XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per CX?

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XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per CX?

Postby JeffOYB » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:35 pm

Pondering ways to boost XC popularity I like the idea of trying to copy CX's road to success. Maybe it has no applicability, but maybe it does...

OK, as usual I start by suggesting an occasional spectator-friendly handling-oriented race course a la CX.

Then I kinda like the idea of having an Elite event after the Cit's event so that the Cit's can hang out and see how the hotshots roll and maybe find a hero and cheer them on or get to actually know some hotshots.

The connection of everyday bike racers to the elites seems maybe to be part of the success for CX.

Does XC have any need for this?

It reminded me of how I never saw an NCAA ski race during my Cit ski racing years. And I never saw a NCAA skier at a typical Cit race. One or two racers would occasionally show up at a bigger hometown event, or to a major race. It seemed to me that even the Birkie didn't seem to fit the "serious racer" worldview. ...Do they do most of their races like NCAA cross-country running meets? Like with 2 schools getting together in a private kinda way?

Of course, they don't have Cit basketball players playing on the day or court of a NCAA game, but but...
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby jt10000 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:05 pm

It's bizarre to be mixing recommendations with basic questions - you seem to say you don't know what you're talking about but have some good ideas about the subject anyway.
JeffOYB wrote:Do they do most of their races like NCAA cross-country running meets? Like with 2 schools getting together in a private kinda way?

You would do well to gain a basic understanding of what collegiate ski races are like before moving forward on this topic.

Oh, and to answer your second question quoted above: no. Not two schools.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby Chris » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:51 am

I would argue many cross country races give a better connection to the elites than cyclocross. At the City of Lakes Loppet you could have started in the same wave as Matt Liebsch yesterday. There aren't many sports where you can compete head to head with Olympic caliber athletes. Even at the Birkie you are on course at the same time, though maybe starting in a different wave.

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby JeffOYB » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:13 pm

I do think there's a disconnect b/w the public and NCAA ski races. So there's that. If you disagree, give info. I don't think I'm starting from zero in this concept. And so I will indeed press forward with my question. Anyone who has insight on answers feel free to pitch in.

Yeah, at some big races there is national talent -- I did mention that also. But unless you're in a diff event on that day (the short race, say) you won't see them race. They're gone after the start and finish before the public does so that's not the answer.

At least a couple lessons of CX seem to be: spectator friendly (an idea I've mentioned before) and elites are at same events as cits (not what I've emphasized before in observations). Not racing in same event but racing that day. The Cits watch the elites in CX racing. I'm not sure how much that contributes to popularity of CX -- maybe it's a non-factor -- seems worth mentioning, tho.

Anyone think CX concepts could work for XC? If so, which ones?

As regards NCAA, I've heard of collegiate bike racing and some of their events seem to be just for collegiate teams. So if that's a healthy scene maybe segregation doesn't have to be bad.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby jt10000 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:39 pm

JeffOYB wrote:I do think there's a disconnect b/w the public and NCAA ski races. So there's that. If you disagree, give info.


To that, I don't.

I'm just saying you lack too much knowledge about event promotion to be making suggestions.

Here are some examples of your lack of knowledge or misguided assumptions:
+ Collegiate ski races are generally multi-team events, not two-team events.
+ Some collegiate ski races ARE mixed with other races (though most are not). Here is an example from just this week (a fairly elite local race due to format, but anyone could show up and start it): http://fasterskier.com/article/photos-u ... up-sprint/ I think this typically happens 2 or 3 weekends a year here for NCAA skiing in New England.
+ Here is an example of an NCAA skier in a regional marathon this winter (sad story though): http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/02 ... l?hp&_r=1-
+ There are none or almost none NCAA cycling races - collegiate cycling is not an NCAA sport.
+ As Chris said, ski races often have a range of participants from beginners to top or near-top level skiers.

There are reasons that collegiate racing is not more integrated with other racing and that we don't see top NCAA skiers competing at non-NCAA races each weekend. If you have been involved in promoting medium- or large- or high-level races (skiing, biking, whatever) or in collegiate racing as coach/supporter (or former racer) you might have a sense of why that is. It's like your ideas about "flex scheduling." I asked at that time if you were ever involved in such medium- or high-level event promotion and don't recall an answer.

Sorry to be so harsh, but if you were just asking questions I'd be happy to answer the few I could. Asking questions is a great thing.

OTOH this prescription/question thing annoys me. Stop with the prescriptions till you know more.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby JeffOYB » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:40 pm

So I'm right, tho I don't think it was really doubted: College racing is basically separate from Cit racing. Is this the best situation? Should there be more or less blending? It seems like a situation worth pondering in terms of ski racing popularity.

Offhand, sports that are big and popular don't seem hampered by segregating elite students from the public, as in running. Even road cycling seems big enough to tolerate this.

But it's not done in cyclocross. Maybe this is because CX isn't big enough. Is XC skiing big enough? Or maybe size isn't the thing.

I disagree with the idea that only organizers should discuss events and the potentials of sport.

It's mostly irrelevant but I've done hundreds of races and events across a dozen outdoor sports, and I've helped organize dozens of races/events, been a part of quite a few teams. So I feel free to ponder and discuss these things. Certainly I would value promoter feedback, but someone who is new to sport should feel free to pitch in if they like. Indeed, feedback from newbies would be critical.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby jt10000 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:19 pm

JeffOYB wrote:I've helped organize dozens of races/events, been a part of quite a few teams.

Medium/large, or elite stuff - not little pick up events? That is to say, with dozens or perhaps hundreds of competitors or with elite athletes, and with some paid staff. Plus, maybe, results that "matter" in terms of serious cash or prestige. If so, cool.

