Sunday's running column created some conversation about the issue of consumer rights when it comes to races. I had a good-sized chat with someone in the race timing business. He gave me the name of a man who, according to some newspaper articles and other accounts, has sometimes scheduled races, collected fees, cancelled races and kept the entry fees. The problem with such individuals is that it's difficult to bring such people to "justice." One person would have to go to a lot of expense, time and trouble to try to get an out-of-state vendor to issue a refund.
I'm not sure what can be done here. Buffalo had another case of fraud last fall, when a website advertising the "Buffalo Moonlight Marathon" for the fall popped up. Apparently there was never a plan to do anything but take your money.
It's almost as if someone needs to set up a national clearinghouse to keep an eye on all such operations. Not sure if it is a consumer rights issue or something for the USATF, but it's not a pleasant aspect of this sport.
Changing subjects drastically ...Allison Carr's son Gary apparently is following in the family tradition. The nine-year-old qualified for the USATF Junior Nationals by running a 1:12.31 in the 400 meters. It was only his second attempt to run the distance. Very impressive. Allison is a multiple winner of the Buffalo News runner of the year series.
Here's the weekend schedule, courtesy of Buffalorunners.com:
* Old Home Days 5K, 5565 Main St. in Williamsville, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 839-2543.
* Buffalo Orienteering Club 5-Mile Trail Run, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 652-8727.
* Tuscarora Nation 10K Run, Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston, 9 a.m. Saturday, 940-0852.
* Tom Drake Memorial 5K Thunderbird Club Run, Mayville Lakeside Park, 9 a.m. Saturday, 607-0328.
* One Small Step for Prader-Wili Syndrome Run, 5K, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 10 a.m. Saturday, 316-9344.
* Niagara Catholic Alumni Run, 520 66th St. in Niagara Falls, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 531-6198.
-- Budd Bailey