Since 2006, Medtronic - a major sponsor of the Medtronic Marathon - has had a Global Heroes program. Athletes who’ve had their lives improved by Medtronic devices can apply to be in the program and are awards free entries, transportation, etc. It’s a very very cool program. Except, this year they’ve added the following criteria:
Runners 40 years and older, who have had diabetes for more than 15 years, are ineligible.
All criteria is here: http://www.medtronic.com/globalheroes/guidelines.html
To me, this is horrible. 3 runners chosen as Heroes in previous years would not even pass the new criteria (all 3 finished in excellent times). Moreover, the average age of a marathoner is nearly 39, so Medtronic just cut potential entries in half.
If you’ve got a blog, please spread the word. This is very uncool.
Incidentally, I’ve never applied to this program and am committed to running another marathon in Pennsylvania in the fall (Steamtown). I just want to spread the word and see if this can be changed.