This topic is something that I’ve seen discussed in numerous magazines, and even more blogs. It’s something that I’m certain everyone has thought about in one form or another. It’s something that I usually blow off and think of no big deal but lately… lately it’s been bugging me more than I thought it would.
To pirate a race… or to NOT pirate a race. That is ultimately the questions.I picked up a friend of mine yesterday to go to the Farmer’s Market to grab fresh fruits and veggies. We usually go on the Mondays after I get my pay check, and we take this moment to chat and catch up and laugh and do things that girlfriends do when they hardly see each other. On the drive, I asked about the Vestcor Bridges Run that I was planning on doing but thanks to Felix the Alien Cyst was not able to. She told me that one of our mutual friends had run it as well… as a pirate.
Now to be fair, I know plenty of people who have pirated races. I know that this mutual friend has done it plenty of times. But after reading an article in Runner’s World magazine about how one of the editors had pirated just a portion of a race that was going on… I’m not sure it’s right. Sure, if you don’t take any of the aid at the aid stations, and you make sure to stay out of the way of the people around who actually paid for the race then sure. I can understand it. If it were just you and no one else, then sure I could understand it.
But at the same time, I don’t.
See, here’s the thing. I personally would NEVER pirate a race if I couldn’t afford to pay for it. I wouldn’t, and haven’t, accepted a medal if I didn’t earn it outright. I have this thing about being ‘open and honest’ and I just can’t do that. I know plenty of people who do, and that’s their thing, but I never would. I can’t. I don’t have it in me to do it. People have paid and trained for the races, just like I have for my races. And I almost feel like pirating a race takes something away from it for them, whether they know that I am pirating or not. I feel like the joy they are feeling about finishing would be significantly diminished.
I’ve also heard this about comp entries, which I get because the station is a sponsor for a significant amount of races that I run. I feel like that is different. The companies give things to the companies, whether it be air time or products to give away, and in turn race entries are given. I promote the races on my shows, our weather team promotes them in their nightly weather forecasts, it’s something that is give and take.
But I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on pirating races? What about using a comp entry? Tell me what your thoughts are and let’s have an open discussion about it.