No Refund For You!

Race cancelled

Race cancellations

Event cancellations are getting ridiculous.

It seems ironic that an obstacle race web site can clobber us over the head, over and over again, with just how “tough” the course is going to be and how much we are going to have to “dig deeper” than ever before to achieve the seemingly impossible. We must “challenge” ourselves like never before, and then…

Cancelled. The event gets abruptly cancelled due to rainy weather, or as of late, poison ivy and “swimmer’s itch”.

Seriously? Poison ivy? Swimmer’s itch?

Kind of difficult to even make this stuff up, and I’m not singling out any one race. Several races, including the big brand races, seem to be doing this more and more.

Where’s The Beef?

Swimmers itch in Illinois?

A quick Google search, filtered to information from the last week, revealed very little current news or information about a supposed swimmer’s itch outbreak anywhere in Illinois. Previous years? Sure, and that goes for a slew of other places across the United States – a very common issue in very common places – but a huge obstacle?

You be the judge.

Extreme poison ivy? Same. Nada.

Double Standards

I get it.

As an obstacle racer, it’s so easy to find yourself registering for races out of excitement and forgetting to look at the calendar first. We’ve all done it, and there’s nothing quite like that feeling of nausea when you stumble upon one of these conflicts after the register button has been clicked and your bank account a few duckets lighter.

In that case, cancellation is all on you. Typically, we don’t even let race directors know because there is a 0.0% chance of getting a refund, and rightfully so. We just bail on the event.

But, if the race cancels on us, this should be a different story. The race is not holding up its’ end of the contract, and athletes should have both options available to them – a refund or free entry into the rescheduled event.

More Cost Than Just Race Entry

For some athletes there are flights, rental cars, hotels, gear, and other related costs for race participation. While this is not something the race is responsible for compensating in any way, it’s certainly a significant point which should be considered when “pulling the plug.”

Out Of Our Control

When state or federal officials shut down a race for something like a forest fire, that can be defined as “out of our control” as there is no choice whatsoever for cancellation; but, in this writer’s opinion, a few complaints, when compared to overall entrant numbers, of irritants at a race venue is hardly a situation of emergency.

Let the runners decide.

Offer the information, and let racers vote with attendance.

The Ultimate Insult

Lastly, and again, this is the opinion of this writer (but I’m sure I’m not alone), the ultimate insult comes when the race, trying to actually capitalize on the rescheduling, encourages dissed participants to get their friends to register for the new date by offering a discount for new athletes who sign up for the new date.

Doesn’t that sit funny with anyone else?

Or am I truly, just the cranky bastard?

 

Cranky Bastard is a weekly editorial feature of Obstacle Racing Media, written by a member of the OCR community, to share personal thoughts, experiences and opinions regarding obstacle racing. Got an opinion? Let ’em have it. 

 

Cranky Bastard

…And I race obstacles.

No, I’m not a mud runner. I am an obstacle racer.

Yes, it matters; and yes, there is a difference.

I love the sport, love racing and love being part of this fast-growing community we call obstacle course racing, but I can’t help but pick out everyday examples that I find odd, inconsistent or contrary to the true vibe of the sport of OCR, as I see it.

Cranky Bastard articles are full of arrogance, elitest, prima donna attitude, but hopefully, plenty of points to make those in our community think, and perhaps drive change where change is needed.

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57 comments
  1. Even though most organizers will not give you a refund, I have had success disputing the charges through the credit card company since they did indeed break the contract. Might be worth the try.

  2. The info here is incorrect. There were hundreds of people affected by poison ivy and swimmers itch just 10 days ago. All you have to do is look on facebook pages and groups of people that actually attended the race. How about all the people that were affected and are ecstatic someone is looking out for their best interest? Where’s the mention of them?

    For a race to cancel is one thing, but for a race to postpone for the safety of participants is another. It costs races big bucks to move a date because they have to change contracts, pay additional fees for change of travel, etc.

    It’s too bad that this post isn’t a fair one and is misleading. It’s hard enough to trust the media as it is…

    1. @Ace

      Thank you for your comment. By the tone of your comment, can I assume you have some affiliation with the race. If so, it’s best to share that interest during discussion so others may understand the perspective.

      Regarding the “trusting the media” comment, this is an opinion piece, much like you will find in newspapers and news television across the globe. It’s intended to be of the opinion of the writer, and not unbiased ‘news’.

