from the course, one finish line, and one post-race (if they have "finisher" pictures in front of a race banner), but the runner would be able to select the ones they like best.

In today's society where we all love to share our accomplishments with the world (please tell me it isn't just me who loves to share what I am doing with my friends, family, followers, and complete strangers), who wouldn't want "free" race pictures?!

-Self Seeding Corrals (or corrals in general) Will Work Correctly

I was actually talking about this a couple weeks ago in regards to runDisney races (The notice was released that those running the Disneyland Half needed to submit a proof of time to be seeded correctly. In the past this was something done at the time of registration, but as a way to streamline the registration process, runDisney is now having you submit your proof at a later date.), but this is and can be an issue at ANY race.

In case you aren't familiar with what I am talking about, please let me explain. Some races will have corrals. These corrals are normally based on your estimated finish time. This means the faster runners are up front while the slower runners or walker are in the back (most of the time you need to supply a proof of time over a certain distance so the race organizers know you aren't just "saying" you run said speed, but you can actually run at that pace for a substantial distance and have done so recently). Some races do not have corrals and will suggest self seeding - meaning participants line up where they believe they should go.


The issue is, with human nature, most folks don't want to be in the back of the pack. Even if I am a 10 minute mile runner, I would tend to line up with the 9 or 9:30 minute mile runners (either because I hope to run that faster pace, because I want to give myself a little wiggle room if their is a course limit, because I don't want to have "that many" people start in front of me, etc). This means folks often times line up improperly.

Not only is this annoying, it is UNSAFE! Lining up incorrectly causes faster runners who end up behind slower runners (or walkers) to have to bob and weave - sometimes causing them to have to go off course (stepping in potholes, ruts, loose gravel, etc). Talk about a waste of energy.

**Please hear me - I am NOT saying that slower runners or walkers are "less than" faster runners. Anyone who shows up on race day should be celebrated - no matter what pace! I am saying, as a safety precaution, if everyone lines up based on their pace things would run smoother (and safer).**

-Fuel Packaging Will Be Made Of Biodegradable Materials


I can't tell you how many gel packages I see along my running routes, just thrown on the ground. I understand during a race runners will just toss their trash (come on guys, can't you at least throw it on the ground NEAR a trash can so the volunteers don't have to search for your garbage like it's an Easter egg hunt?!), but I even see it just on the roads and trails I run daily.

Obviously I would MUCH prefer people to not be lazy and keep their trash with them (I mean, honestly, we only have this one planet, let's treat it with as much respect as possible or we will end up living like Wall*E before we know it), but I doubt that is a possibility, so my next line of thinking is let's make the wrappers made of something that will breakdown quicker.

Now I am NOT a scientist in the slightest, so I will be the first to admit I don't know what it takes to make things more environmentally friendly (but in my world there would be plenty of brainiacs who could figure this stuff out). I'm sure with having a food substance inside of the package it can't be too biodegradable or else the gel/ fuel would eat away at the packaging before it is even used, but in a perfect "Carlee World" they'd at least be a little more GREEN.

When YOU Rule The World, What Would You Change?


SD Mom said...

I would want all race shirts to be awesome fitting tanks like the ones at the PHX marathon!

Unknown said...

Girl - spot on with all of these!

Mine would be that women's cut fit NORMALLY - I feel like women's cut means "Go up 3 sizes so it actually fits." A few brands have this figured out, but at a lot of races, I'll just end up taking a men's small so I don't have to deal with fidgeting with a women's cut just to make it "fit"!

Cailyn said...

I love the idea of race photos being included!

If I ruled the running world, I'd have RunDisney stop using Active for race registration. The site seems to cause chaos during every other registration process!

Unknown said...

Race photo idea is genius! I have only ever bought my photos from the New York Marathon but otherwise, the cost is too high and doesn't seem worth it.
Also wish all races came with mens & women's size tshirts. None of this unisex garbage. Unisex just means it fits men and women end up with oversized tshirts that look terrible.

Unknown said...

Race photo idea is genius! I have only ever bought my photos from the New York Marathon but otherwise, the cost is too high and doesn't seem worth it.
Also wish all races came with mens & women's size tshirts. None of this unisex garbage. Unisex just means it fits men and women end up with oversized tshirts that look terrible.

Meridith said...

Carlee for the ruler of the WORLD! I'll be your campaign manager. Seriously though, these are all great ideas. And for the record, we just did a 5k this weekend and if we could have been any further back from the start, we probably would have been in the next town. We were exactly where we needed to be. That said, some people in front of us weren't. THAT said, it was a 5k so it wasn't a huge deal and we just passed people and felt pretty good about it. ;)

Also, free race pictures. YES. Let's get that going. Please. The only race I've done with complimentary pics was the Biggest Loser. And there were exactly zero pictures of me. WHOMP.