Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bye Bye Team

It's the end of an era. Tim, the fearless founder and leader of Team Good River has decided to call it quits. It's actually amazing that he pushed on managing a team of runners in Northeast and Central Ohio as long as he did after moving to North Carolina a year or so ago. That's dedication. I'm sure he heard about my time off of training and knew without me, the team was nothing. (Um, that was a joke.) But, it is kind of sad. TGR was Ohio's only USATF elite development team in Ohio and only one of a handful nationwide. In the end, besides the logistics of running the team from afar, we had trouble gaining sponsorship for such a big team. The shoe companies didn't want to have to deal with over 100 runners and the local running shops are competing against each other.

It will be interesting to see what happens now. I suspect everyone will go back to competing for their local stores. I would like to see Northeast Ohio wield a few teams that compete against each other in local races. That could be fun. At least for us competitive/recreational types. Team Good River's standards were pretty high (I actually never met one), so a lot of locally competitive runners were shut out of the only game in town. It will be nice for those folks to get a piece of the team running pie. On the other hand, those standards motivated many runners to pick up their game and gave them something tangible to shoot for. Here were the latest entry standards for open men and women, in case anyone's interested (If you're wondering how the hell I got on the team, I was only 8 seconds off the old half-marathon standard. The standards were lowered for the new year at least in part in hopes of attracting reliable sponsorship).

I hope those runners that are competitive outside of the area find something else to offer the support they need to maximize their seemingly unlimited potential. There were some amazingly talented runners on the team! All I know is that I really appreciated my short time as a TGR member. I met some really great people on the team that I hope to stay friends with for a long time to come who taught me lots about running, racing and life. You can't ask for more than that!

For posterity's sake, I copied my roster entry off the website (which should disappear any minute now) and posted it here. I still love how that picture says buttpaste over there.


GP said...

(Laughing)... I hate/love laughing too loudly in my office when I'm by myself. Buttpaste.

Maybe you should start a team, or use your advocating way to convince someone else to run a quality group that you can lead. I'd do it... but I kind of stink at running. But I can build a mean Web site...

tonya said...

As of Sunday, I could have been on that team! Yay!

But seriously, those qualifications are much lower than the ones I have to achieve to be a Standard "A" level athlete for Team Nebraska, where I would get my team wear, shoes, and everything else free. Man. I'm sorry your Team is now defunct. :(

Chelle said...

Guess that's not an April Fools Joke, eh? That's too bad, but you're right, it could work out well in the end if it creates smaller teams to compete with each other. I think the club team system here in New York is a great motivator. I'm a little worried about what my racing options will be out in Missouri!

DaisyDuc said...

TGR was definitely in a league of their own. Anyone wearing those shirts always deserved respect! It is very cool you had the opportunity to be on that caliber team and now it will be interesting to watch what unfolds!

Meghan said...

Oh Salty, that's sad! Sorry that you're losing what looks like a great team. I'm hoping that something else will develop for you (when you're ready) and other local deserving athletes. :(