      If there are others who are ecstatic about the cancellation, by all means, we are hoping they weigh-in here as well with an opinion. The OCR community is an open community, and anyone has the right to share their individual perspective.

      Perhaps news of a serious and threatening outbreak of swimmer’s ear or poison ivy will soon make the news, but for now, I stand behind my belief that it feels funny – odd even – and certainly isn’t indicative of the toughness OCR is promoting.

      I already have a mama.

      Thanks.

      1. I completely stand beside the previous comment, I have no affiliation to any race, I’ve done a few. I am currently covered in the ” swimmers itch” rash or whatnot from Illinois.So for you to, basically call it BS maybe you should actually talk to some people that were at the event you’re describing. We sign a waiver, we play in the wilderness, these things happen. But if you write an article, know what you are writing about

        1. @David

          I understand. Thanks.

          It’s an opinion piece. I believe races are cancelling unnecessarily in some circumstances, and I sited some examples I find fall in that category.

          Good luck with the swimmer’s itch. I had runner’s itch in Europe once. No fun.

    2. Correct. If you search “Swimmers itch” then the state, you will get a bunch of recent hits…Any wide search will of course pull bad results

  3. I agree with you on this topic, 100%. If the event is cancelled you should have the option. I also agree with the rash of cancellations over silly little things, is getting out of hand. You’re not alone in being a cranky bastard on this.

  4. Living in Ohio has the rewards of one of the areas in the country with the most races in a 150 mile radius. With that saturation has also come the unfortunate cancellation of many events, for one reason or another. This is the second Superhero for this area cancelled in less than a month. Superhero Scramble in Ohio was cancelled because of equipment damage from the North Carolina race and now this. Hero Rush recently cancelled their Kentucky and Ohio events without reason. There are several others but they are all national franchise events yet the many local, home-grown, mom-and-pop events continue to flourish. One of the biggest problems I see with these national franchises is that they expect they can and should get a minimum of a couple thousand people at these events in an area that is already saturated with events that cost half as much. The local events are happy with 500 participants The franchises should have a better knowledge of what they can achieve or stay away from the area. Maybe go to an area of the country that is starving for an OCR. I believe the sport is growing so fast that these things will eventually work themselves out but in the meantime, these events are making a bad name for themselves and turning people off.

    1. @Kevin

      Interesting perspective, thank you.

      Cost, participant numbers, the best ‘brands’ will in fact work itself out as you mention. This is one reason why I feel event postponement can be so detrimental, especially without a legitimate, documented regional issue.

  5. As a race timing/organizer company we are committed to giving our customers the best event possible. If for any reason that we cancel our events, we would honor all paid participants commitment with no charge on the makeup date. If there is no makeup date or for extenuating circumstances where participant cannot make he rescheduled event we would offer an alternative event or a refund.

    Is that not the way business should be done?

    What is more important, building your brand or fleecing a few bucks for short term gain? At Greater Events it is the former

    1. @Tom

      I applaud the attention to solid brand building and stating you and your company’s perspective on this issue; however, how would your company respond if the athlete had no way of attending the makeup date?

      That seems to be line in the sand that is getting fuzzy.

  6. It is this writers opinion that you are truly just a cranky bastard. The event wasn’t cancelled it was rescheduled. While I too am
    Disappointed I don’t want poison ivy or swimmers itch so I will deal and be thankful I do not have to deal with either.

  7. If you want an event that will truly push you mentally and physically and doesn’t cancel for Mother Nature or anything else. Sign up for a Goruck challenge (www.goruck.com) or a S.E.R.E. challenge (www.sereperformance.com).

    1. @Erik

      I have much respect for those events. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a bit more nastiness to shut down a planned event. Sorry, “postpone”.

  8. I personally would rather lose a little money in the short term rather than chance a parisitic infection. I’d be waaaaay more upset if I found out that a race director knowingly ran me through terrain that was going to hospitalize me. Aside from the swimmer’s itch, poison ivy can be deadly in many causing severe anaphylaxis. Superhero Scramble made the right decision to POSTPONE the event at their own expense to protect the very constituency that keeps them in business.

  9. Back in 2011, before this OCR thing was really big, a venue in Amesbury, MA held a little race called Warrior Dash, and two weeks later a large portion of the runners were still bumpy and itching. It even made the local news.

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/08/warrior-dash-participants-blaming-rashes-on-race/

    We went to our docs, got our scripts, and signed up for more races at the same venue. This year, it’s holding several different OCRs. Clearly didn’t hurt them in the long run.

