I suppose it was in the woods somewhere, out at one of the ultras, but I no longer have the love or respect for NYRR. Oh, I admire that they put on one of the greatest marathons - my favourite marathon indeed! - but where is the love of everything?
When I went to pick up my number for admittedly, a MUCH smaller race, Cajun Coyote 100 Miler, the RD joked around with me while wearing a stuffed alligator hat. Volunteers gave me Mardi-Gras beads, joked about the cherry vodka-blue-marshmallow drinks they'd be serving later. It was fun.
When I went to pick up my number for a recent 15k in Central Park, I got SCREAMED at my NYRR volunteers when in the registration room. Screamed. I was putting on my Dtag while waiting in line - apparently, I could wait there doing nothing, but not put on my Dtag. I left the room. I did not want to deal with this.
NYRR raised the price of the NYC Half-Marathon to $117. Assuming I don't have to travel for work, I plan on running a 50 miler the following week for $69. Pay almost twice to run nearly a quarter of the distance? Yes, the course is fast. Yes, they have to shut streets down. Yes, they have to pay cops and security, and yes, don't forget appearance fees for top runners. But really? Do I really want to?
Honestly - I've gone back and forth a bunch of times in my head. I don't have to travel. (Though I generally don't fly for anything less than 50miles.) It's close. It's easy. Lots of friends will come. Probably not my parents. But still. My whole running club! But the principle...and $117.
I have a few hours left. I probably won't sign up, but NYRR, when did you start being so expensive and stop being so much fun?
Maybe it's that I discovered another world, ultrarunning, with its casual laid-back atmosphere and cheaper fees (I've paid less for 100milers than I have for the NYC Marathon and I get a lot more out of a 100miler - tons of food, gear, fun, and a helluva lot more pain!).
But maybe, really maybe, things have changed...