E P I S O D E  3 6

NYC Marathon’s New Race Director, & The Shameful IRONMAN Group

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Episodes | 0 comments

In this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, we’re talking the brand new race director of the New York City Marathon, Ted Metellus, who just so happens to be a black man.  The new Ted Corbitt Loop in Central Park, NYRR Virtual Black History Month racing, & The Ironman Group is still not issuing refunds for permanently cancel races.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim: [00:00:00] The New York city marathon has a new race director and the Ironman group is up to their old tricks.

[00:00:17] Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Run Wave. I am your host Kim. If this is your first time tuning in, welcome to the show. If you are a return listener, welcome back to the show. I truly appreciate you tuning in. Each and every week, if you haven’t already done so subscribe to the podcast.

[00:00:40] If you subscribe to the show, you’ll get a notification each and every time I upload a new episode, you can also go to my website, those And there will be a fly up box where you can enter in your email address and you’ll get an email as well. Every time I upload a new episode. So [00:01:00] subscribe on your favorite podcast app or subscribe via email on my website and you’ll get all The Run Wave news as soon as it drops.

[00:01:08] Well, we all know February is black history month and I was doing a series called extraordinary athletes, doing extraordinary things. And I did feature two great athletes, but I really miss just having a one-on-one chat with you, my friends. So. This episode, I’m just going to do a little catch-up on things that have gone down recently in the running community that I felt that I need to voice my opinion on.

[00:01:35] So let’s get right into it. First up the New York city marathon now. If you been listening to this show, if you follow me, you know, I am New York city born and bred any news on the New York city marathon. Any news coming out of New York road Barners I am on it. It it’s, it plays an important role in my running career.

[00:01:59] I don’t know if I want to [00:02:00] call it a career, but it plays an important role in my, you know, recreational running. So New York road runners has announced that they have a new race director for the New York city marathon. And get this drum roll, please. . He is a black man, so excited. His name is Ted and I don’t want to butcher his last name.

[00:02:25] So I’m going to give it a shot. Cause I haven’t heard anyone say it yet, but Ted. Ugh, I’m going to mess this up. Met lists, I think lists, um, M E T E L L U S. Someone please, uh, DME, a voicemail on how to pronounce his name. So I won’t butcher it the next time, but yeah, New York, Roman is name a black man as the race director for the New York city marathon.

[00:02:50] And he is the first black race director for any world marathon major and. This is Epic. I mean, I know we’re [00:03:00] in. Like this time that we’re in, we’re in this diversity and inclusion, everyone wants to be, you know, pro black and show me that they support the black community in particular, the black running community.

[00:03:13] So I think that this is huge, that New York has named a black race director. Now, let me give you a little bit of background on Ted. He was born and raised. In the Bronx, New York now y’all know I’m from the Bronx VX represented. So what I read that he was born and raised in the Bronx that just got my excitement even higher up because any time someone comes out of the Bronx, I just feel a sense of inner pride and joy because yeah.

[00:03:46] Like other than Staten Island, like no one cares about stat analysis. That melon is like, no one goes to Staten Island and I don’t even, I don’t know one person that stand out, but others that analysis in the Bronx is like the frog got and borrow. And that’s just, I [00:04:00] re I’m going to represent the Bronx till the end of time.

[00:04:03] So anytime I hear someone doing big things out of the Bronx, it’s so excites me. So Ted has worked at New York road runners since 2001. And in 2019, he became the vice president of events and the technical director of the marathon. So this is like a huge promotion for him. Now don’t get us twisted. Ted has plenty of experience to back up this major role that he has gotten.

[00:04:33] Ted is not new to this. He has been around for a long time and he’s worked for a lot of running organizations, including Pallotta Teamworks. Ivantage the Miami marathon, Philadelphia triathlon lifetime triathlons. The rock and roll marathon series. I’m going to talk about later, but yeah, he’s worked, worked for rock and roll and Ironman.

[00:04:54] And, uh, he was a 2016 national center for a spectator sports, safety and [00:05:00] security professional of the year. So the man’s resume speaks for itself. He’s not new to this. He has been around the block quite a few times. Now, New York road runners did release a press release where they did asks, ask him a Q and a I’m going to link that.

[00:05:16] Down below. You can swipe out to read that so you can see what he had to say, but I would just want to read one of the quotes that he mentioned, which. I thought it was great. New York road runners asked him, what does it mean to you to be the first black race director of an Abbott world marathon majors race.

