Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Improving Triathlon: Talk, Social Networking, Blog, Vote with Your Wallet

Money and word of mouth can make or break businesses.  The average person knows ~250 people according to recent case studies.  You only need to look to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and email for the spread of information in the blink of an eye.  Heck, I am getting the latest Tour de France stage weather and wind information on my iPhone.  You only need to search United Airlines and guitars on You Tube for a great example of how we can affect a company.

The same should happen with races.

On a recent ride the folks I was with were complaining about a large regional race.  The race is overcrowded, the race director doesn't have enough race marshals which makes drafting, blocking and safety all an issue and lastly expensive.  When I asked why they do the race the response was simply, "Gosh, I don't really know.  That race sucks."  

A little activism goes a long way, but before you start picketing, talk to the race director.  Most RDs don't set out to fail or do a bad job.  They may take your feedback as constructive if you don't attack the RD with your comments.  Some RDs and race boards really value feedback.  There are some races I love to do because the feedback I gave was actually implemented successfully.  Sadly, many triathletes launch into attack mode instead of explaining what they experienced as the end user of the RDs product.

If nothing is done...

Blog about it.  Talk about it at masters swimming, the long ride or the track workout.  Discourage folks from going to that race based on your experience.  Call and write USA Triathlon.  Most importantly - don't sign up for the race until it changes.

Money talks.

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