“I don’t care to belong to any club,” Groucho Marx famously quipped, “that accepts people like me as members.” I speak now not of Warren Street but of the New York Running Society. In light of the imbroglio that followed the NYRR NYC HM Debacle™, several people formed the Society. Its presence at this point is largely limited to its Facebook Page. The objective, according to founder John Keenan:

    Welcome to the New York Runners Society. While I personally find that the New York Road Runners does a great job in organizing events, numerous runners have started to complain about the high entry fees, lack of transparency, and difficulty of New York residents to get into events.

    We believe NYRR could use an alternative. Therefore, we propose the creation of a series of races comprised of various existing events in the 5 Borough and Jersey City area. In creating this series, we will be publicizing lesser known events; encouraging events that are more environmentally friendly; and building new opportunities for teams to compete.

    The New York Runners Society will be open to ALL runners and will cost nothing to join.

I signed on, and asked whether Westchester races might be considered. I was told that indeed they would. Which of course is consistent with my hope that we can increase the participation in Westchester races, such as the Sleepy Hollow HM (on March 26), the Scarsdale 15K (on Apr. 3), and the Rye Derby (on May 1). Perhaps another trip or two for city-folk to come to the Rockies.

As John says, the NYRR does a fine job. I chiefly run its Club races, and although I’m toward the front, they get crowded; I imagine how much more difficult it is to be further back in the pack.  Sure, if one is hell-bent on running the marathon and doesn’t have a qualifier you need the 9+1 to be assured a spot, fine. The races are well-run.

But, as Steve shows in the NYCRuns.com calendar, there are lots of non-NYRR events from which to chose. A dream is that in this simplest of sports, with lots of folks putting on quality races all around, there can be a nice circuit. I’d like one is Westchester, as I like the NYRR’s club races. The latter is an artificial construct that becomes important because club runners want it to be.

I don’t know where this goes. But it’s a good start.