Sunday, April 22, 2007

Goodbye Team RaceAthlete

Below is an email I sent today to Roman Mica, one of the founders and sponsored athletes of Team RaceAthlete, after reading his and some other teammates' support for race banditing and bending/breaking race rules. I sent it with a very heavy heart knowing that I've really enjoyed being part of the RaceAthlete blog community, not to mention the team discounts and having the chance to win various cool prizes offered periodically through occasional contests including a swipe at a possible sponsorship in the future.

But to me, none of that is worth seeing more people come into endurance sports with the notion that it's OK to cheat. I'd seen some at my races but working part-time for Track Shack's Event Management & Marketing International has really opened my eyes to the extent of the problem and what could happen if individuals who do it or promote it continue to inspire others.

So goodbye team and good luck. I know everyone doesn't feel the same as I do about maintaining the integrity of endurance sports and that's OK. Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

Dear Roman,

Please remove me from Team RaceAthlete (web page side bar, forum and any other references). I'm sorry I can't be part of a team that advocates bandits or bending/breaking race rules. I'm not an elitist who thinks people shouldn't do races because they're not fit or fast enough. I just don't want countless more people to start doing races without registering, use other people's race bibs, register with wrong gender/age info, switch timing chips, wear MP3 players during races, not complete the entire race course, and all the other things that happen on a regular basis already because people think they're not hurting anyone else by doing so. There's liability and safety issues involved but, basically, it just boils down to an honor thing I have ...

Best wishes to you and everyone else in their future endeavors.

-- ShirleyPerly (aka Humble Triathlete)


Susan said...

I applaud you for standing up for something you believe in: integrity. Way too often people do not stand up for integrity. I am standing up for ShirleyPerly!

ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks, Susan. When people who represent teams and sponsors start publicizing views that bending/breaking race rules is OK, I really start to worry whether there'll be any races worth doing in 20-30 years. That's when I plan to be shooting for some AG awards :-)

Susan said...

I do not often get side stitches, but they have really sprung up over the past 2 days! Normally they go away with a few deep breaths. Not so now!

Bigun said...

Shirley - I don't think everyone at RA agreed that the fat guy was in the right by banditing the race - and while Roman has been one of the leaders of the RA team, I don't think he necessarily represents the whole of RA.

If someone of Integrity leaves a group that could use some argument for the merits of honorable racing, you can chalk one up for the bandits -

When the overall group is made up of "bad" people, and your influence cannot be weighed, then it makes sense to break from the group...but if the folks are genuinly good, your influence will be missed.

Just some food for thought.