The guys over atBlogHouston
, who must enter more marathons than we do, have found an interesting twist: Scalpers trying to sell places in the Chevron Houston Marathon.
Marathon organizers cap the number of entries, but this year they allowed runners to transfer their slots to another runner if for some reason they couldn’t make it.
Apparently some runners took this as an invitation to sell their $85 place in the race for significant profit. Craiglist and eBay soon offered bidding for people who’d been shut out.
And that displeased marathon officials. They’ve sent out an e-mail, the relevant part of which is in all-caps:
NOTE: IN AN EFFORT TO PROTECT AGAINST PRICE GOUGING, IF ANY PERSON FROM THIS DATE ON IS CAUGHT ATTEMPTING TO CHARGE MORE THAN $200 FOR A MARATHON ENTRY OR $140 FOR A HALF MARATHON ENTRY, THEY RUN THE RISK OF BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY OF OUR 2009 RACE EVENTS. IF YOU HAVE AN ENTRY FOR SALE ON EBAY, CRAIGSLIST OR ELSEWHERE AND ARE CHARGING ABOVE $200 OR $140, WE SUGGEST YOU CHANGE YOUR ASKING PRICE IMMEDIATELY.
The free market!! (Not) at work!! -- Richard Connelly
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.