Dear Stonyfield Corporation,
On Monday evening there was a firestorm of activity on twitter and Facebook following a blog post that was on your home page. As a sponsor of the Boston Marathon 2015, you were given some race entries and someone at your company made the decision to choose eight female bloggers to run the race in April. How you chose these bloggers and why you made the choice to field this team is somewhat of a mystery to those of us who are not employed by the company. It would be very interesting to hear how and why the decisions were made.
From the information I could gather from a very quick Internet search, only three of the bloggers listed have qualified for Boston during their running careers with one of them having to miss the event due to a pregnancy. That leaves five individuals who will be running the race, without a prior Boston Qualifying time. While that may seem like no big deal to people who do not run, that is not so in the running community. Boston is the pinnacle of marathon races and most people work very hard for years to earn a qualifying standard for the race. And if they did not earn a qualifying standard, they work hard to raise a substantial amount of money for a Boston approved charity to "earn" that spot at the starting line. For the 2015 race, 1,947 qualified runners were turned away due to field size limits.
With further Internet research, I discovered that you were also the sponsor of the 2014 Boston Marathon and offered ten spots to runners who had qualified for the race but were unable to get a spot. From the press release from January 2014, "Runners in the 118 Boston Marathon will have new fuel powering their strides as Stonyfield, the world's leading organic yogurt maker, takes its place as an official sponsor. As part of its sponsorship, the New England company is forming Team Stonyfield, allowing qualified runners who missed the entry cutoff for the historic race to participate. Runners looking to join Team Stonyfield can enter for the chance to win a spot at www.stonyfield.com/teamstonyfield." You can read the full story here.