Letter: Councilors showed hypocrisy with road race denial

Posted 6/20/19

As a competitive runner who has completed more than 1,000 road races all over the country in my 30-year running career, I was outraged by the recent action by the town council in denying the …

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Letter: Councilors showed hypocrisy with road race denial

Posted

As a competitive runner who has completed more than 1,000 road races all over the country in my 30-year running career, I was outraged by the recent action by the town council in denying the organizers of the Bristol Independence Half Marathon their request to have an announcer and music at the start/finish line of the race at Independence Park.

At every single one of the more than 1,000 races I have participated in, I have never seen a governing body prohibit an announcer prior to the start of the race, nor have I witnessed a prohibition on announcements and/or music at the finish.

The town council obviously did not realize that the announcers and music are an integral part of the total road race experience, with the pre-race announcements providing participants with important course and safety information, and the finishing announcements and music providing runners with a well deserved feeling of accomplishment.

In addition, the Bristol Independence Half Marathon draws many first time runners and many runners who are unfamiliar with the area, making the announcements even more crucial. 

And while certain members of the town council tried justifying their foolish action by claiming it was to pacify those living in the area, they decided to be hypocrites and discriminate against the Independence Half Marathon race directors, while allowing concerts, fireworks, parades, and every other noise making activity you can think of during the Fourth of July festivities.

With those decisions, it’s patently obvious the town council chooses to participate in “selective enforcement.”

Finally, the road race company that was treated so poorly by the town council has a tradition of playing the National Anthem prior to all of their races, so I assume this year they will have to break with that tradition, unless the members of the town council decide to come down to Independence Park and sing the National Anthem using sign language, so as not to disturb anyone. And if they do decide to sing using sign language, I would suggest they sing the national anthem of North Korea or Cuba, as that is what the town of Bristol has become. 

Mike Proto
Bristol

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