Competing vs. Participating in Races and the $$ that Running and Tri Races bring to the Table

The following is a response I had on the local race board. There were many issues that were brought up that started with Georgia Gould's petition about equal pay for women in cycling events. This lead to people talking about the IronMan and Running events that have equal pay, which lead to people saying that because with the amount of participation these events get the sponsors flock to them, which lead to women doing this events because they were participating not competing, and they seem less dangerous.

Cycling could have a participation kind of feel to it, and does to certain events. I race road, mountain, and cross. All the 100mile mountain bike races in the country have more a participation kind of feel to them. For the SM100 I did well compared to local people, but I wasn't racing other people just myself. Also the Iron Cross was somewhat the same way, but felt more like a race. Now the top 10 in the men's and women's field were racing. The issue there is that we all started together and it was one race. So imagine the local road race, where CAT1,2,3,4,5, and the Women CAT1,2,3,4 all start the race at the same time. I know I would be there not to have a placing but to participate. I think one of the things that people are looking over is that Running races, and some Tri races are events that people do to participate because there are very little "events" that are not competitive. Now in cycling we have a whole subset of charity centuries, and rides that get sponsors, I mean look at some of the cross state tours that get huge turnout. People go there to participate not to win. Now one of the things that makes bike racing great is that we have categories. I always tell people to go out and try a beginner mountain bike race, and you should be able to compete against someone. In running I am a total beginner, so I will never do well. With the system that running has setup I will always be a participant, not a competitor. Lastly for the record I agree with Ms. Gould with her petition. I think that as a governing body(UCI) they need to have mandates that stick up for the minorities in a group. The MINIMUM equal payout for Top 5 for UCI races makes perfect sense. Now for local grass roots races, that is another can of worms. My uninformed opinion is if the disparity between the men and women is really bad, just get rid of the prize money. You can now weigh in.

No comments: