Ok, so I've let the dust settle, but I really want to bring this up here. Last week was a very sad week in Houston running. We learned that our hometown marathon will now be incorporating a lottery system. I was too insanely mad about it last week to post, but I did sit down and write a letter to the marathon planning committee about how I felt. Here's my letter:
I have to say that I am very disappointed in this decision to create a lottery system. If Houston does not have the capability of hosting more than 22,000 runners at once (but is actually even less than that since we are no longer allowed to switch race entries with someone if injury or something else occurs) as the 4th largest city in the US, then I think other action should have been taken first. I realize that registration day is hard on the website, but I think Houston has proved itself loyal to the race and we deserved more warning. I would not be as upset if we were given a year’s notice or even if we had found out in January about this decision. Now July 27th doesn’t mean very much since we get almost 3 weeks to register in the lottery. By the time the drawing is held and we are notified, the running groups will have already started training and other marathons at the same time will have already sold out. I myself look forward to this race every year, whether to race it or be a spectator, but with this new lottery system being dropped on us and the outrageous increase in fees, I will not be applying or spectating this year. Houston is trying to encourage more and more people to become active and fit (and one of the great goals of doing that is running a marathon), but it seems the Houston Marathon is not doing anything to allow more people to run a marathon or half in their own hometown.
Previous Houston Half-Marathoner,
And the response I got was:
Thank you for your email and comments.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and will take this information into consideration.
Houston Marathon Committee
Well, at least they acknowledged that I wrote in. Not that it makes me feel any better, but I did what I could by writing to them. I'm still very disappointed in the way they have handled the situation, so I'm torn as to whether or not I'll be signing up. I feel like I should boycott and just go elsewhere, but there's also the part of me that loves running in Houston and wants to beat my PR here. I love travelling to races, but I always thought I'd reserve January to run Houston. What should I do? Should I be satisfied that I did what I could to show them I did not like their decision and try to race? Or should I stick with being angry and find another race around January?