The end of the elites

Competitor Group announces the end of elite runners in their events.

  • Image by Chris Brown

I wrote about the evolution or deterioration of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon from a marathon event to a half marathon event with a marathon option.

RunBlogRun broke the news on the continued popularization of the RNR events.

Competitor Group (CGI) will no longer pay appearance fees or traveling expenses for elite athletes to compete in their events. They are also drastically reducing the purse size of their events to about $1000.

RunBlogRun postulates that this effectively removes CGI from the sport of running and makes them an activity event coordinator.

Ironic that the company name was formerly Elite Racing Events before it became Competitor Group and they have now removed both the elites and the competition from their events. Perhaps they’re thinking of changing their name to Middle of the Pack Group.

CGI claims the $475,000 they will save from eliminating the elite athletes will be better used elsewhere in their business and that the 240,000 plus participants in their events have little or no interest in the elite athletes.

Let’s do a little math here. If we assume the average price of an event is $85 then the gross income off those 240,000 runners is $20,400,000. Of course that doesn’t take into consideration the expenses of the events but it also doesn’t take into consideration the revenue from the expos and advertising revenues.

That is far from an insightful investigation of the numbers but $475,000 doesn’t seem like that much to spend in order to keep elite runners running.

Does CGI have any obligation to pay for elite athletes to participate? None, zero, not at all. Is including elite athletes something of a charity? Yes, yes it is.

Are some of us going to miss seeing the elite runners? Yes we are.

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