Wednesday, April 24, 2019

UTMB: Money, Money, Money

I avoid the UTMB for several reasons, notably the crowds (how can anyone really profess to enjoy the running mountain trails - and then participate in an event where you are literally fighting for space?), but I think that what tops the list is that the organization is so transparently in it for the money and not first and foremost to provide runners with an experience.

The latest change in its qualifying system is the perfect example. The post "The ever-changing feeding of the UTMB points machine" on Ultra168 explains this well with an opinion that I share 100%.

I admire anyone who takes on the nerve-wracking, time consuming, and money-draining task of putting on a race for me to enjoy, and I don't expect them to do it purely out of the goodness of their heart. Obviously race directors are entitled to make money from a race, even find ways to make a living out of organizing events. But the foundation for doing so should come from a place of love for the sport and a desire to share that indefinable experience that is ultra running - not maximizing profits.

A good example is a race director like Mark Cockbain who organizes races evidently to provide new experiences for ultra runners. Or, from what I understand, the Centurion Running events. Even the oft-maligned Marathon des Sables is born of Patrick Bauer's desire to share the incredible adventure he had in the 1980s - and his passion for the desert and sharing this experience is still palpable, regardless of the "commercial" aspect that characterizes it (and actually always has).

No comments:

Post a Comment