Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marathon Majors

Some interesting comments by NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg in this interview transcript, particularly when it comes to a "race series." This was part of a call of race directors discussing the marathon majors (Boston, Chicago, New York, London, Berlin)

Note this from Wittenberg on fees (she's talking about marathons, specifically):

``I think there’s a lot of opportunity left, getting people engaged. In terms of pricing, the key point here, two of the three of us are not for profit, and one, Chicago, is community based. If we were pure for-profit, perhaps like Ironman, perhaps like other sports, sure, we could push it a lot higher. We walk a fine line, all of us. We review our pricing in painstaking detail to figure out what is fair.'

You want to have it be more than a sport of the elites. This is a sport of the people, and we try to keep it affordable and when we allow people to pay up, they pay up for good reason. In each of our races, you’ve seen the charity programs grow. "

One suspects that, given all the NYRR calendar maneuvering this year, for whatever reason, the races available for runners in the coming years will be vastly different in the coming years. This could be good, this could be bad - we'll have to wait and see. That said, there continue to be a ton of races outside the NYRR purview that offer some great race experiences - just check out the calendar that gets posted every month for some ideas.

As we all deal with one of the worst recessions in recent history, it's going to have an impact on sponsorship, costs, etc. and that's going to affect us in many ways.

Thankfully, simply going for a run is free :-)