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SL10k Sour Grapes

Race: Sporting Life 10k
Date: May 11, 2014
Result: 35:08, 1st age (M45-49), 4th male master.

Before I uncork this fine whine first let me state my deep respect and highest regard for all elite athletes. Their dedication, sacrifice and accomplishment are my inspiration.

Last year, in this race report I revelled in Predrag Mladenovic’s problem of running too fast. In prizing for most races, Master’s runners are not supposed to take top place. But he is a special case. He does win outright and often. Damn don’t we all wish we could run like him!

Last year Predrag collected a $300 gift card for taking 4th overall. The problem for him, which he is correct about, is that the next master placer Chris Seran won $500 in a much slower time. Then I took 2nd master and a $300 card. So Predrag was a little miffed. All because prizing was awarded on prestige and only one prize per participant.

But here is my perspective: Predrag either wins outright, or takes top master in almost any race he enters. He takes home plenty. Last year, that $300 gift card was just about it for me. But the reward keeps me in the game, keeps me training. I have come a long way to get where I am. Just a somewhat average runner who works his butt off, and needs a bit of luck to win something.

Nonetheless Predrag lodged his complaint on good grounds. The race organization agreed to drop the single prize rule for this year. Then Predrag took home a $300 gift card for 4th overall and a $500 gift card for top master. So Predrag got his due. And now I am the one feeling short changed. Guess I deserve it.

Of course I could have just run faster. But for some reason the 34:00 I had trained for just wasn’t happening today. On these days, you need a little luck. And having one of the top masters score open prizing is typically just that.

However, the Sporting Life 10k is not handing out cash prizes. If it did, it would attract some serious contenders in the open category. Look to the Yonge St 10k that does offer cash prizing. Predrag finished 15th overall regardless of a faster result. There was no need make any fuss. He took top masters prize and that was that.

So my point is that prizes should be spread around. The single prize rule works. What Predrag asked for and accepted is not right for Sporting Life 10k because it is not the same as cash-prized races. If he was so hard done by, all the race organization needed to do was give him another gift card for the $200 difference.

On a final note, I fear this could be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and it is a distraction to the real winners of today’s race: The kids of Camp Ooch. It was a great day to run. And regardless of this very small problem that affects maybe six people at best (men and women), I had a wonderful time. I will be back again next year for sure, no matter how the prizes get sorted out.

Author

Born and raised in Hamilton & Stoney Creek. Ran X-Country in high school, but not really special at it - a middle of the pack finisher. But then again, really didn't know how to train. Didn't run after Gr 12 due to nasty shin splints. Really never ran in proper shoes back then. Didn't try to run again until age 30. Then tried. And tried. And tried. Shin splints every time. Finally got it going for good at 38 in proper shoes and I have vowed never, ever, to stop running again.

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