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Bulletin Board

By Jeff Benjamin

A Column appearing every two months informing people about the POSITIVE things which are going on in the Staten Island running community.

August 18, 2002 - Boy, was the Pepper Martin Run hot for all of us!!!! As the old saying goes, there's one thing the race organizers cannot control; and that's the weather..... Or did I speak too soon??

Over the years, many of us have heard of the variety of complaints at various events on Staten Island. Whether at a track and field meet or a road race, there have always been glitches and foul-ups which take place where race organizers will incur the wrath of complainers. At this past Triple Crown series, both the Ronaldson and the Pepper Martin run had some mistakes in scoring, in which finish line coordinator Fred Torres took some heat. Also, someone recently wrote into the SI Advance complaining about the lack of official walker results in Pepper Martin.

NOBODY WANTS TO MAKE THESE MISTAKES!!!! Some think there is this grand effort to purposely put on a terrible event, but when you see the effort that goes into the events, human error happens. For example the reason the Ronaldson run had a foul-up in the original scoring was because the volunteer handling the spindle (which is where they place the torn-off bottom portion of your race #) dropped it!! For those veterans out there, how many times has that happened in a race through the years??? How many times has someone entered their friend/relative in a race, not knowing the person's vital information, and all of a sudden "JOE" wins his 40-45 age group, but Joe is really 38 years old and a plethora of people complain to the race director?!?

An event is also only as good as it's volunteers. They are what makes the event go. Sadly one reason the SI Advance run is NOT run on the old course anymore (A classic complaint from many) is because the event could not come up with an adequate number of volunteers to help close off all the streets in New Dorp/Richmondtown. It became logistically easier to run the current course now, with fewer street closings. Volunteers come in all sizes and ages, and many of them have never run a race. So, the next time you want to complain about an event, volunteer for it next year. Make a race during the year one in which you don't run , but volunteer instead. See how the other side operates.

That's who's getting acknowledged this time around. Let's give Credit where Credit is due to anyone involved in an Island race, who gives up their time to put on an event and makes mistakes , or for those who get paid for an event and make mistakes, out of pure human error. Remember who gave us runners water along the Pepper Martin course this past year in the searing heat, encouraging us as well along the way.

Finally, what was one to do at the Ronaldson run ?? Go and criticize the volunteer who dropped the spindle?? That would be a hilarious scene, watching someone argue with a 9 year old girl over a dropped spindle ??

PS--If you ask "why did the organizers give that job to a nine year old girl", then you volunteer for that job at the 2003 Ronaldson run!! See you there!!