Thursday, November 29, 2012

Over NYRR?

I had a really good blog flow going on...and then something happened. Probably the hurricane (we can still blame that right?) Probably the fact that the temperatures have dropped, and it's cold and dark, meaning I'm not sure I've run 26.2 miles all month. I was trying to think of something to blog about, but certainly nothing could top the drama that Tracy's post about the NYC Runs Central Park Marathon has caused.

A friend of mine had posted a question on Facebook asking about raising money for the NYC Marathon via NYRR's main charity, Team for Kids. I didn't know an exact figure, but I was quickly able to find out that most people had raised anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 for the 2012 NYCM. We then started talking about the NYC Half, and I quickly thought that this might be a great March goal for myself. Realizing I didn't have guaranteed entry, I knew I would have to run for charity, and JDRF would be the only charity I'd want to run for.

The more I thought about running this NYRR race I realized, I don't think I want to support NYRR anymore. My membership expired in March of this year, and I haven't renewed it. Obviously I'm not naive enough to think that my $40 yearly membership fee, and $100-$150 race entries will make any sort of impact. I know they wont, because there will always be people willing to sign up for NYRR races.

As the year has gone by, I realize I've already distanced myself from their races. There is very little that appeals to me about their races and the organization. How many times can you be excited to run the same 4 mile loop every weekend? An $18 race fee is acceptable, but who wants to pay $50 for a holiday 4 miler? Or a $200+ marathon? They have definitely lost touch with the local runners.

I'm not saying I wont ever run another NYRR race again, there are two or three races that have special meaning to me (Al Gordon, my first race ever, the Brooklyn Half, my first half, and the Wall St Run, which is always a wonderful cluster fuck) but I think they have definitely lost one member for 2013.


  1. I've gone through the same cycle myself. I harbor no ill will against NYRR at this point, but I'm just not really interested in their races anymore. They've shifted their focus (or at least in my head it's shifted) from the mythical grassroots organization they started as to this money making monstrosity - props to them for doing it, but I can run 4m in Prospect Park for free and I'm good with t-shirts.

  2. I totally feel you on this. Every time I go to an NYRR race I feel like its just too big! They have so many runners that they end up having to hire an entire police force to regulate the course (even in the parks) and the volunteers are always grumpy and yelling at people. They are too big for their britches. They've outgrown themselves so quickly that they just can't keep the quality up as the quantity of runners expands. I think NYCruns is an awesome new alternative.