[00:05:37] And he said, homeboy quoted Tupac. In the words of the great rapper, poet, actor, Tupac, all eyes on me. That’s not what you said, but that’s how I read it in my mind. So he said all eyes on me. I am in a position to open doors and shine, a light for others to follow. I’m [00:06:00] excited to see what Ted is going to do with the New York city marathon.

[00:06:04] I mean, hopefully. I don’t have a lot of hope y’all, but I hope some major happens at the end of this year. You know, the way things going, it doesn’t look likely, but you never know we’re holding out hope. So I, I am just, I’m so excited about this. I’m going to link to the press release so you can read that and you can follow Ted on IgG has IGS private.

[00:06:27] I sent him my request today. I’ll let y’all know if he accepts it, but his, his, uh, His IgE is Ted underscore, D Luxe, D E L U X E N. He’s also on Twitter at Ted deluxe. All one word I’ll link both of those down below as well, but yeah, kudos to Ted. And I am just so excited about this news. I hope a lot of you are happy.

[00:06:54] Um, you know, it comes at a time where. [00:07:00] We’re getting in the room, you know, where I’m not happy about what it took for us to get here, but we are getting there and this is a win for us. And hopefully. This is just the beginning. You know, hopefully other world majors will step up and just other races in general, just, you know, we have to create our own races to have black race directors, which is just crazy as 2021.

[00:07:26] That is crazy. So hopefully other organizations, um, You know, want to make their staff more diverse because look, the black running community, we ain’t going away. We’re just expanding. We’re getting bigger. We’re getting better. We’re getting more notice. So I just hope that other organizations follow suit and plus some people of color where they belong in positions of leadership, positions of power positions, where they can make a change in this organization and diversify the face of [00:08:00] running.

[00:08:00] In other New York road Warner news, there is a virtual 5k for black history month that runs from February 19th to February 28th. And you can sign up for the virtual role on Strava and guess what? It’s free 99. A lot of the New York road runner races at our virtuals are free. New York. Roadrunners has a lot of virtual races that are free.

[00:08:26] You sign up or New York road runners website, and you have to link your new Yorker on run his profile with Strava, and then you just run your race. You Mark it as a race and they do their magic in the. You know, in Al Gore’s internets and your results are somehow added to New York Romanos website under all of your running stats.

[00:08:48] So definitely sign up for that. And just a little bit about the racist says is celebrate the contributions of black and Afro. African-American runners through history, including New York [00:09:00] road runners, founding presidents had Corbett. If you listen to my interview with the president of the board of the , he was also one of the founding members of that organization as well.

[00:09:12] Continuing with the virtual New York road runners black history month 5k complete year, 3.1 mile run in honor of black figures who have been influential in your own community and around the world. So I will leave a link to that event. Um, if you have Strava, click that link, sign up and participate in the race.

[00:09:33] You have a few more days it’s over on the last day of. February the 28th. It is not a leap year so that you haven’t said the 28th to complete your virtual race. So yeah, if you do complete it, tag me in your run, let me know that you heard about it on The Run Wave and you signed up and, you know, let us know how you did.

[00:09:52] In other New York city running news, the six mile loop in central park is now cold [00:10:00] that’s head Corbett loop. And you know, that is amazing news because Ted corporate, he is like the father of long distance running. Um, like I said before, he was one of the founders of New York road runners. And. Ted actually ran the very first New York city marathon and he had bib number one.

[00:10:22] How Epic is that? Wow, this is very, very exciting. Um, my name is Von flowers, captain of black men run New York city. Uh, we honor 10 corporate every year. Uh, once we found out about what Ted Corbitt has contributed to the wrong community, we felt it was only white. As African American men, excuse me, that we should just honor and continue his legacy.

[00:10:51] We reached out to Gary Corbett and he gave us his blessing and we just continued to just keep [00:11:00] running in his honor and says this moment right here, it’s just beautiful. And I’m very happy to be a part of it. I want to thank commissioner silver for allowing me to be a part of this and the central park.

[00:11:14] And services. So with that said, I’m truly happy and honored to be a part of this moment. New York, you may have come across, um, Gary Corbett, who is Ted son, you know, he is I’m friends with him on Facebook. I follow, I follow him on Instagram as well, but he posts a lot of. Great historical facts about Ted Corbitt and he just keeps his memory alive and at the forefront of runners like ourselves mind.

[00:11:40] So be sure to follow Gary Corbett, to just learn interesting facts about Ted Corbitt and just to learn the history of the black running community. So if you’ve ever run the six miles, boop and central park is not easy, you know, they have Harlem Hill. Cat Hill all kinds [00:12:00] of Hills, but yeah, we, we run a lot of the New York where we’re running races in central park, so we’re very familiar with that loop.

[00:12:08] So I’ll be excited when I finally get to run in the park again and I get to take my picture by the sinuses. Uh, Ted Corbitt loop. So shout out to black men run New York city. I had no idea that this was happening. There was a whole to do it was on the, the local news here. And, um, black men around New York city were there and I saw it on their Instagram page.

[00:12:30] So shout out to them for letting us know what was going on in the running community. And this is just such a plus for the running community and the black running community at large. You know, I really hate to talk about them again, but the Ironman group is up to their same old, silly tricks, and I call them tricks because they are just doing nothing to propel [00:13:00] themselves to the forefront of.

[00:13:02] You know, running organizations during this pandemic, they are, they are probably the worst running organization during this pandemic. So they sent out an email last week and they’re. Most people don’t read their emails. Right. I barely read emails, but if I see an email from them, that is not an email inviting me to sign up for another race.

[00:13:25] That’s not happening. Then I read the email. So I clicked on this email and read it and a link to a video that was by the CEO of the Ironman group. Andrew Messick. Now I’m going to, I’m going to put the video right up on the screen here. So, so we can go through this video together. Let me cue it up. Here we go.

[00:13:52] IRONMAN Group: [00:13:52] Hello everybody. Andrew Messick here. Middle of February. The Northern hemisphere season is getting closer. And [00:14:00] I want to provide an update on where we stand with regard to being able to operate races around the 

[00:14:05] Kim: [00:14:05] world. First of all, he already pissed me off because his dog on camera is shaking. Why is your camera shaking?

[00:14:14] I little me who puts on this little old podcast has a Stan and I have my camera Mount mounted on a tripod. My camera doesn’t shake. So that’s number one. Y’all are so unprofessional. Your camera should not be shaken during this video. Let’s continue. 

[00:14:30] IRONMAN Group: [00:14:30] We all want to get back to racing. I want to get back to racing.

[00:14:34] You want to get back to racing? And the question is when, so let me tell you about how we’re, how we’re thinking about it and. What we’re trying to accomplish, 

[00:14:45] Kim: [00:14:45] how we’re thinking about it and what we’re trying to accomplish. Andrew. First of all, you should have started this video by apologizing for not never getting back to your clients when they email you and being so [00:15:00] non-transparent about what’s going on with your races.

[00:15:04] Let’s continue. Ultimately, 

[00:15:07] IRONMAN Group: [00:15:07] our ability to host races in the immediate term is going to come down to a series of factors. What’s happening with the virus what’s happening with vaccinations. What’s happening with travel restrictions. And what is the appetite of our host communities to welcome athletes, volunteers and staff, 

[00:15:31] Kim: [00:15:31] your host community is what about the appetize of runners that have signed up for your races, that you have canceled permanently and you have not issued any refunds for those primary lane?

[00:15:41] Cancel races. What about the appetites of them 

[00:15:44] IRONMAN Group: [00:15:44] to be able to conduct a race or. Guests, you know, in our host communities and ultimately the combination of virus, vaccination, travel restrictions and appetite for our hosts communities to [00:16:00] be prepared, to have mass gatherings for sports is going to determine our ability to have bases.

[00:16:07] And those factors differ in virtually every country, every state. Every territory around the world. 

[00:16:14] Kim: [00:16:14] Okay. We know that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. We already know this. You’re not telling us anything that we don’t already know, but you surely aren’t telling us why you’re sending out emails for individuals to register for races that aren’t happening.

[00:16:31] Tell me that. And our 

[00:16:33] IRONMAN Group: [00:16:33] operating teams right now are working with our host communities to determine what’s possible. We want. To host races. That’s our goal. We 

[00:16:45] Kim: [00:16:45] are in the business and we want to run races, but I know I’m not signing up for another race with your organization, rock and roll or Ironman. And let me tell you why.

[00:16:57] They have canceled races. [00:17:00] I know it’s a pandemic. Everyone has canceled races. A lot of organizations have either flipped those to virtuals and send people their metals and t-shirts, or postpone the races. But they’ve given us the option. Run a virtual, get a refund, defer your race, rock and roll. Gave us no options.

