Drama fo yo mama!

Remember the Circle the City 10k race report I posted last week? Well, since then there has been a groundswell of drama that came out of that race. It’s too much to bore you with, but I’ll summarize what has taken place in the past couple weeks.

1. During the awards ceremony the 3rd place finisher was called up for 2nd place and given a $750 check instead of the $500 check. The second place finisher called him on that, but 3rd place simply walked away, cashed the check and was never really heard from again. Oh…the 3rd place finisher was Morrocan (there is a reason I’m pointing that out).

2. The 4th place finisher disputed his time because he thinks that the clock stopped for him when they wanded his bib chip at the end of the chute instead of when he crossed the finish line. The chip is actually read by a wire over the finish and the wand is simply to deactivate your chip. He didn’t understand this.

3. Furthermore, 4th place felt that since he ran under the “beat the clock” times, that he would be awarded prize money, but the race director stands firm that the prize money was only for the top 3 runners, no matter who else beats the clock. Oh, the 4th place finisher is also Morrocan. 

So, normally I like to keep my politics and antagonism out of my running and I’ve done a decent job for the past two years, despite a couple opportunities to open my mouth. However, something happened recently in relation to the above numbered points that pushed me over the edge. Basically, after all this frustration took place, the race director posted another “beat the clock” race on his website, but this time posted the following prize money qualifications….

Must beat the clock to win cash awards.
Policies

* US Citizen, with fluent speaking and understanding of the English language.
* Only one cash award per top three places if times are met.
* Checks will be mailed within two weeks of the event.
* In case of disputes of finish times and / or finish place, the decision will be determined by the KLA Finish Line Judges – NO EXCEPTIONS.

These qualifications were then reposted on the flamebait site letsrun.com and a flurry of anger and frustration began, which also turned into a number of people expressing their frustration in emails to the race director, which prompted him to take down the qualifications and eliminate the Beat The Clock portion of the race. No apology, no nothing. Just took it down “after reviewing the qualifications”.

That’s not good enough for me, so I crossed my self-created line of politics and running and sent this email off to the race director. We’ll see if anything happens, though I doubt he cares about my perspective on this. Regardless, I’m sticking to my resolve on this one. Fortunately there are plenty of other races in this city to be a part of.

—————–

Dear Ken Long and Organization,

My name is Scott Spitz and I have run a number of your races, usually placing in some form or another and winning at least one. I was also the runner who supplied you with the photo of the 4th place runner at the Circle The City race.

I am writing you to express my disapproval of your recent qualifying requirements posted on your website, which you promptly took down after the qualifications went public on a national message board and you undoubtedly received a lot of flack. What surprises me is that you merely took the qualifications down instead of offering an apology for what the qualifications implied. This leads me to believe that you took the posting down only to protect your business interests and not because you feel the qualifications were unfair or racist in any way.

It is obvious to us in the know that you made these new qualifications based on the confusions and frustrations that mounted after the Circle The City race. With that in mind, I want to clarify my own opinions on those confusions.

1. The 4th place finisher is absolutely wrong to debate his finishing time. I understand that he thought his time was read when they wanded him at the end of the chute instead of right at the finish line, which is why I sent you his finishing photo (to keep a level of integrity in the sport), but his dispute is merely one of misunderstanding and not manipulation. Furthermore, his misunderstanding was not in any part connected to his less than fluent English, of which he speaks decently.

2. It was fundamentally wrong of the 3rd place finisher to take the 2nd place prize THAT YOU GAVE HIM and then cash the check when he knew it was not rightfully his. However, although accidents do happen, you shouldn’t attempt to punish an entire group of runners who “don’t speak fluent English” in part due to your lack of attention with the finishing times and prize monies. Again, the 3rd place runners decision to keep the money given to him, although completely wrong, was not due to his ability to speak English.

3. Because I am a frequent racer I understand the “beat the clock” requirements and how they are normally conducted, but I do sympathize with the 4th place finisher who expected prize money for finishing the race beneath the clock times you posted. Nowhere on your site did you state that you needed to be in the top three to win any prize money, which leads anyone to interpret your qualifications as the 4th place runner did. Even I held a bit of confusion as to whether everyone finishing under the clock times would receive prize money….and I speak quite fluent English. Aaron Moody of Indy Racers held a similar beat the clock race and made absolutely clear in a detailed email that only the first place finisher would receive the prize money, however, you did not make that statement and therefore you can not fault others for their interpretation of your vague qualifications.

