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No, it was all a mistake!

It turns out that the AGREEMENT that I was asked to sign in order to participate in the Bolder Boulder was not for the likes of me, only for participants pushing someone else.

This has become clear after a day-long communications comedy that included the following:

  1. Someone from the Bolder Boulder called my husband to tell him that his registration wouldn’t be complete until he signed the AGREEMENT
  2. I called the above someone, who told me that yes, all the pro wheelchair racers signed the AGREEMENT, too, and that my husband would have to sign it – she changed her mind about this after I told her that my husband a) doesn’t use a wheelchair and b) wasn’t going to push me
  3. The same someone called me back five minutes later to tell me that, no, it was all a mistake, and that the AGREEMENT was being revised, but anyway, it wasn’t for independent wheelchair users, and they were sorry, and if I really insisted on talking to someone, the Assistant Race Director would call me (there seemed to be a general consensus that now that I was off the hook, I shouldn’t be so interested in what they were asking the pushers to sign)
  4. I went to the Bolder Boulder storefront to pick up a copy of the revised AGREEMENT so that the ARD and I would be talking about the same thing – there was no revised AGREEMENT, but now there was a green index card that said “This participant has permission to participate in the 31st BolderBOULDER” and a space for my name and bib number and the same damn AGREEMENT printed on the back, and when I asked why my official bib with my official number and my official timing chip tied to my shoe wasn’t sufficient evidence that I had permission to participate, I was told that I should hang on to the green card “just in case.” “Just in case your overzealous race volunteers try to chuck me out of the race?” Well, yes.
  5. So I talked to the ARD, who sighed when I told him I’d been given the green card (also only for pushers), and took notes when I suggested that paragraphs 3 and 4 maybe didn’t say exactly what the race officials intended (which is “Just because we’re letting someone push someone else in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that Mom and Dad can push their tot in a stroller”), and also to my suggestion that the storefront people get a little more remedial training.

So that was fun, but now (I think) it’s over. Unless someone tries to kick me out of the race.

Katja

5 Comments

  1. Barb

    Hey, I have a radical idea: what if next year the race organizers ask racers who use wheelchairs and racers who push people who use wheelchairs to help come up with the format and the rules? You know, involve the participants. Or do they not think that people who have disabilities are capable of such involvement?

    Reply
  2. fridawrites

    What a lot of work for you just to get registered! It seems like anything we do involves a lot more effort sometimes. Be ready to cite the ADA to zealous volunteers (I’m sure you will be).

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    Wow, I wonder what would happen if the elite runners were called and told that thier spouses/significant others/parents needed to come down and sign a card, and if that would be newsworthy. Also, yes, a lot of work, a lot of harassment, when did “disability” mean, “I love doing two to three times the paperwork of other people!”

    Reply
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