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August 22, 2001

Mountain Mania
Organizers should do more to attract competition

I thoroughly enjoyed The Gazette story, "Back on top," about Matt Carpenter and Scott Elliott (Aug. 19, Sports). The commitment demonstrated by Carpenter and Elliott to be the best in their sport is no different than the commitment that U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls demonstrate as they prepare to represent the United States in their respective sports.

Too much ado is made of Carpenter's previous boycott of the race. All he wanted was for the race organizers to take measures to attract a world class field. The race organizers don't care whether or not the field is competitive.

Any runner with a competitive bone in his or her body wants the best of the best to be at the starting line on race day. Even non-competitive runners I talked to after the race said they would pay more to enter the race if organizers would use the proceeds to attract a world-class field. Carpenter is, after all, one of the best mountain runners in the world. Why can't the race organizers in his own backyard do more? There is no good reason.

Anthony Basile
Colorado Springs

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