NYRR Announce No Bag Policy
72 Days until the November 4th Marathon. My blog today covers the policy change about bags and reaction. But before I go there. I loved meeting runners training today in Central Park. A big shout out especially to 5 year Breast Cancer Survivor Pam Hiklen (I wanted to take off in my heels and finish the 8 miler with you!!) Pam is running her very first marathon on November 4th which happens to be her 50th birthday... she is such an inspiration - brave and fierce! Also 60-time Marathoner Joe Salow doing his 26th (or 27th he's lost count) NYC marathon --- you are lively and whitty and I wish you the best.
Francis Laros from South Africa and Ruy Guimaraes -- wow, watching you guys run reminds me of how beautiful the human body is when it is challenged, and fit, and strong. Linda Chan from Brooklyn- good luck on your 2nd Marathon this year! And a shout out to Lisa Kim - way to go in your bright PINK! And congrats to James Coopey from Staten Island who will be doing his 8th NYC Marathon this fall. Thank you for all the emails, facebooks and twitters about race day and the new policy. Now, to the hurdle some runners are facing... how to plan for a race now that there is no baggage service offered.
After running 6 marathons (including 2 NYC marathons) I agree that the post race exit and bag pickup is TOO LONG! But I've also never run a race I couldn't check a bag. I'm torn on this! After talking with Mary Wittenberg I do not think that they wanted to do away with bag checks --- I think it's just a liguistical decision between the race and the city -- there simply isnt enough room at the finish! For a race that gets a 98% approval rating from finishers --- the major complaint of the race is the post race flow out of the park. Maybe this will fix it. The new 4th wave addition and the quicker exit of the park should make the flow a lot better. Plus the race is bringing back the Central Park West Family Reunion Spot which should be a good social spot post race. As soon as I get race poncho pics I'll post them... they sound really cool.
FInally -- if the no bag policy is too much for you to take --- you can defer your coveted NYC Race Entry spot to next year... but race organizers say, sorry, NO REFUNDS.
Utlimately, I think the race will be dynamite as usual.... and now, there's one more reason to hope for good weather!
Here is just one of the dozen or so emails I got today, even more feedback in on the WABC and NYRR Facebook and Twitter Accounts:
Dear Amy: I have never run New York, but have close to 40 marathons and ultras under my belt. I ran my first marathon in 1978. The finisher t-shirt was plain cotton and we didn't get any finisher medals.
I believe that marathoners have evolve into spoiled crybabies that want SO much just so they can go run. I have been to races where I needed to walk a mile to the start line. I ran Boston in 1993 and spent half a day waiting for the race to start. I have run races where the starting and finishing line were determined while we waited for the start. I stood in the rain for a half an hour waiting for a race to start. If I want to keep warm for the pre-race I will take something I don't want and leave it at the starting line.
Now days, marathoners want tech shirts, medals, aid stations every mile, pictures, snacks and enough available food at the finish to feed themselves and their family. Besides all this, marathoners want low/cheap entry fees. Marathons have become so crazy! Twitter is full of posts demanding their money back just cause they can't get their crap afterwards. Pathetic.
I support NYRR for making the change. I think marathons events need to get back to the thrill of running rather than all the pampering marathoners demand. I would rather participate in a trail event that doesn't give out t-shirts, no medals, but, with unlimited post-event beer than I would a big fancy marathon.