"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bandits are Bad News!

If you don't get the extremely clever photo reference to this post,
I'm guessing that I don't have to worry about you beating me in my age-group!
I've never given much thought to the idea of race bandits, (those runners who participate in a sanctioned event without officially entering the race), on whether it's no big deal or if they should actually be called out and publicly shamed. I've never personally "banditted" a race, as I really do dig the shirts and I want my bib.  However, over the past few months, I've have been involved in helping to organize a local 5K. I have also recently read several articles on the subject, and my position is now firmly set. I say, "Ban the Bandits!"

Before the comments regarding the use of public roadways and taxpayer's parks start flowing in, let me say that you are right. Your taxes likely contribute to the same routes and courses that the annual (insert favorite local race here) follows. But if you are using the 'free access to shared property rights' stance as your justification for jumping into a fun run, then please keep reading. 

There are a handful of really good reasons that you should stop all of your bandit ways. Let's take a quick look:

1.  Registrations provide race organizers with estimates for key race logistics.  The amount of water at aid stations, the level of food for post-run events and, of critical importance, the number of porta-pottys to set-up.  Additionally, emergency services base course presence and medic availability on these same estimates.

2. Enjoying the same race day privileges as hundreds of runners who actually entered, just isn't right. Maybe you can sleep at night knowing that you "snuck" your way into an organized race, were treated by volunteers as a paying customer, soaked in the cheers (as well as the provisions) and then crawled back into the shadows until next week's race, but I just can't. 

3. It's for a cause, cough up the $20 - $25 donation and stay out of the shadows.  Most every race these days will provide a portion of registration funds to a good local charity or community purpose.  It's bad enough to bandit a race, but to hold out on an organization that can use your entry fee for good, Come On Man! 

So there it is.  A firm position on the idea of racing without paying.  And I do appreciate the fact that race entries are not cheap.  The cost of putting on these events continues to climb and the hopes of providing a decent sized donation depends on the amount of the fee.  But plan wisely on the runs you want to enter.  Put away a few $'s that you would normally spend on Krispy Kreme and Diet Pepsi, and put your money down.  You will run with a clear conscience, and a clear conscience always takes a few seconds off your time!

1 comment:

  1. It's better to be registered that not. It will give you a reason to win the game without any hesitations. This post is an eye opener that we should consider and start reading.