    We all Chalked it up to experience and moved on. We run outdoor races, in terrain and venues that aren’t nicely groomed, and sometimes they bite back. It’s unfortunate it happened, but it’s not a reason to eat the cost and negative attention a reschedule will generate, again, IMO.

    Our “dash rash” happened in 2011, and it doesn’t seem to have slowed the OCR community in New England down much.

  10. this all seems to boil down to money. as a racer, race fee and travel expenses are high enough. now, you hold out entry fee hostage and you force us to pay for change of date fees. unless there is a natural or unnatural disaster, there should be a refund offered! as the race director, time of year and venue should be your responsibility. us racers just show up and race. we signed up for that date and venue. if you change it, issue a full refund. if you reschedule it, i now have the power to decide if i want to register for the new date. at least my money and i are not being held hostage. money is power. cash is king.

    1. @Rich

      Rich, its not just racing 🙂 cash is king everywhere.

      Postponement seems to favor those with not a lot going on. Scheduling is not all that flexible for most people.

      Wait, is that cranky?

  11. I believe this was done as a caring gesture so that headlines never read “1000’s at Superhero Scramble are now covered in severe parasitic-rashes that they knew were there…”. While there’s no clear easy choice here, I believe a headline reading “Superhero Scramble changes it’s race date” is the better choice (“canceled” is not accurate).

    As far as leaving it to the Racers to decide to take accept the consequence…you can’t gamble an entire event’s success on if people are willing to risk getting ill/severe rashes or not…if no one shows up or after they do people are enraged, then the race itself hurts it’s own chances of succeeding as a whole. These decisions are left to the race owner’s, and it’s a hard one in which it is impossible to satisfy everyone. They also must ultimately consider people’s safety. I have seen a ton of feedback from recent severe “swimmer’s itch” where if they had known would never have participated. Also the most IMPORTANT thing to note was that it was NOT CANCELED, it was a CHANGE OF DATE!

    While I’m not an employee of Superhero Scramble I do a lot of volunteer work for them…and just from seeing slightly into the business side of things…all I can say is it’s easily the MOST difficult industry I have ever seen…with stress levels constantly burdening the owners/ operators that I can only liken to what an overly-caffinated-professional-bomb-diffuser must feel. No decision is made lightly and it TRUELY is for what is considered the greater good, for what they believe. Not everyone will agree. Superhero Scramble cares more about keeping a quality race that keeps people happy and convinced they have run one of the best races of their lives, before considering profit. That’s a fact and they could easily do things differently like the smaller scale races and have a much easier time doing so. But they don’t…they go big and go through hell for it.

    The part where you mention they are trying to capitalize on a date change..no way. I’m pretty sure all up and coming races are just trying to grow and it’s just business to ask for people to bring friends and be creative in doing so.

    I hope people continue to understand (as many great supporters have) that this was done only considering ensuring a positive experience, when there is an obvious extreme detriment out there in the water.

    **Quote from Race Owner on facebook; “I’d like to apologize to anyone that may be affected by the date change of SUPERHERO SCRAMBLE Midwest. We had to do what’s best for the majority even though it hurts some of you and us as a company. These decisions are far from fun and I hope you can overcome one more obstacle and make it to the event.”

    1. @Nicole

      Thank you for the well-written reply, and thank you for being a volunteer.

      As a racer, it really does mean a lot to us and we wouldn’t be able to participate in races without you.

      Your points echo a similar sentiment across Facebook, and I get that. There are two camps that seem to be forming, those who identify with displaying a toughness that attracted them to the genre in the first place, and some who are just much more cautious by nature and see more value in their overall safety.

      I can’t pretend to associate with the latter, but I understand it.

  12. Charging for something that they fail to deliver and keeping the money is thievery, plain and simple, even if there’s a clause in the fine print that says they’re going to do it. I have given away registrations when I was unable to attend through fault of my own but I will not take the loss if the race cancels or reschedules and I’m unable to attend on the new date. Like Devon, who posted above, I have disputed these charges with my cc company and been refunded the money that way.

    1. @Rita

      You said, “Charging for something that they fail to deliver and keeping the money is thievery, plain and simple, even if there’s a clause in the fine print that says they’re going to do it”

      I can’t disagree with you. If it’s not technically nor semantically ‘correct’, it sure feels that way.

      But all that aside, in much simpler terms, I just wish we’d all toughen up and people interested in running a long distance obstacle course were willing to, as another poster put it, risk the woods biting back.

