Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Does Improper Corral Placement Bother You?

We are glad that this week's topic for Tuesday's on The Run is Runner Etiquette and Pet Peeves because we have some questions about what is proper and what is just plainly none of our business.

 

Lets start with this.....For the past several weeks we've seen folks on social media groups announcing that they have or will be selling their race bibs for some up coming races. We have never sold ( or given away) a race bib to a race that we did not plan on running, so we are unclear on how this process works but we are pretty sure it is frowned upon, right?

 In any case, I guess it doesn't matter what people do with their bibs if they aren't going to run the race, it's not like it effects us in anyway.

But then, it was brought to our attention that several of these folks who gave or sold their race bibs to other runners ( ie; Tower of Terror or Disneyland half , or any other summer/ early fall race)  are also going to be running the Walt Disney Marathon in January where you must have a time to submit.

This brings up a question that has been floating around lately. Will these folks be submitting a time from a race that they clearly did not run?  For example, If Jane Doe was registered for Tower of Terror and decided not to run but gives her bib to Sally Joe, ( and Sally turned out to be a really fast runner),when Sally crosses the finish line, she now gave Jane Doe a time for a 10 miler race.  Jane Doe can now submit that time to Disney  ( or she could have if she did it before Oct 10). Not only can Jane use this time for the marathon but she can use it for any upcoming races as well ( with in the time period).

 When Disney goes to verify that time  they will clearly see that Jane Doe ran the Tower of Terror in XX amount of time.  So now instead of being in corral "M", for the Marathon, Jane has moved up to corral "D", thanks so her friend Sally of course.  No harm done, right?  Besides the fact that we are pretty sure that it is "illegal" to do in the race world.  But how often do you think this happens?

And even though we ( as a community of runners) know this is wrong, does it bother us?  Would it bother you to know that a runner is essentially cheating?

( Please know that we are not saying that every person who sells or gives away a race bib has the intentions of doing this. Also, there may be circumstances where a legal bib transferred is allowed.)

Lets hash this out..........................................

Some might say that Jane Doe is only hurting herself if she submits a time she didn't earn.
But is she REALLY?  Her main goal, like every other runner is to be as far away from the balloon ladies as possible ( In a Disney race, the balloon ladies start in the very last corral and if you get behind them you have a good chance of being swept off the course). So really, Jane can only benefit from being in a higher corral.

Some others might say that regardless of what Jane Doe does, it won't effect them or their race whatsoever. And these people would be right, except for the fact that if Jane Doe submits a time she didn't earn and so do 15 other people in Jane's running group, that might essential push you back from Corral "D" to a further corral because there is no longer room for you. So in a way, Jane's  "new time" kind of does effect you if you are concerned about your corral placement.

Neither one of us is really concerned about our corral placement and we hadn't ever ( and hopefully won't in the future) be worried about seeing the balloon ladies or getting swept up. However, Races don't always go as planned and even if we start in corral A, B, C, or D, we know that anything can happen. We could get injured, become ill, spend too much time in the porto potties or any number of other reasons that would make us fall behind and ya never know, we could potentially be seeing the balloon ladies. And although you put in your training, unexpected things could happen to you too and you might be seeing the lovely balloon ladies. So yea, everyone wants to put as many corrals between them and the balloon ladies.


Have you ever heard of people "Cheating" on their time?  Do you feel as a runner that you have the right to be bothered by this? 


We are linking up with the lovey ladies of Tuesdays on the Run.

35 comments:

  1. What a timely post as I was thinking of corral placements this morning. I would never "sell or transfer my bib" unless there was an official transfer process - I am a rule stickler (nice to see other rule abiders out there). I am always curious if people tend to enter a "A" goal, "B" goal, or "C" goal time for placement purposes (when there are not official proofs of time). I tend to errr on the conservative side and find a time in the middle of my "C" goal and PR. I suppose it only hurts themselves, but I can see the impact it has on all the other runners if it pushes them back a corral or two (I think that is what happened to me at the CB10 - I ended up passing nearly 2K people throughout the race).

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    1. I was surprised to learn that Race Director actually read boards looking for runners who are attempting to buy and sell bibs. I don't know why more races don't just have a "legal" transfer policy.

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  2. This has come up a number of times within our running group. As Admins we've promised the local race organizers that we would not condone illegal transfers for many of the same reasons you mentioned above. In addition, if anything had happened to that runner during a race, no one would know who they were or have any of their emerg contact info.

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    1. That's great that your running group is upholding that policy!