But you need to ask yourself (or ask the group) what is the reason collegiate races are not more integrated with other ski races? You haven't asked that. There actually are reasons, and it's not just that no one is thinking about doing things better other than you.

More generally, I'll quote myself from the "flex" "discussion":

jt10000 wrote:Jeff, your comments remind me of discussions on some of the local bike racing forums where I live. There are always people with great ideas about races saying "they ought to do this" or "it would work better if somebody did that." Unfortunately, not many of these commenters step up and say "I'm doing this" or "I'm helping my club do that." And then follow-through. It's all about "they" and "somebody." And those of us who put on races, or have put them on, always chuckle with a bit of annoyance about how busy "somebody" must be. Somebody should do a lot of things.

Ideas are nice. A few times good, feasible ideas come from those kinds of people. It happens, but rarely.


JeffOYB wrote:Indeed, feedback from newbies would be critical.

Most newbies have zero clue about issues in organizing large events. Heck, in bike racing even many people who have been doing it for years are clueless - it's all "Somebody ought to do X, Y, and Z. That'd be cool." I think in skiing the level of understanding may be a little better, but I'm not sure.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby JeffOYB » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:31 pm

Sheesh. Nothing constructive here.

I'm sure it's pointless for me to reply to you but whatever.

You say there are reasons why elites don't ski with cits and that it's "interesting" that I don't ask about it. I *DID* ask it. I said there may well be good reasons for segregation and that it might have nothing to do with ski popularity, that blending might not help. I'm not predicting anything. Just trying to discuss it.

You patronizingly say that it's not like folks other than me aren't wondering about how to boost skiing. Well, duh, I never said they weren't. If anyone wants to join in, fine. If there are relevant discussions elsewhere anyone can feel free to post a link to the discussions these other people are having.

Newbie feedback is good data. ...What brought them to the sport. What kept them away, etc. Also, newbies sometimes come from areas of other event expertise.

I am not discussing my right to ask questions in my own way.

My original question stands. Anyone interested can respond or not.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby Blah » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:12 pm

Actually there are a lot of NCAA races that citizens can be a part of. Historically citizens simply don't show up..LAst season at the Tour de Twin Cities citizens could race almost none did..

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby jt10000 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:24 am

JeffOYB wrote:I *DID* ask it.
You never asked about the causes. You made statements about it.
JeffOYB wrote:You patronizingly say that it's not like folks other than me aren't wondering about how to boost skiing.
I never said that.
JeffOYB wrote:I am not discussing my right to ask questions in my own way.
You don't seem to understand the difference between questions and statements.
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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby Chris » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:01 am

Blah wrote:Actually there are a lot of NCAA races that citizens can be a part of. Historically citizens simply don't show up..LAst season at the Tour de Twin Cities citizens could race almost none did..


I agree with this. Many of the races in the Midwest that I have looked at seem to have an open division that is poorly attended.

I would rather have the opportunity to race head to head against the best than have the opportunity to watch them finish at an event. If I want to watch them I can do that at home on my TV with coverage available online. This is one of the things I like about cross country skiing and running. I can't just jump in a professional baseball or basketball game to see how I stack up. I can't even play in the same venue as those pros.

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:21 pm

Blah wrote:Actually there are a lot of NCAA races that citizens can be a part of. Historically citizens simply don't show up..LAst season at the Tour de Twin Cities citizens could race almost none did..


I've done at least one of "Tour" events. It's damn depressing to end up at 50th of 83 racers that it's hard to go back. There are no age class awards, so it's simply show up, race against yourself (in essence), and then go home. In Masters races, the age class awards keep things interesting. Also, you end up racing against the same group of masters weekend after weekend, so it's a social thing. The collegiate racing is a bunch of young fast guys beat me by minutes in a 10 km...as it should be.

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:25 pm

Oh, one more thing. I do like individual start races, as long as they're 10-15 km (and not 30-50 km). Nowhere to hide, just lay it down.

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby UPrSKr » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:46 pm

First of all, I don't have clue one (or could care less) about cyclocross. I do know from personal experience that any skier with a USSA or FIS license can ski at U.S. senior nationals. Next two years, those races are scheduled to be held at the awesome MTU ski trails at Houghton, MI. This season, the skiing has been great on these trails since November 18. Hopefully, the "curse of Nationals" will not strike with a poor snow season next year. The last time nationals were at these trails, I had the honor of starting an hour after the awards ceremony. That was pretty cool, even if not the highlight of my ski racing career. But being able to rub elbows with Kikkan Randall and company was worth the $250 some for license and entry fee. Health willing, I might just give it another shot next year, pride be damned.

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Re: XC benefit from elites racing events with cit's, as per

Postby JeffOYB » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:11 pm

What's great about CX is that, so far anyway, everyone races the same course (I don't really agree with this but that's how it is) so that unless the weather changes a ton you can compare lap times. At the same time you're not forced into the moronic situation of having to "compete" with Elites when you're a Beginner. You get your half hour they get their hour. Everyone can watch everyone else and cheer them on. It's totally "cake and eat it too." You can do your 8 min lap and see that the pro's are doing their 6 min laps, for whatever that means to you. But you get to both race and to watch racing. Both are fun. (I note that in CX people aren't just watching other races *finish*. It's easy to see most of the course and to see multiple laps.) In XC skiing as it's typically done you only get to ski OR watch the finish. (And the hotshots usually aren't even on the premises.) If that was totally changed up now'n'then, might that be a good thing?

Sprints come close to this. Close enuf?
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