My Take On The Marathon Of The North Distance Balls-Up..
Every so often a story comes through from the running world that makes my blood fucking boil.
Yesterday I read about the Marathon of the North and how all of the runners (except one very fast guy) did not record official times for the race because the race marshals sent the chasing pack the wrong way.
What compounds the story is the attitude of those responsible for this mess.
So far the race organisers have came forward offering runners 25% off future races and that’s about the height of it.
Ways the organisers should respond
- Offer full refunds – Instead of offering shitty discounts to races that may or may not happen they could do the honest thing and give people a full refund. These people entered a marathon and they were not given a marathon. If I were to list a King-Sized Toberlone on Ebay with one huge chunk bitten out of it then I’d be committing a criminal (albeit delicious) act.
- Stop assuming that people will want to run any of their races – It’s fucking shocking that they have the audacity to talk about alternative races – A fair percentage of those who ran that race were probably doing their first marathons. To have that happen on your first fucking race would put you off running for life. It’s insane that they have the fucking balls to talk about “future participation”. What the actual fuck?
- “We got the marathon distance right. Everyone else has got it wrong!” – If they’re gonna carry on with this ballsy “we’re sorry folks but that’s just the way it is” line, then they could at least go one step further and claim that they had measured the course out right and that all of the other races have measured the marathon distance wrong. They’ve dug themselves one hell of a hole so they might as well keep digging.
- Disqualify the guy who won the race – And declare all of the other runners joint winners. They’ve already lost all credibility so they might as well start making up their own rules. As a token goodwill gesture they could bake complimentary medals made out of chocolate and Moroccan hashish and declare that the next race will be held in July 2013 on Saturn.
- Offer proper compensation part 1 – The race organisers who fucked this all up should be forced to run the marathon distance over hot coals for charity with the proceeds being split between charities. Once they’ve completed this task then someone should tell them that due to a cock-up they didn’t run the required distance and will have to do it all again.
- Offer proper compensation part 2 – Volunteer to be put in pillories in Sunderland town centre and offer the general public the chance to slap them for £10 a pop. All proceeds going to good causes.
How I’d react.
- If it was my first marathon I’d probably never run again. I’d lose faith in any race organisers to measure the distance correctly and this would fuck up my mental preparation for any forthcoming races.
- I’d feel very upset for letting my charity down even though it wasn’t my fault – I didn’t complete the race.
- I’d be seriously fucked off for having trained for 4 months only with nothing to show for it in return.
So how would you react if this happened to you?