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Friday, June 11, 2010

Ultramarathon D-Bag of the Year? Looks like we have a winner!

Normally, I am 100% supportive of race directors.  I got a tiny taste of the experience earlier this year, and it is an incredibly stressful, thankless job.  I have tremendous respect for anyone that accepts this challenge.  Well, until now.  

Running and Rambling is one of my favorite blogs.  If you don't read it, you need to check it out.  Donald is a fellow ultrarunner, ardent supporter of the minimalist shoe movement, awesome product reviewer, and all around nice guy.  He recently posted a race report from the Blue Canyon 100k.  He did not finish due to severe heat coupled with a lack of aid station support.  I'll let you read the race report for the details... but I will make a few comments.

In an handful of ultras I've run, aid station supplies have run low.  Mostly it was the result of my "watching grass grow-slow" pace.  Despite the low supplies, the race director and volunteers always made sure there were enough supplies to assure the safety of the participants.  

In the Blue Canyon race, the temps topped 100°!  The fact that aid stations were supposed to be fully-stocked but only carried water is unfortunate, but excusable.  The fact that aid stations ran out of water in those harsh conditions is downright scary!

Still, it was the RD's first race (based on his own comments.)  Again, it was a bad situation that he could hopefully learn from.  At the end of Donald's race report, I was still feeling some empathy for the RD.  Then I read his response to Donald's post [note- grammar has not been corrected]:


Fortunately we have we have fair skinned/ SPF'd lathered up softies like youit will keep teabags like you away, at least i hope it does 2nd it will help bring in more tough and honorable ultra runners like Maria, Helen, Brooke, Andrew and the rest of the lot that finished to the BCTR start line next year. So keep up the good literature between your bug bite treatments and pedicures. Yes i made some mistakes that made it a bad day for some several runners and i regret that it occurred. No true back country ultra is immune to mistakes and failures. Do my very best to guarantee satisfaction i dont guarantee mistake free/happy results to everybody- not possible! Your flat out wrong about about the so called Gatorade bottle being empty- that's was a ear biting Mike Tyson cheep shot comment. Its actually a 15 gln FDA approved water storage canister and when i returned to the Gibraltar Mine Aid Station on Sunday afternoon i measured 11.5 gallons of water still inside it. There was even a bit of ice still in the cooler full of cold water. Siphon pump worked just fine too, You were probably to busy shushing flies away to have realized that you had to actually take your other finger off your camera shutter button and put in on them on the pump handle. I have read several well written emails that appropriately detail where i went wrong. Honorable ways to pass on the frustration, complaints and positive feedback. Crybaby diatribes like yourNext time get off your ass make something happen like so many of the other entrants did rather than sit around in the lily pond's and bitch and moan. and how about that lame ass email you sent me tonight Please dont think your doing me any favors by giving me the heads up on something you already posted and asking me for my thoughts "post" posting. ouch! that was another Mike Tyson cheap shot below the belt! Donny,
i have always been clear that if your not satisfied with what you paid for then let me know and i am glad to give you your entrants fee back in full, just let me know where you want it sent too. That goes for anybody else who feels like their experience was not worth the fee they paid. If it sounds like i am angry, i am. I angry that mistakes happened and persons like you think your justified to slam us via a blog rather than face to face.

Later Donald
who trot around snapping up your photo logs and conjuring up your narratives on how to pat a race on the back or even slam a new races mistakes. Your blog will serve us well in two ways, 1st difficult day in the back country swatting flies, bugs or other things that buzzed around you and ranting about poor aid stations service/ supplies or lack of.

For those that read my senseless writings regularly, you know I have a reverence for the camaraderie of the ultra community.  I have a serious disdain for arrogant assholes with superiority complexes.  

This was a poorly-run race where runners' lives were unnecessarily placed in danger due to a series of mistakes the RD made.  Instead of apologizing profusely, he chose to personally attack Donald.  

For that, sir, you have earned my D-Bag of the Year Award.  The CEO of Road Runner Sports will be presenting the trophy at a brief ceremony in the near future.


  1. I would have thought that was a troll and not really the RD had he not come back and had Donald not confirmed later in the comments that it actually was him.


  2. Wow what a d-bag. You'd think there'd be more respect for the people running your event.

  3. Wow, not a professional mannerism at all. The grammar made my eyes bleed, that just put the cherry on top of the douche bag pie for me. If you are going to run any kind of sports event you need a thick skin and to keep your mouth shut unless you can do it in a polite and intelligent manner.

  4. It's one thing to make mistakes and not act professionally, everyone has done it. But then to act like a jerk instead of accepting the criticism? Not cool.

  5. I was pretty shocked when I read that report and the following comments from the RD. He was clearly too proud to accept his failure. Hopefully his apology later on was a bit more humble...still wouldn't give me the confidence to run any of his races at this point. With his attitude, he's also not going to get any of the people he's wanting to attract. Thankfully their weren't any serious health issues for the runners.

  6. Well, at least his grammer iz really good.

  7. He did apologize in the comments section as well as his e-mail to Donald. Maybe too little, too late, but that's a huge screw up when you're advertising "overstocked" aid stations and you can't even keep up with the water.

  8. The grammar alone makes me writhe in agony!

  9. Nice recap, Jason. I have serious doubts (based on other e-mails the RD sent me, which I'm keeping somewhat confidential) that this race will happen again next year. That's probably a good thing, but a sad ending.

  10. d-bag RD FTW!! i am sure we have driven this man to begin drinking again, that makes me feel sad

  11. 過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的 ..................................................

  12. I've been thinking about this since reading both Donald's and Andy Henshaw's race reports. Running a faster race definitely is easier logistically, and in some cases it reduces the difficulty when trail and/or weather conditions deteriorate over the day. If a director wants to hold a race for the lead packers, then they should probably reduce the aid station cut-off times to make sure that no one stays on the course past the organizers' ability to support them.