Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pond-sizing

Friend and occasional commenter Nigel sent me a link:
As competitive amateur athletics explode, a new form of gamesmanship is emerging. Millions of people can now say they've run a marathon or a triathlon, but how many people can say they've won one? In the past, that hasn't been easy for weekend warriors who work long hours at the office and lack six-pack abs. Now, some are trying to gain an edge by finding where the fast racers aren't. Instead of training harder, they're spending hours online to scout out the field, and they're driving hundreds of miles to race against thin competition in out-of-the-way places.
Hey, if it encourages these folks in living an active and healthy lifestyle, great!

I'll stick with selecting events based upon things like rendezvousing with friends and possibilities for playing tourist. Oh, and ideally lack of hills!


[ObEcon: Choosing the Right Pond: Human Behavior and the Quest for Status by Robert Frank]

11 Comments:

Blogger Andra Sue said...

You are much more kind than I. I tend to think that behavior is ridiculous and just plain sucks. Not to mention that I always pay attention to WHICH EVENT when someone says they "won" or got a podium spot at a race. I'm mean like that, I guess. But, really, if you place at a local 5k running 9 minute miles...you're still running 9 MINUTE MILES. Wahoo. :P

Note--yes, I am slow as molasses and would give my right boob to run a 9 minute mile, but I think you see my point?

6/27/2007 10:13:00 am  
Blogger Wendy said...

Yeah, okay.

Unless you need a medal to gain entry to the special room at HABC ...

6/27/2007 10:20:00 am  
Blogger Wrenching Winz said...

Interesting.......I'm sittin on the fence. It would be great to take home 1st ( i have a 3rd place so i get access to HABC) but isn't triathlon more about beating your personal goals if your an amateur rather than wiping the course?

6/27/2007 02:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Nigel. said...

All I will say is:

Choose your metrics well; people will work to them.

6/27/2007 05:02:00 pm  
Blogger Myles said...

Hey, whatever it takes to get people out to the races I'm all for. Living in an area where I have to travel hundreds of miles even to get to a small race I am pretty interested in seeing these races supported otherwise we all lose them regardless of our motives. If that means a group of "mediocre" participants driving in looking for a win...no skin off my nose. It's not how I would choose my race, reference the "choose your metrics well comment" but again, the more the merrier.

6/27/2007 05:22:00 pm  
Blogger Coach Tammy said...

Dude, why didn't you send me this link BEFORE I chose a World Qualifier for my debut HIM???

6/27/2007 06:55:00 pm  
Blogger Spokane Al said...

Seems kind of silly to me, but then Miles has a point. Whatever floats their boat and gets them off the couch and doing it is okay with me.

P.S. Your referenced story was from an article in last Saturday's issue of the Wall Street Journal.

6/27/2007 10:30:00 pm  
Blogger Comm's said...

HA! Lack of hills. Mind adding wind to that list as well as all the other great things and I am with you all the way

6/28/2007 02:00:00 am  
Anonymous Nigel. said...

Myles:

I don't know that this behaviour increases participation. With the time commitment in training, I suspect that the decision to participate came first. The selection of a winable race came second.

6/28/2007 05:24:00 am  
Blogger Cliff Tam said...

Brent,

It brings back memory in paintball days when more season player plays in rookie tourney to get top spot and prize money..

I rather win b/c the race is hard..not b/c it is easy...that's just me :)

6/28/2007 10:04:00 pm  
Blogger Cliff Tam said...

Let them drive all over to find an easy place to win...

that time spent on driving can be spent on TRAINING :D

6/28/2007 10:04:00 pm  

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