      After all, that’s always a possibility in the wilderness.

  13. Cranky people that complain about being inconvenienced without experiencing the pressure and responsibility of providing a safe and positive experience for thousands upon thousands of individuals, may want to consider how “inconvenient” it is to reschedule an event of this magnitude. It’s not like they drive out to a field and dig a hole in the ground with a shovel and build a couple of structures out of tinker-toys. Also consider that “Letting the racers decide by attendance” is not necessarily a sound decision. The negative impact of 1000+ bad experiences would be far more detrimental to an organizations reputation than the negative rantings of 100 “inconvenienced” people. I would much rather be delayed than lied to about something potentially dangerous. Yes, yes, you had a bout of poison ivy once, and you lived to tell about it. Good for you. Not everybody reacts the the same way to poisonous plants, in fact, some people are immune; others can die from it.

    Fortunately for me, I did not have a flight booked or any other non-refundable expenditure associated with this particular rescheduling. In fact, I was scrambling to gather the resources to even go. I think for most people, it will work out for the better, so long as they look forward to the opportunity that will surely arise from this and not dwell on the impact that this change has made to you now.

    One final thought. I had scheduled in my race calendar (on Oct. 5) to participate in Muckfest MS. Guess what? It’s been cancelled. Here is their reason:

    “We’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel this local MuckFest MS event. We believe that we are making the fiscally responsible decision that is in the best interest of people affected by MS who rely on the support of the National MS Society. Your support matters and if you’d still like to make a donation to the Society to support local programs, services and research, please click here.”

    Translation (personal interpretation): We did a shitty job promoting this race because nobody in Atlanta really even knew about it and therefore didn’t have X amount of people registered, therefore instead of rescheduling we’re pulling the plug. Had I bought this a few weeks ago, I would not be rescheduling, I would be planning a trip because the nearest one still scheduled to happen is 300 miles away!

  14. One question Superhero Scramble doesn’t appear to have addressed is:

    Why wasn’t the course simply rerouted around the poison ivy and water obstacles?

    I understand that water obstacles are nice to cool racers down, but even without water obstacles, or purifying a small amount of water for sprinklers or some such, that seems like a simpler solution than rescheduling the race.

    1. Have you built a 13+ mile OCR in the woods before? Your solution is not as simple as it sounds.

    2. @Marty

      You asked, “Why wasn’t the course simply rerouted around the poison ivy and water obstacles?”

      Um, great question. I wish I would have asked that myself.

  15. My only experience with reschedules/cancels was with Spartan Races moving the race 3 hours away. It made quite a considerable distance to travel, then race and travel home of which I couldn’t accommodate based on my schedule, so I requested a refund and they obliged. I also had to reschedule my Color Run, of which I could not reschedule but was able to transfer my spot to another individual.

  16. Beaches close when there is red tide. It’s a public safety issue. The beach doesn’t care if you paid $3000 in plane tickets. That said, I think the race directors should offer a credit for a free race if you can’t attend their new date. But it’s likely the money for that race is spent, so often cash refunds aren’t an option for operational reasons, but a free race credit should be easy

    1. @Chris

      I’m not sure the comparison is the same. One never pays “the beach” money; and, I do believe that most races offer free entry into the postponed event. My contention is that if an athlete cannot attend the new date, the athlete should have the option of a refund. If a racer signed up originally, and can also make the postponement date, it’s logical to think they would. There should only be a very small percentage actually requesting refund.

      1. The beach comment was more about refuting that the Race should consider racers’ travel plans in its operational decisions. Also, no matter the fine print policy, a business is always happier to refund than have you go to your card issuer. And the credit I mentioned, would be good for any future race, not just the rescheduled one. Regardless of the money-handling, I think the organizers were right in canceling to prevent more bacterial infections. There is nothing “tough” about puss riddled sores.

        1. @Chris

          “There is nothing “tough” about puss riddled sores.”

          Sure there is! but I digress… At the encouragement of some of my obstacle racing brethren, I reviewed some Facebook posts, primarily from Spartan event racers.

          At this point in the banter, I feel there is really nothing more I can add to the discussion other than giggles and cynicism. When athletes are asking Spartan why they didn’t ‘remove some of the poison ivy pre-race’, I truly am at a loss for words. Cranky Bastard, stumped. IMO, there’s just no way to have rational conversation with that ridiculous point of view.

          Whatever you do, kids, steer clear of the even more dangerous sport of orienteering – in that sport, you don’t even get the luxury of groomed trail!

