Race Schedules for Other Areas

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The following editorial was posted September 1, 1998 after receiving a telephone call demanding payment for "advertising" in a small calendar publication called "The Runner's Schedule." I had signed up on the internet to what I though was and should be a free service. I recently received an angry e.mail from Dave Stringer claiming this editorial is "bashing us without justification" yet he appears to have no response or correction about the basic complaint that they unjustifiably charge small races $75 for inclusion in their publication and web site (which I think will prevent some small races from being publicized--the overall goal of this site). I would think his publication, like every other running publication would want the listing for all races so they could claim to have an unbiased, full service schedule. Apparently not--forget journalism, he wants our money instead. If that's the way he plays it, I don't consider publicizing the truth as "unfair bashing." Claiming he has the trademark on the name "The Schedule" he also objected to my use of the name, "The Schedule" which I considered a sufficiently generic term in the English language (I got 813,926 listings on the internet from my search engine) that it would not be trademarkable. I await his proof of contrary information. While his company has indeed registered the domain name, I have always suspected it was to capitalize on the high quality and standards of my no-budget site. As always, I invite comments on either side of this issue. Contact me at andy@creativestuff.com and/or him at editor@theschedule.com. Until I see contrary information, I continue the following editorial.

I'm changing the link to this site and I thought you should know the reason why.

The management of this site called me today to demand payment of $75 for a listing on this site. Folks that's 1/3 of my entire race budget. This was not for several inches in their printed magazine, it was for a plain old, vanilla calendar listing--the kind of thing I and all other publications I am aware of give for free. They thought their advertising "reach" (my word from within the industry--I don't think they don't understand such concepts) was so good I should join the throngs flocking to their publication.

I have listed my event, for free, in many publications with much greater distribution than theirs for well over a decade. I have never received so much as a request for payment, much less the invoices they continue to send me (and I have ignored).

This is entirely counterproductive to the purpose of my site here. If our sport is to continue, we need to work together to improve our attendance and participation. Without much in the way of mainstream publicity available, we have to promote our races from within using printed flyers at other events, the internet and the calendar tabloids that have popped up at our favorite running stores.

The latter best describes this magazine. I suggested to the manager, Steve Steivert, that such a magazine needs editorial content to attract readers past the advertising contained in the publication. All he has to offer is the calendar which is burried within wall to wall race advertising (paid for by big races that can afford such frivolity) and other support advertising for shoes, health food etc. But to charge such exorbitant rates to the grass roots small races that are the backbone of our sport is the height of audacity.

You will note I will editorialize about issues that are detrimental to the sport, excessive registration fees, late registration restrictions, poor rules and the like. These items discourage participation. But publicity about our (especially smaller) events has always been a problem. That is why I make a point of finding the more obscure events in our region. There is only so much time I have that I can donate for free, so I limit my effort to the area I know.

So it is with great reluctance I give you this link at all, but they are providing a race schedule on the internet. Please be aware, if you go to this schedule site or pick up their magazine, you will only be adding to their hit count or their distribution count, something they will use to up the rates to either charge or exclude other small race directors.

The Runners Schedule

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