Finally, if you had let this whole incident blow over or dealt with it privately and marked it up to a learning experience, then you could be forgiven for your frustrations, however, not only did you choose to passively aggressively make this incident public, but you also attempted to punish an entire group of non-citizens who don’t “speak fluent English” by posting exclusive and downright racist prize qualifications. How exactly did you plan on testing the winners of your races to make sure they spoke fluent English anyways?

So, for the reasons I clarified above and your decision to post (then remove) what amounts to a blatantly racist statement I am going to be boycotting your races from here on out, unless you choose to publicly apologize on your site for the qualifications you posted, instead of simply taking them down and hoping not many people saw them. Furthermore, I will be letting those in the running community know of this and encourage them to do the same. I hope you come to understand your mistakes and make the right decision.

Sincerely,

Scott Spitz

——————

Log

10 miles at Marathon Goal Pace – Finished in 54:20, which is actually 5:26 per mile. A little faster than I wanted to go, however, it made me realize just how hard running 5:30 for an entire marathon would actually be. I don’t know where I came up with that pace anyways, because it amounts to a 2:24 marathon and not the 2:25 – 2:30 time I was shooting for anyways. Regardless, my body is officially rocked right now.

Diet

Breakfast – Grape nuts w/ soymilk, almonds, raisins, flax seeds…coffee
Lunch – Homemade lasagna! Tortilla chips, water
Dinner – Too tired to cook – grape nuts again, chocolate soymilk, spinach and mushroom salad
Snacks – coffee, water, post-run smoothie (thanks michelle!) and NO FAIR FOOD!