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  3. I guess since I don't run competitively, this doesn't bother me much. When I run, I'm just trying to beat my own personal time, so I usually don't pay attention to other runners.

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    1. That is generally how we run to. We only try to complete with ourselves!

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  4. I was really disappointed at the Princess 1/2 because I didn't use a "cheat time" and was two corrals away from the balloon ladies. However the balloon ladies with a job to do keep there 16 min pace and push through people. I am an interval runner, who couldn't run because I was stuck with mostly walkers who blocked the whole road. I off roaded it a few times to get around the groups. I should have bucked up and pushed through people, but thats just not the way I run. Per my training I should have never been any where near the balloon ladies. :(

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    1. So sorry you were caught up in a jam. But great job staying in front of the balloons the whole time!

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  5. Oh boy, you hit a subject I can't stand. If the race has an official process to transfer bibs, great, I don't mind that. It's the "black market" transfers I can't stand. I know people complained about Disney's new policy because there are honest people who can't get to the expo in time, but races need to cover their butts, insurance wise and legal wise.

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    1. I know there are always circumstances that may prohibit folks from getting to the expo on time, but wouldn't you think that the expo is just as important of a process as the race it's self 9 since you have to pick up race day essentials). It's almost ( and I do say almost) like saying, I want to run this particular race, but I can't get to the start line on time. ( I know that's pushing it...lol)

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    2. Lots of people work late. Can't get off on a Thursday-Friday or get in late on Saturday. My husband runs his own company. He once had to fly in on Saturday night. There are many reasons that lots of people can't make it to the expo to pick up their packets and bib.
      I had a friend who worked until 6. Had to pick her daughter up from day care and got stuck in LA traffic. She gave me her paper work IN CASE she didn't make it. Thankfully I was able to get it for her as she arrived 5 minutes after they closed.

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    3. Does Disney even have a transfer option? Because without one, it just encourages black market sales. I don't think a lot of people sell bibs in order to get a better time out of it, but because something came up that prevented them from running and they want to recoup a little of the money. I'm guilty as charged on that one- dislocated my knee too close to a race to get a deferral or transfer, so sold it to someone at cost who wanted to run. I would never have considered using her run time to support my own running, and it was a better option than being out a decent sum of money for no reason.

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  6. I have known runners that have bought bibs and ran that were not theirs. I am not sure why a person would want to do that, first off you are spending big $$ for the bib and some guy named Fred is getting the credit? Not for me! I want the credit and the picture with MY name on it. Cheaters only hurt themselves in the end.

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    1. Yes you would think. But now Fred is happy to have a great time for a race he didn't have to run...haha.

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  7. I did see a bunch of people posting about selling their bibs but I never thought about the proof of time issue. I think it's concerning for liability/health reasons though and the fact that the new runner won't have signed a waiver :( I can definitely see why this type of thing would have led Disney to change their policy on bib pick up.

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    1. Sometimes I don't think people do it to be sneaky, I just think that they don't think about all the consequences that could occur.

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  8. I never thought corral placement was that big a deal when I ran my first W&D and didn't have a time to submit. Then I ran it again last year and saw what a difference it DID make. My family didn't have to wait as long for me to finish, I had much more time to party afterwards, and once we got out of WWoS, the road wasn't as crowded. However, if for some reason I didn't have a time to submit, it wouldn't even occur to me to try and obtain another bib that someone else earned with a faster time. It's just not right. If you're going to have a bib transfer policy, then the person getting the bib, should have to submit a time as well.

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    1. You are right. In the big scheme of things corral placement is not a big deal because everyone starts and everyone finishes, but in a away it is like a something you've earned. At wine n dine your placement earned you the right to start earlier, finish earlier, and have more time spend at the after party with your family!

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  9. I think because I am not a "serious" runner, this doesn't bother me so much. But I can see how it would be annoying for others.

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  10. Its a shame when people who are honest are punished, and those who cheat the system aren't. At the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, I was put in the last corral, despite the fact that the estimated time that I submitted was faster than that. Just like with Disney races, they wouldn't switch my corral (despite it being their mistake), and I was stuck having to dodge runners that are slower than me and couldn't run at my actual pace for the first mile or two of the race. Although I could have cheated the system and started in an earlier corral (they weren't enforcing the corrals), that wasn't the honest or right thing to do.

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    1. Even though you did the right thing, it was still probably frustrating knowing that some people in front of you were possibly being unfair about their placement.

