Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Price of Taking Part

It has been a while since I blogged, bizarre as I am constantly online every day. But that IS my work. Keeping an eye on what is happening in the world of triathlon and teamTBB. Coming up with stories and ideas has never been a problem for my overactive brain or perhaps we should say imagination, so I have a long list of ideas and stories/features I want to write about for the website that keeps getting longer not shorter.
Because of this my own blog has been feeling a little left out. Anyway, I love FB the way you can see, virtually hear and read what your ‘friends’ are doing and how they are feeling. And even though I don’t get the chance to blog as much I can still post the occasional FB status. I have always been a firm advocate of a NO SWEARING policy on FB or on the Blog. Basically anywhere where people may get the wrong idea or you may offend someone by a use of inappropriate language is for me a no-no.
This is just how I personally feel. Call me a hypocrite if you like as people who know me know I swear like a trooper. But that is in the presence of those that know what I am like. They can take it with a pinch of salt. I do not want people to start judging me just because I let myself have an emotional 5minutes on FB and go loopy. So I try to keep my emotions in touch when on virtual airwaves.
I am not having a bash at those that do like to vent. Heck even my brother earlier this week launched into a foul-mouthed tirade of abuse at his employer. That’s his choice. I know what he is like - a bit of a hot head like me. Someone else however may think crikey…wouldn’t like to meet him in a dark ally.
Anyway what is all this leading to? As always I am wittering on without getting to the point! The subject, The Price of Taking Part implies something to do with sport and you would be correct in thinking this.
Just this week I have had emails and messages from a local riding clubs about the Century Ride. I won’t be taking part because I choose not to. But apparently the fee has increase from RM90 last year to RM100 this year and they have been inundated with complaints. Even with my terrible mathematical brain that’s a little over 10%. On paper 10% is pretty steep. But lets remember it only started at RM90 not RM200. And apparently you get a lot for your money, a great jersey for starters. Isn’t that worth the RM100 alone? And then there is the privilege of joining a race with all your friends, having support, safety cars, nutrition etc. Is RM100 so much?
Lets move on to Mr Chan and triathlon Malaysia. Now every man and his dog are complaining about not enough local triathlon races and it being too expensive to go overseas. IM Malaysia is off the books, is Putrajaya on/off – who knows? And so Port Dickson registration has increased. I think by RM10. Again I ask you. What is the BIG deal? We all love to take part in Mr Chan’s races. I distinctly dislike the Olympic distance but if there is a race here that I can and am able to support whatever the cost I WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT IT.
Now don’t go sending me comments about Emma the expatriate, earn loads of money etc. Those that know, KNOW that this is NOT the case. I have always taken part in local ‘money’ races with the aim that if I come good and win something then I use that to pay for entry into another race. You will NOT find me Monday morning at the mall spending my hard earned winnings.
Finally, running races. I have yet to do any of these this year. I hope to do the Standard Chartered 21k – but have not yet registered. I am always late to sign up for these things because I never know what I am doing or where I will be. So while it costs a little more as I can never get the early bird that is my choice. I will not complain.
So why are people now complaining about the cost of local running races? The organisers that put these events together are WORKING. It’s their job and they need to make money. We have a choice and many of us make the decision to take part because it is fun to run a race with friends, get a t-shirt, and maybe win something. It makes you work harder. It gives you extra motivation when you sign up for a race.
So why complain? Malaysia, while not perfect in all her organisational skills is still the cheapest and one of the friendliest when it comes to participating in a race whether it is a swim, bike or run. It seems we may have lost IM and that is a huge HUGE shame. This means looking farther afield to take part in an international triathlon that for some is not financially possible. Now that is especially sad since the two years that I have been racing I have seen countless newbie’s enter the playground that I so love.
We can keep fingers crossed and hope for the best but you can also look further afield for your next BIG race perhaps. But whatever you decide please take a positive attitude and support the organisers that are here putting together races for you and I and charging what I deem to be a very honest fee.
You have a choice. You can choose to do your own triathlon, duathlon or run your own 42’s, 21’s, 12’s and 10’s OR you can choose to spend a little money and take part and support the local scene.
Be positive and be constructive, complaining over an extra RM10 that you would not think twice about putting towards your next sporting purchase, dinner, frappacino or movie just does not add up.
Okay, I am getting down off my high horse now, Thanks for reading :)


K3vski said...

