100 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

3 days ago @ Daily - Death — it\'s no... · 0 replies · 0 points

Short answer: No.

This is why we can't seem to have any rational conversations about health care, end-of-life care and so on: People whose first reaction is demagoguery. Death-panel dimwits trying to score a political point.

Perhaps you should go read up on the idea of "advance planning" before swooning into nonsense that is wildly outside the bounds of what the column discusses. (Hint: Look up how doctors feel about the "expected" maximum intervention approach to end-of-life care in America - many have done things they would say approach torture.)

Also, check out Atul Gawande's new book.

Clay Evans

4 weeks ago @ Daily - Free race planned to r... · 0 replies · +1 points

Below see Jeff Mason's latest non-apology apology to the runners he's fleeced.

Bottom line: If Mason really wants to apologize, he'll offer to refund the entry fee to any runner who asks for it. If that money is not available, then a criminal investigation is warranted. Of course, he can't refund the effort hundreds of people put into preparing for the race.

Bottom line: Boulder County should invoke "bad faith" and refuse to permit further races run by Jeff Mason.

Bottom line: Someone who's up to the job now has the opportunity to do what Lesley Kinder did back in 99 (and Jeff Mason has done so much to undo) — start a great marathon worthy of one of the true running capitols of America.

Clay Evans

Mason's latest nonsense below; invoking Jessica Dillon is the lowest kind of pleading, an attempt to excuse his misdeeds by associating with tragedy:

Dear Runner,

My apologies once again for the Boulder Marathon having to be postponed until fall 2015. We're working with City and County planners over the next several weeks to determine dates for the 2015 Boulder Spring Half and Boulder Marathon events. As we've said before, all 2014 Boulder Marathon registrants can use their 2014 entry for either of our 2015 events. Once 2015 dates are finalized, we'll send you a no-charge registration link for the 2015 event of your choice.

Over the last several days, some runners have asked the question why I didn't initially (letter below) go into detail as to the reasons why we weren't able to secure the race permit. Fair game. As a person who has competed in countless events, I totally get that. As I told a reporter from the Boulder Camera newspaper a few days ago, in an effort to clarify this, the task of evaluating and creating a new medical plan for the Boulder Marathon, combined with the task of and re-designing, measuring and certifying a new championship race course (both of which were mandated after the Spring Half tragedy) simply became impossible in time for the Boulder Marathon event. The race course and medical plan are the cornerstones of a permit for a race like this - and if neither is finalized the permit simply cannot happen.

As our friends at the City of Boulder and Boulder County know, we worked hard all summer to finalize the changes that had to be made in time for the October event. However we simply ran out of time to make all of the necessary changes, and ultimately the event had to be postponed. Why did I not explain this in detail in the initial letter to runners below? Because, as I've said all along, it wasn't possible to explain the changes we were making with the race without also discussing what happened at the Spring Half. And, out of respect to Jessica Dillon and her family, it simply wasn't appropriate to discuss any of this in a public forum. Period.

But since some people have jumped to incorrect assumptions and judgments, it has become necessary to clarify all of this to the runners. Obtaining a permit to conduct this event became impossible with the medical plan and new race course design still in a state of flux. We did our best to get all of this done in time for the event, but that unfortunately became impossible.

Over the last ten years, I've produced twelve Boulder Marathon and Boulder Spring Half events, which is more large running events at the Boulder Reservoir than any other local race director in that time. These events are immensely important to me, and our staff puts in a massive amount of work in preparing for each of them - no different than the hard work a runner puts in training.

As a life-long endurance athlete, native of Denver, and Boulder resident for the last 30 years, believe me when I tell you that postponing the Boulder Marathon this year is the last thing I wanted to have happen. To all of the runners who were affected, please accept my most sincere apologies. There was just no other way.

Best Regards,

Jeff Mason
Race Director

5 weeks ago @ Daily - Jeff Mason: Course cha... · 0 replies · +30 points

The Camera's editorial today is entirely correct that Mason could have forestalled or at least diverted some of the anger had he decided to be forthright instead of making transparently bogus excuses for his lack of organization.

But this long-winded, poor-me excuse doesn't wash, either.

First, Jessica Dillon died near the finish line at Boulder Reservoir. There is no reason to think there is a course change that would improve emergency access to that area.

The marathon has been run more or less on the same route—slight alterations of Rez-51st/55th-Niwot Road-49th-Oxford-39th-Nelson-N. 55th-Oxford-Nimbus-73rd-return via Oxford-39th-Niwot-55th-51st—since the first race in 1999. One year Lesley Kinder sent runners off over the reservoir dams for the start.

There have been single-lane closures or partial closures to run the event in the past on public roads.

What part of any of that dictates a course change? What alternative would result in significantly improved response times? More to the point, what's so difficult about devising whatever change you like between May and, say, July?