          Yikes.

  17. As a person who is extremely allergic to poison ivy, but was not at the aforementioned midwest race, I’m glad that other races at that venue have been postponed. Whenever I’m racing or trail running I watch very closely for poison ivy because any little bit can blow up and I’m forced to go on prednisone (steroids) for weeks. This is not a mere inconvenience or obstacle to overcome, but a medical condition that should be taken seriously. It is the responsibility of race directors to provide a safe yet challenging event where the expectation is to test participants’ physical fitness and mental grit, not put them in the hospital. Do isolated incidents and accidents happen? Yes, including fatalities, but event companies try to avoid that at all costs, which can mean canceling and postponing races. If not, people would actually die at the Death Race. Superhero Scramble is not the first to postpone (or cancel) an event. Sometimes racers need to be protected from themselves, because of the money, or stigma from quitting. They’d rather be pulled from the course for medical reasons than admit defeat.
    It comes down to the fact that everyone who signs up for an event reads the statement “NO REFUNDS FOR ANY REASON EVER, INCLUDING RACE CANCELLATION” and decides to ignore it, thinking “that won’t happen to me.” Then they whine and complain when they get pregnant, break their ankle, or the race gets canceled. In a perfect world, races would never get postponed or canceled, and everyone could get a refund whenever they want for whatever reason. The reality though is that it costs money to do business, and everyone assumes some financial risk including athletes and event companies.
    In the future I hope that event companies will allow unconditional refunds. This may be accomplished by purchasing better event insurance. Also, athletes should be able to purchase event insurance that would cover any losses due to cancellation, postponement, injury, job changes, etc. including extra health coverage for accidents during the event, or travel issues getting to the event. As a fellow member of the OCR media, and an avid fan, it’s disappointing for a race to get postponed or cancelled. I was really looking forward to seeing Extreme Nation and Epic Arena, so when an established company takes a hit like this, it is sad. OCR is still in it’s infancy, and as a seasoned triathlete, I’ve seen the same issues come up with triathlon (admittedly, we are wimpy prima donnas – E. coli in the water? Cancelled/No Refunds; Thunder storm? Cancelled/No Refunds) and we got over it. OCR will grow and get better, but we will all have to suffer the growing pains in the meantime. As I most recently recited with my fellow Mudders on Sunday, “I do not whine, kids whine.”

    1. @Dirty

      Thanks. Great toughts.

      We couldn’t be more 180 degrees on this issue, but I did enjoy reading your response.

      What do you know. I can easily respond to comments on iPhone.

      Cooooool.

      ((sorry, I digress)))

      1. @Cranky – It’s good to get all sides of this out there. The best events will figure this out and get stronger. The smartest participants will figure out which events they can trust and our sport will grow.

        1. @dirty “The best events will figure this out and get stronger. The smartest participants will figure out which events they can trust and our sport will grow.”

          I think the entire debate of cancel / not cancel, refund / no refund can be summed up with this statement. This is a learning experience for the entire community, and long term, the “good” will survive, the “bad” will die off.

          I happen to think Superhero Scramble are part of the good, despite a reschedule that I think is poorly done – but thats my personal opinion only 🙂

        2. @Dirty

          Ah. Refreshing. If only everyone understood ‘editorial’ is ‘opinion’ and is designed to get people talking. On both sides.

          The ‘people’s choice’ should be the catalyst of change. Or no change.

          When the community loses its voice, we all just become followers.

          Personally, I’m not ok with that.

  18. Seems to be a sense of entitlement here. Are these races not luxury items? If you can’t afford to be out the money, for whatever reason, don’t do them. Hindsight is always 20/20, if SR had known this was going to happen would they have changed it from the original Oct to July? I’m guessing no. And when they did change it this year, was I offered a refund or the option to switch to another race, again no. I can understand the frustrations of wanting a refund, I really can, but typically that isn’t an option and not sure that it should be. When you register to do that event, you’re giving them money to get all the supplies and logistics done in advance…they’re not doing it day of. So the money is ultimately in the obstacles, the swag, and the merch. As for someone saying, “can’t they just reroute it, can’t be that hard”, plan a 13+ mile race complete with obstacles…and then less than a month prior completely throw that out and start from scratch… It’s not like a Jackson Pollock, you don’t just toss it up there and hope it sticks. As for the author, I get that it’s an opinion piece, but your attempts at sarcasm come off as sardonic and douchey, which it’s easy to be when hiding behind a pseudonym.