Can't agree anymore. In fact, if I'm not wrong, Mr Chan has not increased his fees for years. And with the fee includes a carbo loading dinner and finisher medal. Triathlon races in Malaysia is the friendliest ever.

plee said...

Yup Yup and Yup!!
Seeing Mr Chan and his crew hard at work at each of the events he sets up is inspiring in itself. And the fees are really good value for money. Wish he would organise a local Iron Distance tri one day soon. He certainly has my vote and support(probably more than just being a participant)!

Paul Lee

Simon said...

Well said Emma, couldn't agree more. Having just done the Bintan triathlon I'm still in shock at the costs associated to it and the S$175 entry fee was one of the cheapest aspects.

To put it all into perpective a Wednesday night club sprint distance tri in the UK is around GBP40 (RM200) - no medal, no electolye drinks (just tap water), normall token prizes for top 3 overall.

I have friends from Australia and the UK who are blown away by the amount of races that we have and generally laugh out loud when they here how little it is to enter and are totally shocked and awed when they hear what you get for your money (and that's not even mentioning prizemoney - unheard of in the UK for age-groupers).

jaimev said...

Malaysia entry fees are reasonable but not the same in other countries , specially if the have a big M on it´s race. I was gonna race at IM Brazil but is up to 615 USD including Active processing fees . Not what i´m looking for , shame IM Langkawi is gone.

Mel said...

Don't get me started (oh too late), just had a shock when entering the Noosa Tri in Aus, forgot how expensive it is to race there... $210(RM567) for one OD entry, to have the privilege of trying to dodge 4999 other athletes on the course... no finisher medals, no AG prize money, and I won't go into the horrific accom costs! But we race there because we love it! Malaysians don't appreciate what good value they have here, it astounds me!! How can people spend RM1000's on tri equipment then whinge about a RM100 entry fee??

cRAzYtoMatOmaN-D said...

Agree! Agree! Agree!

Without all these organisers, we don't have what we have now.

Imagine no races...

tryathlete said...

Well said Emma. I'm glad someone has come out to say it. I've always felt we should support local organisers, for without them, we won't go racing. Instead all we get are complaints, complaints, complaints. We should instead be constructive so that hopefully, they'll take heed and improve. I'm afraid that with all this compalining and bitching going on, pretty soon. no one will want to arganise a race anymore.

To me IMMY is one of he best events organised in Malaysia (save for this year), yet every year we have people asking for Chandran's head. Well, now they've got their wish, no IMMY next year.As for Mr Chan's races, they're pretty well run too. And there's a nice family feel to it.

For the record, I did join that FB group boycotting the Century ride.But my reasons are not because of the fee increase. It's because I feel a Century ride should be a RIDE, not a race. By all means, award the first finisher but don't, like what they did last year, give out different certs for finishing sub-4, sub-5 whatever. Everyone should receive the same cert for just completing the event. Having timing chips this year is just a little over the top, methinks.

Sorry for the long comment.

Emma said...

Thank you guys, nice to know I am not alone in my thinking. Sometimes when speaking out you can attract a backlash of critique...but I believe if you feel strongly about something and the rational is just then if we all started being a little more positive and looked at the situation from both sides then we may start to move forward and improve. Even if it is two steps forward and one step back, so long as we keep moving forward it is progression. Everyone is quick to 'volunteer' new people to organise events. Easier said than done. So lets applaud those who are already doing it and if you think something can be improved upon then GO to the source - talk to them. Hey, why not even offer your services, if you really have the events interest at heart? So to end, support who is already out there and from little know the rest :)