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  11. Here's what bothers me about it. Jane is not capable of running as fast as the other people in Corral D, and as a result, she will slow down other runners in that corral who have to get around her. The point of the corrals is to have runners of similar skill and pace start together.
    Jill C

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  12. I think that sort of thing is messed up.
    For me, I'll never be in a placement so I never worry about anything effecting me, but I would be so ticked if I was a runner trying to place & someone else beat me - that wasn't really the person... especially if that person isn't really that age... that's just inconsiderate.

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  13. I think you're always going to have people in corrals that are unable to run to meet their POT or estimated time whether it be due to injury, illness, or failing to keep up on training. My problem comes to those who are slower not moving to the side to back of their corral to let those who can actually run get by. Some people want an earlier corral at Disney to take more photos but usually those in the early corrals A-D don't care so much about the pictures but care about their finish time.

    The health and safety side is a big thing too because say something bad happen to the "illegal" runner and they contacted the family of the runner who is suppose to be there but isn't. Now someones family is possibly panicking that their loved one is sick, injured or in the worse case scenario dead and the 'illegal" runner is alone unless they are well enough to call their family.

    Messed up all around unless the race supports transfers and can change the name associated with bib number.

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  14. This is a great topic! I do know people that have given their bibs to friends/other runners in our running groups because they became injured or could not run the race for some reason and helped out a person who was able to run. I, personally, have only given a bib away one time - when I ended up moving across the country and could not travel back to run a half I had registered for. I gave my bib to a friend/fellow run grouper/mentor who had helped me tremendously in my running, with nothing expected in return. To this day I do not claim the time in that race lol. It never even crossed my mind that people would maliciously use faster times run by other people in their name to "qualify" for a higher corral. What bothers me more is when you are placed in a certain corral with that bib/letter and then ignore it and start higher (for whatever reason) that morning, blatantly ignoring the purpose of corrals on race morning.

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  15. I've never thought of this situation before! I registered for a local 10-miler in November & then got invited to an out-of-town wedding. So I actually just posted a note to my running group to give it away for free. it's an expensive race, and I don't see the problem with someone using the bib instead of it going to waste. However, you didnt have to submit a time & aren't assigned a corral. I do think it would be a much bigger deal in your scenario.

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  16. My only issue with people starting in the wrong corral is if they want to run slower than the corral pace and end up boxing in others who are trying to run at a faster pace. I think that if you plan to run slower than your corral usually they let you move back, but I guess it depends on the race. I have ran in someone else's place once but we both run pretty similar times. I could definitely see it being a problem in certain situations.

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  17. I just don't understand why people would fib about their time/corral placement. They are only hurting themselves!

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  18. I don't care if someone buys a bib. I think they should be transferable, even if you have to pay another $10 or something to have the info changed. It's ridiculous that we have to sign up months in advance and then not have any way out if something prevents you from doing the event. As far as corral time goes, if you are on the slower side of the people around you, get to the side. Disney races are screwed up because as soon as you stop for a photo, you hop back on the course behind your placement anyway. It amazes me that Disney runners are the ones who get the most upset about corral jumping, when the race itself makes the concept impossible once you're out of the starting gate.

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  19. Is it crazy that I've never thought of this aspect of "bib selling" before? You bring up a very valid point!!

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  20. Funny you brought this topic up. I was just discussing this with a friend the other day. I am quite against it. Nothing worse than having slow people in the wrong corral. It doesn't matter if it A or M. But not only that if they didn't go through the right process to get into a race they shouldn't be there. Which is why I am totally for th

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  21. Sorry didn't finish. Stupid phone:) meant to say i am for the year or two ban on being sble to enter certain races if your caught running with the wrong bib or selling your bib. Harsh but fair as some races cap out or are lottery races that are hard to get in, its just fair and honest to play by the rules.

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  22. I don't know anyone personally who has cheated on their time. I do know there were people who made fake race bibs for Boston last year and that REALLY annoyed me, since you gotta earn your spot in Boston- and for most of us, it is not an easy spot to earn!

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  23. I am sure that I just don't understand all the behind the scenes logistics, but it seems that races like runDisney should have the capability to transfer bibs between runners up to the last week or so. Maybe the bibs will have the wrong name printed on them, but they could have a legal transfer system in place (for an admin fee!) to switch the runner officially attached to the bib. Seems to me like this would make a huge improvement in this situation. Thanks for linking up with us!

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  24. It bothers me if people fudge their time to get in the front and then they clearly should not be in the front and I am forced to dodge and weave around people running several minutes slower per mile. I have no problems with people who run slower by any means, but I feel like it's common courtesy to stay in the corral you are assigned. And it comes down to honesty and integrity if you ask me!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.