Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shannon responds to reader's question...

...and decides to refer to himself in the third person in the title.

Dirt Doll posted:

dear shammy,
let's talk about this other social phenomenon called,
"women competitors getting less prize money than men competitors who race the same course for the same amount of time, paying the same entry fee". More pressing than global warming, I swear......

Interesting...Shannon hasn't thought about it too much (I mean, I haven't thought about it too much), because even though I have a woman's name, I am not a woman. No, I am the MEN'S 2005 35-39 US National Cyclocross Champion, not the WOMEN'S 2005 35-39 US National Cyclocross Champion. And you know what I got for winning that race? A jersey and a medal. Not much payout there.

But seriously, who here has ever promoted a race? I haven't, so what I'm about to say is mostly speculation. I think that for the most part, promoters are not making much money on races. After all the fees for closing/using public roads and parks, paying for repairs to parks after the race, paying for equipment, getting people to direct traffic, making sure there's enough beer for Dean, etc, I bet that many times promoters are paying money out of their pocket to cover some of the costs of putting on a race. I think that a lot of times the prize money is coming from entrance fees. That's why a lot of times you'll see on a race flyer "100% payout" or something like that, meaning if 100 racers show up at $20 each, the purse will be $2000.

Following that logic, it would make sense for Women's categories to have smaller purses than men's categories. There's no doubt that there are fewer women racing than men. But it's the whole chicken and the egg thing: are there fewer women because the purses are small? Or are the purses small because there are fewer women?

Let's not forget that it's often true that one purse is subsidized by another category's entry fees. Meaning the A category always has the largest purse but is rarely the largest category. And also let's keep in mind that at the races we do (especially cross races), few people are actually doing the races to win money. Look at Ping Pong. What are his chances of ever winning money in a race? Less than zero. I don't think I've even seen him finish a race before. But week after week, he keeps skipping every race, complaining about his sore throat or that the purse isn't big enough or...wait, bad example. But the majority of people racing have no chance of ever winning, so why are they going out there?

To be continued, after I think about this some more...

Is there any truth to the rumour that a talented Mr. Hulick is the latest new-recruit on the Vanilla crew?

If so, when is he going to wake up and start blogging about gluing tubies on carbon rims?

Jees. There is a big self promotion/hype buildup opportunity getting overlooked!
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so's your mom
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