After my AJC Peachtree Road Race bib arrived in the mail, I reacted with shock and denial.
Then, with the other stages of grief, came the pain and guilt over not successfully posting my mediocre time from last year that would have landed me in a “G” or “H” wave instead of an “X” (pictured below).
At the anger and bargaining stage, I went public here on my way to other stages of grief, acceptance and hope.
One way I thought I might deal with this – surf over to eBay, where about two dozen bibs have been up for auction for more than a week.
(Warning: the Atlanta Track Club’s deadline to legitimately transfer your number expired in May. If you wear someone else’s bib this Sunday, you are breaking rules. Same can be said about the people who run in costume).
When you look at my bib in the photo, you are seeing it displayed like most of those pictured on eBay. There have been listings this month for waves from “A” all the way back to group “X.”
Some listings refer to the grouping by the first digit in the number series that follows the letter. That seems misleading and designed to trick people who are used to the old system of numbered time groups.
Which sounds like the more desirable starting position, “time group 7” or start wave “U?” I wonder if the bidders on the “time group 7” bib know they will be four slots from the back of the pack and not six away from the front.
I joked in the earlier post about my plan to get a better number. I said I was thinking about buying a vowel at the front end of the alphabet and one commenter took me to task for even considering it. Certainly there is a fairness question about joining a non-random front-running group if you didn’t earn it and can’t keep up.
But tricking people into believing they are starting in time group “7” instead of wave “X” – the last group – is a much worse offense, in my book.
For today’s discussion, please contrast the moral relativism of (1) transferring randomly generated numbers after the May deadline, (2) tricking people about time groups on eBay and (3) wearing costumes during the Peachtree. What about someone who buys a bib off eBay, has it blown up and uses it as their running costume? Discuss.