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Posts Tagged ‘team for kids’

Earlier this week they held the lottery for the Nike New York City Half-Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. Luckily, I wasn’t relying on an entry through the lottery for the full, but unless I wanted to be a charity runner, I had no other options for the half but to leave my participation up to the Fates.

Last year, they were cruel, shutting me out of both the half and the full. I couldn’t help it, I took it personally. It seemed like everyone I knew had gotten in to the half; I was the only one left out. And when my friend JM from Chicago got in to the full, I just knew the deck was stacked. I moped for a week, trying hard to be excited for her but really in my heart feeling like it should have been me. After all, I thought, as I ticked off my higher qualifications, I a) live in this city; b) have been an avid spectator of the event for years; 3) run over the middle passage bridge practically every day; and f) am a member of the NYRR’s. By comparison, JM’s flimsy cred was built on speed, years of athleticism under her belt, a passion for running, and an out-of-state driver’s license. Seriously, folks: what good is an international race if there aren’t some (namely: me) local New Yawkahs in the mix to keep all the interlopers in check?

Once I was done moping, I responded to this unlucky turn the way the best runners respond to any adversity. I rose from the ashes of my defeat and said, fuck ’em, I’m running my nine qualifying races now so no durn for’ner can take away my rightful spot among the 40,000 competitors in 2008! (Never mind that I could have run for Team for Kids or Fred’s Team with a fundraising entry; I don’t look good in lime green or orange.) So I showed up at the 2007 race and cheered my guts out for the fabulous JM. I also ran my nine; and this November 2nd I’ll be racing over my city’s bridges and through her avenues with a whole bunch of French, Dutch, Italian, and Chicagoan (apparently) marathoners.

But this year, once again, the Fates governing the raffle barrel spitefully turned their backs on me for the Nike NYC Half-Marathon. I was not selected to be one of the thousands of runners who get to tear through the streets of Manhattan, in hot pursuit of the world-class athletes who get to actually toe the line at 6 AM that day. I suppose there are some folks who accept this, easy come easy go, but that’s not me. I am disappointed. There, I’ve said it. I am pouting over a theoretically fair selection process that would have only been truly fair (in my mind) if I’d been selected.

My disappointment would have, um, dissipated quickly if it hadn’t been for the form letter I received from the New York Road Runners via email on Monday informing me of my No-Entry status. I quote:

I hope you will still visit New York, whether in August or at another time. We host races in New York City almost every weekend…. [yadda yadda]… For complete information about all New York Road Runners races and membership, go to the NYRR’s website at…” etc. etc.

An earlier part of the letter went on to describe how if I lived outside the U.S. or New York, I could purchase a tour package for my guaranteed entry. Couldn’t they at least compose and send out a separate email for their members who were shut out of the race, maybe something that included an insider joke, or encouraged us all to volunteer, or to show up and cheer for the elites and the pack? Maybe I expect too much; maybe I should thank them for bringing Deena, Magda and Blake to meet us, and just shut up and sit down. But I can’t help but wishing that us card-carrying local runners, who spend hundreds of dollars each year on NYRR race registration fees, were treated as members of the club, rather than as just another possible tourist who wants to run through the Big Apple.

(Done with my sour grapes now. You know I’ll be there as a spectator, supporting my friends who got in or are running for charity, having a blast, and trying to catch a glimpse of whichever elites they can get to race this thing so damn close to the Olympics.)

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