Thursday, March 15, 2012

RnR DC Bib available?

 Many many moons ago, RnR announced their Rock-n-Roll USA race in DC. With the special cheap introductory price, I grabbed a spot thinking it would be perfect; I could boltbus it down, stay one night and get back to the city relatively fast, cheap and easy. Done and done.

Then the NYC Half lottery opened and I won entry into that. DC on Saturday and NYC on Sunday? Am I crazy enough to run a race in DC and then turn around and run another one in NYC the next day? Most definitely. Am I going to be crazy enough to actually do it with all the injuries I have acquired? Hell no.

Now I'm stuck with a $60 bib I'm not going to use, I can't get a refund for, sell to someone else who really wants to run the sold out race or even give it to a friend. To be honest, it upsets me to see it go to waste. Not really for the money, but because it's a sold out race and I've seen tons of people asking to get in. People want in, I have a bib I'm not going to use, it should be that easy, right? I have no issue giving it to a friend to run, but everyone I know is already running that race or the NYC half with me. Boo.

How does any of this make sense?

Sure, safety and legality. None of the stuff you fill out before the race really matters, just what you fill out on your actual bib. Why do I say this? I was volunteering for a race and a runner got hurt. He didn't speak a lick of English and I had to figure out how to help him. Once the ambulance got there, they wanted to know his information. So, I called the supervisor of the volunteers. She told me they couldn't get to that information because it was on the computer and they didn't have them in the park. WTF?! Because that's safe. Moral of the story? Don't get hurt. And if you do, make sure your bib is filled out.

Legally the race doesn't want to be liable. I totally get that. Technically if you're not signed up for the race, you're not running it therefore they can't be responsible if you get hurt? Why not just put a mini-clause on the back of the actual bib, so it's clear that the person wearing the bib is acknowledging the liability agreement? I've also volunteered at a race where the agreements were thrown in a box haphazardly. Because that's smart. And this was an organization that is redonkulously strict on the "legal" issue of someone picking up someone else's bib and not being able to bib transfer. I don't understand the hypocrisy.

If someone has more insight on this, I would love to hear it. Clearly, after running a year's worth of races I don't have that big of an issue with it. It would just be nice to know. 

What are your thoughts on bib transfers? Would you run a race with someone else's bib?


  1. I can see both sides of this one.

    As races get more and more expensive, it only seems fair that there be some established mechanism by which runners can transfer their bib to another runner. Some races do this and charge a transfer fee, which I think is OK. If you just allowed unlimited transfers for free, it would be an administrative nightmare for the race director, and it would probably encourage certain registration behaviors that are no good for everyone, i.e., people jumping on bibs the second registration for a popular race opens with no intention of actually running.

    Obviously the current rules that most races use are no good...people just ignore them.

    I have never run with someone else's bib (or given my bib to someone else), but I don't have a huge moral problem with it. It sucks to drop $100 on an event that you can't do.

  2. I fully agree with the administrative nightmare, but if I really want in to a race, I'd be willing to pay extra for the option of bib transfer. And I love the point of the race turning into a ticketmaster/stubhub situation.

    Thanks for giving me more to think about on this issue!

    I don't think there ever will be a race I'd want to run so bad I'd use someone else's bib, but if a friend's bib was going to waste, I'd totally use it.

  3. I feel like I actually haven't pondered this issue much yet. I haven't been in the situation where I couldn't race or wanted in to a full one enough that I would try to buy a bib.

    It is a shame when there are people wanting in and can't, but then people that are in but can't get there to do it. I have to sit and think.....

  4. One thought that just came to me. ..

    I'd much rather have people selling or giving away bibs than have race bandits. At least then someone - the racer or the original person - paid for it. So whoever is running isn't unfairly taking away water/gels/bananas/blankets, etc... from other that paid for those same things fair and square.

    1. There is a good article in the new Runner's World about Banditing. It was quite interesting. Did you know Boston puts up with it, whereas the NYCM put together special teams of runners to pull people off the course?

      It also said all races have to account for the bandits no matter what or they couldn't function. And they also account for a certain number of no-shows. Clearly it's a thought out process, I just need someone to explain it to me better so I understand.

    2. I think I saw that there was something about banditing now that you mention it. I just haven't had a chance to get very far in that newest article yet. Maybe I'll toss that in my carry-on and read it on the plane.

      Stupid Biker Boy thought he'd bandit Disneyland Half. I said absolutely NO WAY. I wasn't going to be seen with a bandit - and frankly who wants him around for 13.1 miles?? Races are supposed to be FUN after all! ;) Yeah, I'm a bitch - but it's true.

    3. You should! That's a long flight!

      Haha! That's funny. You're terrible, not a bitch. And I would assume Disney would be kind of strict, right?

    4. I'd think they would be strict. I mean look at our tight rules just for the marathon relay!

      Ugh, Portland to New Jersey --- this could be the longest flight of my life!