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Letter: Wrong target

I generally enjoy Chip Ainsworth’s Recorder columns, despite not being much of a baseball fan and having no interest at all in horse racing and some of the other activities he writes about. I usually appreciate his blunt opinionated style, and actually look forward to his yearly reports, more travelogue than sports writing, about his annual journey down to Florida for spring training. And as a fellow cheapskate, I’m generally amused at his highlighting of how corporate sports often rips off its fans.

But I can’t refrain any longer from complaining about his petty cheap shots at one of the area’s yearly athletic gems, the Bridge of Flowers Road Race in Shelburne Falls. For Ainsworth to compare an informal race series in New Hampshire (outside of The Recorder’s readership area no less), races that might attract 50 runners and likely require no more than a handful of volunteers to pull off, to The Bridge of Flowers race, with its complex and beautiful heart-of-the-village location, 700-plus runners, 100 volunteers, professional timers and police monitoring, is beyond ludicrous.

I’m hoping Chip Ainsworth simply needs someone to point out that this grumbling is beneath him. Overpriced hot dogs in Fenway Park whose proceeds benefit millionaires is one thing. Race fees completely in line with even near comparable events (the festive big race in a small town experience of the Bridge of Flowers road race is arguably unmatched by any other New England running event) is quite another. The Bridge of Flowers race is pay-you-age for kids, and free for those 70 and over, and contributes to several local charities. Chip Ainsworth should show his neighbors, the many people who devote valuable time and energy towards running this great local event, the respect they deserve.



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