Adventures In Running


Personal Responsibility

Written By: The Hornet - Feb• 25•13

personal responsibility 300x206 Personal ResponsibilityI would like to begin by making a point that may border on political. This is something I prefer to avoid,  but it has become necessary to address this topic.  While there are times in life that the very unfortunate need help, the vast majority of us are bound by a little concept called personal responsibility.  With our culture changing, many people have chosen to abandon this notion.  The reason I bring this up is because of an article I wrote last year during the frenzy of heat related race cancellations. (read here) Apparently Sean Ryan, the race director of the Green Bay Marathon, has put me on his radar and launched a couple inarticulate, personal attacks.  I continue to stand by my article and merely pointed out his obvious condescension toward runners.  He has opted to take the low road via name calling both in an email and also posting on my Adventures In Running Facebook page a short, sophomoric attack on a completely unrelated article.  He chooses his words as poorly as he makes decisions in my opinion.  This is the email (which I actually found somewhat amusing) EXACTLY as it was written:

Here’s a thought: Why don’t we have every self-absorbed distance runner whno maintains their own blog and brags or humble-brags about their achievements set aside ONE YEAR, yes just one year, to enter the race directing field? Then they could actually blog would an informed perspective on what it takes to put on a race and what’s involved in caring “not just for your own PR and personal survival” but the safe delivery to the finish line of thousands of participants.
How about that Dave, you self absorbed loser?
Sean Ryan
Race Director
Responsible for More Meaningful Runner Finishes Each Year
Than Dave can hope to Accumulate in a Lifetime

air 300x275 Personal Responsibility


Personal responsibility.  Either you believe in it or you don’t.  With the exception of the aforementioned extremely unfortunate in our society, I contend there are no gray areas here.  It’s like having a strong character, either you think it’s important or you don’t.   I have to ask you the reader, is this the temperament of a man you want in charge of anything in your life?  It seems Mr. Ryan is a walking, talking teachable moment to illustrate my point.  If you are the type of person who refuses to take responsibility for your own missteps, you likely think others are incapable of making responsible decisions on their own.  Even if you disagree with my past article you must agree that Mr. Ryan is an obvious total failure in the public relations department.  What’s more, he is completely inaccurate in his assessment of my character.  I challenge Mr. Ryan to find instances where I brag about my accomplishments rather than lift others up. It would seem he is the self-absorbed party here, judging by his closing statement.

There are possible solutions to mid-race cancellations such as capping with fewer participants or changing the venue/date, but this is not what I am here to discuss today.  We can forever debate those ideas and ultimately agree to disagree, but I ask you to consider this:  If I were to build someone a house and alter the homeowners floor plan without consent because I thought they were making a bad move, that would be wrong.  The customer would have paid for something that they did not receive.  I would not then double down on my error and tell them that they should be a carpenter for a year so they can speak from a position of experience.  If Sean Ryan’s philosophy held true, none of us would be allowed to comment on politics, war, bad behavior, etc. because we have not actively been in that person’s position.  So, for the sake of making my point, I would ask Sean Ryan, “How many races did you participate in during 2012?”  Nowhere near the amount I have, so according to his logic, he is not allowed to make judgments on what an experienced racer wants or needs when weather conditions turn unfavorable.  Unfortunately for Mr. Ryan little things like common sense and personal responsibility still exist where most of us come from.




© Copyright 2013 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running
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  1. Laura says:

    I agree with you that this guy is making statements about runners that are invalid, rude and disrespectful. I also think he should be removed from his position for attacking you, and other runners. A race director should be professional, non-bias and should be able to handle things as an adult and not that of a tween.

  2. Michelle says:

    I just hope that those that employ him to represent their company in directing this marathon (or any other race for that matter) notice what poor judgment he used in his actions. He is clearly speaking as the “Race Director” and not a just a random person, so he should act accordingly under his position and speak professionally.

  3. Sean Ryan says:

    Crazy Dave,

    I apologize for using the term “loser.”

    Sean Ryan

  4. Steve Pavlik says:

    I did the Green Bay marathon in its first year 2000, it was a marathon, nothing really special, cute idea running through the football field, but rather a run of the mill event. I havent really considered going back to run it and after the way lat years event was handled and comments by the RD, I will continue to search out other events to run. I wont mention my time or place that year because i dont want to be labeled as being self-absorbed or bragging, but i will mention that i have been involved in race management – organizing a race for 3 yrs and HS track official for 4 yrs

  5. John Schneider says:

    While I believe in freedom of speech, abusive argumentum ad hominem has no place in adult discourse!

  6. Sean Ryan says:

    Some friends suggested my apology might be perceived as insincere. It’s not. I do regret reacting angrily and lashing out at Dave. It was unprofessional. I completely disagree with the assertions he posted on his blog. Race directors do not idly cancel or halt events because its an “easy way out.” I should have responded this way rather than attacking him personally. So while I remain in disagreement with you, I apologize for my comments.

    Sean Ryan
    Race Director

  7. RunningSkirts&Swag says:

    I’m not sure if I’m relieved or more upset to find that I’m not the only person to have a negative experience in communication with Sean Ryan.

  8. The Hornet says:

    Now you have me curious Running Skirts. LOL

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