After a few days of reflection since the catastrophe and bed rest, I have come to the conclusion of the following:
1. You have the worst PR Company on the planet. Your oblivious statements on Facebook of "we are sorry for the inconvenience", "we hear you", "we are working to make this a better event for next year" not only is laughable but an insult to the intelligence of every competitor who raced.
2. You can't see what is right in front of you. We want a fix for Sunday - not tell us how you will fix it for next year. We won't be there next year, so why do we care what happens in 2012? Refund our monies and for the mounting medical bills that was caused by your negligence. Discount codes are unacceptable. That means we would still have to pay for your race, travel, etc.
3. You have a partner about the water in Vegas? Ummmm, the Fire Department? So, when was the last time you drank from a fire hydrant? I have a friend who works for the Fire Department; you would have needed to flush it to make it drinkable. In order to do that for all the aid stations, the streets of Vegas would have been FLOODED pre-race. I might have been blind that night, but I don't remember wading through any water on The Strip. Every year people have complained about the water - now...this. Now, you are forced to deal with it.
4. If YOU saw Volunteers taking Medals - why didn't you take them back or stop them? That makes no sense. While SOME might of taken them, but THOUSANDS of medals missing? I see nothing but finger pointing going on and you not accepting responsibility.
5. You made the conscience decision to scale back on the resources that the racers need to stay healthy. The racer count for 2010 was 27K - yet, your finisher area for this year was HALF the size and less food and beverages. You didn't even keep the same standard as 2010, you lowered it. That was a clear decision on your part, not a "mistake" or "unforeseen circumstances".
6. Didn't your mother teach you manners? Ever hear the word, "sorry" and own it?
7. Do you not know how to look up weather forecast? What part of COLD in December did you not understand? And you provide us worthless Mylar blankets, no heaters and no hot beverages? But, yet you have heaters in your Guest VIP tents. No, you cannot control the weather, but you didn't even ATTEMPT to provide us any safety from the elements. Thank you for thinking of us, we appreciate your compassion.
8. You have hurt the charity you claim to support. While I have never been in Team Challenge. I have friends who are (and Coaches). They won't be coming back which squarely hurts the funds needed for that charity. You USED their name to gain favor from the public, yet not using ANY of our registration monies to help the charity. That in itself should be a crime.
9. Who designs your medals? First, I thought your Mardis Gras one was nothing more than a gumball machine trinket - now you put the SEATTLE Space Needle on the Las Vegas Medal. I grew up in Seattle; I know the difference between the Space Needle and the Stratosphere.
10. Don’t blame the Strip Resort Property for your ineptness to communicate about parking, crowd control or food needs. Vegas handles thousands of conventions each year, many are larger than your race. Afterall, we do handle over 250K people each year on New Year’s Eve – I think we can handle 44K for a few hours. I am proud of our Resorts, they keep our tourist happy, but your inability to communicate with them – makes THEM look bad and we take the heat for it.
11. Your phone calls to me will not be returned. I have expressed my concerns about safety, merging, water and all else for MONTHS and never addressed by your company. Now, that I am being very vocal about my experiences and causing you some discomfort - you want to talk to me? I will give you the same courtesy you have given me and countless other racers, pre-race day - not a moment of my time.
12. You endorse cheating. I saw it with my own eyes. I might of been sick, but I remember EVERY step I took on that course and what was happening right next to me.
In closing, you disgraced my city, my county and the sport we love. Everything could have been avoided but you elected not to. You were warned over and over on FB and through emails to your company. I know this for a fact. I have thousands of followers on my FB page, Twitter and Blog - you have hurt us all. I will stand up and be their voice when they are too scared to take on a big corporate giant, such as you. I demand accountability for your actions (or lack thereof) and WE will get it. You see Competitor Group - this isn't about ME. It's about US. You crossed a line when you hurt those I train, coach, and care about and have invested my time in. Yep, it's personal, too. When I feared for my own life in the freezing temps - when I thought I wouldn't make to the finish line to get to my family and I was SHUNNED away by your medic and staff - I did think of how I wouldn't let you get the better of me. You didn't and you won't.
We didn't just SURVIVE Vegas - we CONQUERED.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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