Music

Burnt By The Sun – The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good 

My name is Scott Spitz and I have run a number of your races, usually placing in some form or another and winning at least one. I was also the runner who supplied you with the photo of the 4th place runner at the Circle The City race.
I am writing you to express my disapproval of your recent qualifying requirements posted on your website, which you promptly took down after the qualifications went public on a national message board and you undoubtedly received a lot of flack. What surprises me is that you merely took the qualifications down instead of offering an apology for what the qualifications implied. This leads me to believe that you took the posting down only to protect your business interests and not because you feel the qualifications were unfair or racist in any way.
It is obvious to us in the know that you made these new qualifications based on the confusions and frustrations that mounted after the Circle The City race. With that in mind, I want to clarify my own opinions on those confusions.
1. The 4th place finisher is absolutely wrong to debate his finishing time. I understand that he thought his time was read when they wanded him at the end of the chute instead of right at the finish line, which is why I sent you his finishing photo (to keep a level of integrity in the sport), but his dispute is merely one of misunderstanding and not manipulation. Furthermore, his misunderstanding was not in any part connected to his less than fluent English, of which he speaks decently.
2. It was fundamentally wrong of the 3rd place finisher to take the 2nd place prize THAT YOU GAVE HIM and then cash the check when he knew it was not rightfully his. However, although accidents do happen, you shouldn’t attempt to punish an entire group of runners who “don’t speak fluent English” in part due to your lack of attention with the finishing times and prize monies. Again, the 3rd place runners decision to keep the money given to him, although completely wrong, was not due to his ability to speak English.
3. Because I am a frequent racer I understand the “beat the clock” requirements and how they are normally conducted, but I do sympathize with the 4th place finisher who expected prize money for finishing the race beneath the clock times you posted. Nowhere on your site did you state that you needed to be in the top three to win any prize money, which leads anyone to interpret your qualifications as the 4th place runner did. Even I held a bit of confusion as to whether everyone finishing under the clock times would receive prize money….and I speak quite fluent English. Aaron Moody of Indy Racers held a similar beat the clock race and made absolutely clear in a detailed email that only the first place finisher would receive the prize money, however, you did not make that statement and therefore you can not fault others for their interpretation of your vague qualifications.
Finally, if you had let this whole incident blow over or dealt with it privately and marked it up to a learning experience, then you could be forgiven for your frustrations, however, not only did you choose to passively aggressively make this incident public, but you also attempted to punish an entire group of non-citizens who don’t “speak fluent English” by posting exclusive and downright racist prize qualifications. How exactly did you plan on testing the winners of your races to make sure they spoke fluent English anyways?
So, for the reasons I clarified above and your decision to post (then remove) what amounts to a blatantly racist statement I am going to be boycotting your races from here on out, unless you choose to publicly apologize on your site for the qualifications you posted, instead of simply taking them down and hoping not many people saw them. Furthermore, I will be letting those in the running community know of this and encourage them to do the same. I hope you come to understand your mistakes and make the right decision.
Sincerely,
Scott Dear Ken Long and Organization,
My name is Scott Spitz and I have run a number of your races, usually placing in some form or another and winning at least one. I was also the runner who supplied you with the photo of the 4th place runner at the Circle The City race.
I am writing you to express my disapproval of your recent qualifying requirements posted on your website, which you promptly took down after the qualifications went public on a national message board and you undoubtedly received a lot of flack. What surprises me is that you merely took the qualifications down instead of offering an apology for what the qualifications implied. This leads me to believe that you took the posting down only to protect your business interests and not because you feel the qualifications were unfair or racist in any way.
It is obvious to us in the know that you made these new qualifications based on the confusions and frustrations that mounted after the Circle The City race. With that in mind, I want to clarify my own opinions on those confusions.
1. The 4th place finisher is absolutely wrong to debate his finishing time. I understand that he thought his time was read when they wanded him at the end of the chute instead of right at the finish line, which is why I sent you his finishing photo (to keep a level of integrity in the sport), but his dispute is merely one of misunderstanding and not manipulation. Furthermore, his misunderstanding was not in any part connected to his less than fluent English, of which he speaks decently.
2. It was fundamentally wrong of the 3rd place finisher to take the 2nd place prize THAT YOU GAVE HIM and then cash the check when he knew it was not rightfully his. However, although accidents do happen, you shouldn’t attempt to punish an entire group of runners who “don’t speak fluent English” in part due to your lack of attention with the finishing times and prize monies. Again, the 3rd place runners decision to keep the money given to him, although completely wrong, was not due to his ability to speak English.
3. Because I am a frequent racer I understand the “beat the clock” requirements and how they are normally conducted, but I do sympathize with the 4th place finisher who expected prize money for finishing the race beneath the clock times you posted. Nowhere on your site did you state that you needed to be in the top three to win any prize money, which leads anyone to interpret your qualifications as the 4th place runner did. Even I held a bit of confusion as to whether everyone finishing under the clock times would receive prize money….and I speak quite fluent English. Aaron Moody of Indy Racers held a similar beat the clock race and made absolutely clear in a detailed email that only the first place finisher would receive the prize money, however, you did not make that statement and therefore you can not fault others for their interpretation of your vague qualifications.
Finally, if you had let this whole incident blow over or dealt with it privately and marked it up to a learning experience, then you could be forgiven for your frustrations, however, not only did you choose to passively aggressively make this incident public, but you also attempted to punish an entire group of non-citizens who don’t “speak fluent English” by posting exclusive and downright racist prize qualifications. How exactly did you plan on testing the winners of your races to make sure they spoke fluent English anyways?
So, for the reasons I clarified above and your decision to post (then remove) what amounts to a blatantly racist statement I am going to be boycotting your races from here on out, unless you choose to publicly apologize on your site for the qualifications you posted, instead of simply taking them down and hoping not many people saw them. Furthermore, I will be letting those in the running community know of this and encourage them to do the same. I hope you come to understand your mistakes and make the right decision.
Sincerely,
Scott Spitz
Advertisements

4 responses to “Drama fo yo mama!

  1. looks like u won’t be running indy races for a while :)….that is such BS by KLA tho ur totally right. way to take a stand man!

    • Nah, this guy only has a few races I would run anyways. No big deal. Plus, some of the races I really liked of his went to other race directors anyways.

  2. You did the right thing man.

    • It seemed like the only sensible thing to do the more I thought about it. Plus, I can do without the Irish Fest 5k and Polar Bear run every year. Hell, pretty soon he’ll piss off all his clients and the races will go to Don or Brian anyways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s