First and foremost, let me just say upfront that my intention in writing this letter is not to disrespect, put down, or otherwise slander anyone or their reputation. However, with that said, I feel that presenting my side of the situation publicly like this was the only option I had to address and rectify my concerns (especially since my direct line of contact had been terminated by the other party) over a situation that occurred between myself and fellow local ultra runner and race director of HPRS John “Sherpa” Lacroix.
Most of you know John in some capacity, whether it be through social media or participation in his events. One thing I think everyone would agree on is that whether online or at an event, John certainly has no problem voicing his opinion or thoughts on any given subject, regardless of who it offends or pisses off. Personally, I grew an appreciation for his honesty in that regard, not to mention my admiration for his support and defense of the grassroots and communal aspects of ultra running. Because of this, it is not without some regret over the misfortune of having to share such an extremely negative experience I had with him recently.
Lets get down to what happened….
On November 15th, I posted the following status:
To which spawned the following heated exchanges on Facebook:
Just as it reads, clear as day, I did not mention any particular race promotion that I lost $ to. Let me say that again to make myself 100%, completely unequivocally clear: I did NOT mention any one race promotion I lost $ to. The reason for this is simple – there were several. It’s also worth noting that the figure was actually around $500 total when it was all said and done. Additionally, I need to be crystal clear about something else. I do not in any way deny responsibility for missing the races I signed up for. As I said originally though, I was going through a major life change and simply could not make time to attend these events.
More importantly, my original rant was nothing more than an open ended rant, clearly not aimed at any one promotion in particular. It was a way for me to just voice my frustration out loud at the circumstances which prevented me from attending the events in 2014 that I signed up for.
A couple things I’d like to address with regard to the emails exchanged:
1) John – you had told me previously that Ultrasignup will charge the difference to my card to account for the cost difference of upping my distance from 50K to 100K for Tommyknocker. It is no way my fault that this did not occur, so throwing it in my face was groundless. I said to feel free to charge me extra or whatever needed to take place in order to compensate you for the difference. Are you sure it wasn’t something on your end that you did incorrectly or overlooked?
2) I think it’s completely hypocritical of you to call me out of line for expressing an opinion that I still stand by. Do I believe that some promotions need a better or more well defined refund policy to accommodate what can happen in day-to-day life? Of course I do. Especially when dealing with the higher cost of bigger and lengthier races like trail ultras. Furthermore, I can’t count how many times YOU’VE called out someone or something that you didn’t agree with. How come you’re apparently the only one who can share an opinion? All of a sudden when it offends you then it’s out of line? How does that figure?
3) I’m still floored over the fact that you’re offended that I praised Charles Johnson. Charles put on a fantastic race in Gunnison this year, and I’m returning to run the same race, a fully supported 100K trail ultra, for $20. Do you run deals like that? And more importantly, why are you so pissed over me giving props to someone (something I’ve done tirelessly for you and HPRS since I’ve known you) else? You do realize how petty and nearly immature that makes you look, right?
I’ve done my best to remain silent and cordial on the issue, but I’m damn sure not going to allow myself to be attacked out of no where for such a bogus reason that was not even directed at you. How easy it must be to have an opinion when it was not your money nor devastating circumstances you had to deal with.
Let me tell you something John, for as much as you act like it, you don’t have a patent on the sport of ultra running. Furthermore, for someone who stresses the importance of unity and community in the scene, you sure do your share of alienating people with such a shitty attitude sometimes. You have done great things for the sport yes, and I do believe you deep down to be a solid guy, but to me that doesn’t excuse your misguided blatant attack on me. In this case, I do believe it was you, not me, that acted like a colossal prick.
No thanks on the comp, I’m pretty put out with the whole situation. Additionally, I think I can find other, cheaper races to run. I hope my money went to good use.
Good luck to you 2015.