Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On Jim Craig, Rules and the Power of Character...

I just got off the phone with Jim Craig. That man amazes me... Here I've been a total hardass on him and NSC Racing for what went down up at the Maskethine Sprint, yet it was important enough to him that I understood his perspective that he called me up and rationally explained it to me.

I have to admit -- when I saw Jim's name pop up on the caller ID, I was a bit afraid of how the conversation would go. But it went well -- totally civil, and we both heard eachother's opinions, both on what went down this past weekend, and also on what needs to change going forward.

I explained my opinion to him on the rules and penalties, and that I think there needs to be standard rules that are available for review by each and every competitor prior to the start of the race. Jim told me that, in adventure racing, rules almost always vary from race to race -- not just in Nebraska, but all across the country. I said that is a tough fact to accept, especially with the size of the entry fees and the purses that are being handed out to the top finishers.

On that point I think we agreed, because Jim told me he's putting together a set of 'standard' rules that will debut at his Warrior's Cup Adventure Challenge race on October 7. The same rules will likely apply to the 2008 NSC series as well. With those concrete rules in-place, my biggest beef with the situation just got taken care of.. for future races at least.

We also discussed the 'situation' of this past weekend. In short, we agreed that it was a tough situation all around, and we'll just leave it at that. Certain things likely could have been handled better on both sides, and I'm in no position to assess blame. The promoters did the best they could with the information they had, and I realize now it was not my arguement to have with them, especially in a public forum like the FFL blog.

For that I offer my sincere apoligy to Jim, Laurel and all the volunteers at the race.

Jim's call reminded me that he and his crew care about making their events fun, challenging and fair. And it taught me that, just because I know mountain bike racing really well, it doesn't mean that I know the first thing about adventure racing, a discipline in which I've never competed. So now, perhaps it's time for me to find out what they're talking about.

So it looks like I'm gonna' need a couple of teammates on October 7. Who's with me for the Warrior's Challenge? Remember, you have to be able to stand being within 50 yards of me for at least a few hours straight, so consider that carefully before you reply. ;-}

In the end, Jim and I concur in our belief that positive change will come out of this fiasco, but I can't help but feel pretty bad about being so hard on Jim, Laurel and the NSC. They sacrifice a lot to dream up and promote events that give a lot of people a reason to ride, run and stay fit. That in itself deserves a lot of respect and admiration, and the fact is that this is the first year of the NSC -- they're learning a lot.

It's time to put the past where it belongs and begin moving forward again... Thanks to Jim's call tonight, I now have the perspective neccessary to do just that.

Over the years, Jim Craig has been an incredible role model for myself and countless others. Tonight he reminded me why, and as I type these words, I feel nothing but humble admiration and appreciation for him.

Thanks again Jim.


redstone said...

Don't know what happened, but I like Jim. He rocks. Let's hear it for some cold ass winter races on trails that he built because he loves it. hell yeah.

MG said...

So true. Jim is a damn fine individual, and I'm pretty sure 'passion' is his middle name. He goes way

Interestingly enough Dave... while we're talking about passionate people, I talked to my GB Jim (he rides a sweet old American) on the MWC ride Tuesday night, and he mentioned he rode Hall Ranch for the first time after you gave him the 411... Said you even had a Dale's Pale for him after he got done. He was STOKED! Thanks for hooking him up like that. Jim's a cool cat and a smooth rider.

Service like that's gonna' make you notorious, but that's why Redstone is succeeding. It's the power of you, my friend. You're giving more of yourself to your customers, and flat-out doing it better than your competition. It's inspiring to see.

We're fortunate to have so many passionate friends!


cvo said...

your a good man charlie brown,


no way in hell am I doing an adventure race, and no, it's not the company, we're all good like that,

I just couldn't handle running.
now, if you get me a wheel chair, and you wana push me along, then yeah, I'm in.. but otherwise, I'm out.

MG said...

oh c'mon CVO. we'll suffer through the runnin' together! it's not like i run regularly anymore.

i probably should start, 'eh?

thanks cvo,

debaser said...

Many fond memories of Panama races. I still have a sweet fishing lure I 'won' on some cold assed winter day.

gravy said...

Has the storm passed?

I just wanted to say, I think public blogs are a good place for open discussions. Sure, some people might feel exposed or outted, but... geesh wilikers, can't we all be adult about it and talk like... adults?

MG said...

so true gravy, though i think there also needs to be one-on-one dialog that goes on concurrent with the public discussion.

comments intended to be innocent can be taken the wrong way very easily, and if you're not careful, you can end up with hurt feelings and pissed off people. that's why i was so happy to hear from jim directly on this.

i can't say things will be perfect all the time, but i agree that we'll make progress from this point, and all adventure racers, from newbies like me to hardened vets, will benefit from a more consistent rule/penalty structure. and that would tilt the scales for me, and make me think seriously about doing the events.