I agree with the racer who suspects Mr. Mason and his attorney concocted this latest excuse in response to the understandable anger of entrants. The story simply doesn't wash.

Clay Evans

5 weeks ago @ Daily - DA to look into cancel... · 1 reply · +12 points

Bing, you make clear with your every comment that you're just a tiresome wannabe curmudgeon.

Did you even read the stories? Have you read the information about Mr. Mason's well-known lack of financial ethics? Does it seem strange to you to collect $100 from a couple thousand people, then cancel (not just postpone) your race twice without refunds then tell them not to worry, just wait a year and next time it'll be great?

I can't help but imagine you as a 264-pound crank on a couch with no prospects, too chicken to own your own trying-too-hard "controversial" opinions.

Clay Evans

5 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder\'s Bookworm bo... · 0 replies · +5 points

I don't know. I get what Krugman is saying, and the 'worm is a perfect example.

I am wildly distracted in the store, in a good way, pulled from one shelf to another and pulling out books based on any number of factors—a spine design, an author name, a title. Then I pull it out and in many cases literally open it up and smell the pages—some of my most evocative reading experiences are closely associated with the particular scent of the book.

I think online you don't have that vast, global selection spread out before you. A fair amount of my pleasure surfing involved books, but that requires me to put in some search term or other which, inevitably, leads me away from something I might have noticed on a shelf next to that title.

But: Books rule! I hope to die before they become totally passe.

5 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder\'s Bookworm bo... · 2 replies · +8 points

Congratulations to Cathy, her mother and the great staff. I'm deeply grateful that The 'worm has continued to thrive after all these years.

I'm in there all the time, but never once stopped to think about the fact that it's not computerized until reading this story—they record your credit tally on index cards with a pencil! And that, maybe, is part of the appeal. For bibliophiles, dinosaurs that we are, the books are all that matter.

I heard Paul Krugman on a science-fiction podcast yesterday (he's a fan) and he said, "If you shop for books online, you can find what you are looking for. But only in a bookstore can you find what you are not looking for."

Thanks Camera and Alicia Wallace, for recognizing this locally owned, non-tech-fixated business.

Clay Evans

5 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder Marathon cance... · 0 replies · +25 points

The idea that Lesley Kinder's death somehow affected a race more than six months later is absurd—and Lesley would have been the first to say so.

We talked about her decision to sell the race back in 2007 and she made clear she had more than one offer. She decided, to her regret, not to go with the 800-pound gorilla (it rhymes with "older colder") not because she didn't like what they had to offer, but because she started the Backroads—a much better name; Mason's first bizarre move was to unwind that branding and name recognition for no reason whatsoever—and wanted to see it run by another small entrepreneur.

Mason nearly killed the race in his first year with incredibly poor organization, chintzy runner benefits—the food was a joke—and simply poor customer service. And of course, as so many of his creditors have found, even Lesley had to sue when he failed to keep his end of the transaction.

I agree with the poster who wrote that this situation is ripe for a criminal investigation. Canceling two weeks out for dubious—nay, ridiculous and transparently bogus—reasons brings to mind the old saw: follow the money. Given the owner's history of nonpayment, last year's cancellation, and other factors, someone should be looking into whether there is fraud.

As for 2015, I would hope that Boulder County takes this situation into account and refuses to grant permits to this owner for any future race.

Clay Evans

5 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder Marathon cance... · 1 reply · +17 points

Punishing other events isn't the answer. You can trust that this problem is the sole responsibility of this particularly race director, who has—as is clear in the story—never run it ethically.

Clay Evans

7 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder postpones \'Th... · 1 reply · +2 points

Either this is a fantastic non sequitur, Mary, or a brilliant satirical reply. Either way, thanks!

Johnny, let's just say it's "by example," rather than "shaming," shall we? I never say a word. Just pick the stuff up and throw it away. The arrogance of those who leave their friend's poop behind, bagged or unbagged, really would seem to be beyond defense — but hey! Just another day in the anonymous Daily Camera comments section!


7 weeks ago @ Daily - Boulder postpones \'Th... · 5 replies · +1 points

I can't claim it actually works, but my strategy for years has been one of "poop shaming" people who don't pick up or who leave poop bagss for someone else to deal with.

While running (no dog) I always make a point to pick up a stray bag. Distressingly often, the stuff inside is cold or frozen — i.e. ain't nobody coming back for it. I run with it and deposit in trash at the end. I will even carry a bag to catch someone red-handed. So in a sense, yeah, I AM the poop fairy.

It's especially good fortune - if rare - to actually see someone dump a bag or fail to pick up, then play fairy and watch 'em squirm. Many protest, "But I was gonna pick it up!"

Sure you were.

And I'm a dog lover.

Clay Evans