Is the introduction of bigger prize purses at trail races a positive or negative thing overall
….Or can it just be a change? A change, not all that different than the truth that there are waiting lists now for trail races where once everyone there knew everyone there. Is it a change no different than the trail race I had planned to run in June, which I’ve done every year since I can remember, is already sold out in March? Maybe it’s the change that a local running shop which has in the past been desperate for volunteers, now has a computer program to fill in specific volunteer slots, and once its filled, people’s help is then turned away?
Athletes can historically look back to the evolving of many sport’s prize purse and take notice of the changes. Maybe the running community should go on a long run and do just that. (C’mon, we all know runners solve the world’s problems while out running long runs.) With the increase of the dollar sign in many sports, there seems to be an increase of questionable behaviors, decisions, and line crossing…..and I don’t mean the finish line. I’d like to think that the trail running community, which I view as the gentleman/woman club of running is above such temptations, but then so did the biking community. Trail runners borrow the trails on which they run being atune to the gifts nature shares with us. We step to the side for faster runners to pass. Cups are discarded in bags, not thrown on the ground, while an increasing number of races require you to carry your own reusable hydration vessels. If someone falls, no one is quick to go around, just quick to lend a helping hand. So, in the spirit of ultra running, its not necessarily the amount of miles, but time on ones feet. Maybe trail runners will take lessons from past sport’s fast blunders and run this one slowly.
We’ve all got crash and burn stories from barging down a too steep hill, reckless and out of control. Increase prize money, increase in entrants, increase on the toll to mother nature is all probably an inevitable change. Nevertheless, if we run this downhill in control, watching for rocks, and uplifted roots, we’ll make it down no worse for the wear.
Essentially, Groovy Girls run because we can. There are a lot of ways a person can chose to spend their free time and a lot of ways to relax. If a person is healthy enough to combine both, while including quality friends; well, that person might just be lucky enough. And, if a person is lucky enough to have a shot at making a living while doing their passion; well there aren’t even any words for how lucky that is!
So, the change is a part of our present, and we should unwrap it slowly and carefully, just like we all did our first trail runs and we’ll hopefully run down the hill unscathed.
Run For A Purse You Love,