[00:17:18] Rock and roll said, we’re going to postpone you to next year. We’re keeping your money. If we cancel your res permanently, we’re keeping your money, or you can just, you can pick an or the city. That was the other option that they gave us moving on of 

[00:17:34] IRONMAN Group: [00:17:34] hosting races. And we hear from athletes all around the world, how badly they want to raise.

[00:17:41] So 

[00:17:43] Kim: [00:17:43] of course we want to raise. Everyone wants to race, but it’s a pandemic nobody’s racing right now. 

[00:17:48] IRONMAN Group: [00:17:48] Focus is on making the races happen now. We can’t always do that. And we’ve already seen Oceanside has moved to October. We [00:18:00] moved the, that came Epic in the Ironman, African championships. We think that many of the races really season in Europe are going to be moved to later in the year.

[00:18:10] We think that many of our larger running events in North America to later in the year, but we make those decisions only when we feel like. We have exhausted every opportunity to be able to safely make those races happen. 

[00:18:31] Kim: [00:18:31] Okay. I’m done with them. I will put a link to this video down below now. Here’s the thing.

[00:18:38] Okay. They are such cowards because the video was unlisted. So unless someone who received that email sent you that link, you can’t find this video. So I am going to put a link to this video down below, so you can watch the entire video. Now once a day, they apologize. Not once did they offer refunds for cancel races?

[00:18:58] And if you are a triathlete, [00:19:00] do you know much in Ironman races and Ironman racists? 700 plus dollars, a Ironman 70.3 a half. Ironman is 350 plus dollars. The half marathons that I signed up for they’re like 90 plus dollars. When you sign up early, the 5k is, are like 35 plus depending on when you sign up.

[00:19:19] So there is a lot of money that Ironman has kept. For canceled events. And that is why I’m pissed. I’m not pissed because the races are canceled. All, all races were canceled. I’m pissed because we are not given the option of what we want to do. Ironman has just decided to keep people’s money, to cancel their races.

[00:19:39] And they’re moving along with life. I just get so heated with these race organizations. Like they, I have no problem with virtual races. If you converted your racist to virtuals fine. If you’ve given people the option to do those virtuals. Now I’ve only signed up for rock and roll Seattle and they [00:20:00] canceled my 5k permanently and they rescheduled the.

[00:20:05] Half marathon for June of 2021. And that has now been okay. Postponed to, and they don’t even have a date that they postpone it again for the second time in U S you don’t even have a date. So you don’t even know if you’re postpone at this point. So yeah, I’m fed up a rock and roll I’m on a mission. I’m going to tweet them and email them.

[00:20:26] And so they block me because what they’re doing is wrong. They are owned by a huge corporation and. You you doing this to people is just wrong. And we, we, as a community, as a running community, as a triathlete community, we need to stop supporting them because they are full of shit. And I hate to curse on the roadway, but that’s what they are.

[00:20:50] And you know what the CEO is saying, Hey, I’m sure he’s collected his pay. I should look into that and see how much he’s getting paid. You know, he sent Nick pay, pays, making these [00:21:00] terrible videos and they’re going on with life, like nothing is going on and I’m pissed about it. And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all of these race directors, pushing these races, knowing that they’re going to go virtual.

[00:21:10] So you have, you’re getting people’s hopes high and you know that these were, are not happening. I mean, there’s small races in Florida. South that are happening because those States are wide open, but mostly all the other States, there are no races happening and it’s just wrong, what they’re doing and I’m sick and tired of it.

[00:21:27] So, yeah, Ironman. Hmm. That’s all I have to say about that. All right. So that was a handful and I just, I want to thank you all for tuning it to The Run Wave. Sometimes your girl just got event because. You know, I’m PA um, I love running. I love recreational running. I’m passionate about it. I love traveling to races and I haven’t been able to do that in a long time.

[00:21:57] Yeah. I understand why. And I [00:22:00] understand that everyone is suffering, but companies like ROC the Ironman group, they’re out for their self they’re out for profit. They don’t care about the people that have supported them all these years. So people like that. Can shove it. I’m not supporting them anymore, but thank you again for tuning into this episode of the show.

[00:22:20] Be sure to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. And I will catch out on the next one later. Thank you so much for tuning into the show. Be sure to subscribe to The Run Wave on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review of the show on Apple podcasts. It would have really helped me out.

[00:22:42] If you are a runner that has a story to tell, and you would like to be on the show. You can email or send us a DM on Instagram to the run. Wait, see you next time. [00:23:00] .

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