    1. @Gandalf

      Did you really just slam me for hiding behind a pen name, and then call yourself Gandalf? With an email address of lord@rings?

      Just checkin’

  19. I am one of THOSE people who have been infected with Poison Ivy and Swimmers itch. And I am glad that they have decided to postpone this weekend events. This isn’t just a *little* rash. This is all over our bodies! We are being tortured with the itch, and it is quite disgusting. I have been put on 3 weeks of steroids because of this mess. I did not sign up for this race to walk away with a parasite. I would have more sense of accomplishment, has I broken a bone!

  20. What I don’t understand is why someone would register for an OCR across the country; book a flight, secure a hotel and rent a car.. But not pay a little extra for flight insurance in case of a needed cancellation. Yeah, you could say that SuperHero Scramble had to reschedule and now these individuals have to pay more to fly on the new date. But how is this any different than if someone became ill and had to cancel on their end..? In both instance the insurance would have been a safety net.

    I am personally thankful for the reschedule as I have an 8 year old child running in the event that does not need to be subject to poison ivy. I would also much rather not end a 13 mile run plagued by swimmers itch. It amazes me the amount of people saying “you signed the waiver, now suck it up”. Are you not aware that urushiol in poison ivy can be deadly? It’s Pure ignorance that you would wish either of these on yourself or your fellow runners.

    in addition, While I do not fall into this bracket, the vast majority of people that work weekends work them on an every other weekend basis. The new date falls into that rotation, which would allow minimal impact to those participants.

    In closing I would much rather see a reschedule to a later date where myself and my fellow runners can share memories of an incredible event, and not look back on the time where we were laid up for a week recovering from something that could have been prevented.

    Thank You SuperHero Scramble

  21. I’d have to question the true intentions of the postponement. If you do a little research and look at race results you will notice notoriously low numbers for Superhero Scramble. The owner of the company (“Ace” hmmmm, what a coincidence there is an Ace defending the event’s decision) has said how it can cost $80k to put on an event so when you look at participation vs cost you wonder how many of the events have been profitable, especially the last event. So there was an event “postponement” for Ohio of a FULL YEAR and now this one for 3 months for what seem like legitimate reasons but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch of the imagination that it’s really to buy more time to increase participation. Spartan had over 300 participants for their Ultra Beast while a month out only 90 people have even been accepted into the Super Villian. Hmmm. Anyone else notice the trend? Citing safety of the runners as a reason for immediately canceling when you have 30 days to figure out the situation and route the event safely is questionable especially when the event hasn’t shown itself to be as concerned in the past. Ankle deep water to fall in to, two life guards on a super long swim where the participants had to save each other from drowning, broken bales of hay to protect people from super long drops. It’s either a lack of concern or complete oversight on their part. In the end I think it’s their good excuse to buy time to make their signature event look like a success. These new events are trying to take on the big 3 in their markets and losing out. “Superhero” looks much like a copy of Spartan and people are choosing the original event now they have to “Scramble” to fill up their waves by postponing the event. I wonder how long they will be around to provide the 100 Supertatt runners with free races.

    1. @Avid Mud Runner

      Interesting perspective. You should be a detective.

      Your points are well-taken, but I again want to state that the intention of my editorial piece was not to pick on Superhero alone. This issue has popped its ugly head into the “Big 3” and the smaller races, alike.

      My reason for addressing it was because the practice of cancelling or postponing events is seemingly growing, and to this racer, such frivolous postponement is in direct conflict with the over-the-top “toughness” vibe every race tries to throw out there.

      Lastly, I want to make sure my point about refunds is taken correctly, and people think through it logically. If a race participant cannot make a postponed date, they should be offered a refund. When they signed up, they had every intention of showing up (you’d think), so as long as there was no conflict with new date, it’s only logical to expect they’d show up then, too. Refund requests, in this logical order of thinking, should be very small and only apply to participants who cannot race on the new date.

      But, all that said, I do love how the discussion as sometimes skewed into two very distinct camps: The “we’d tough it out, give us the choice” camp, and the “I’m so glad the RDs are protecting me” camp.

      I’m roasting marshmallows and drinkin’ scotch in camp #1.

      1. Noted, I took your article as the industry as a whole but a particular race wanted to make it all about them so I obliged 😉 Also someone had to point out the elephant in the room. I believe profit is the motivating factor for the cancellations, not the safety of the runner. Camp #2 is being deceived.

        1. I couldn’t agree more .. Living in Ohio, I have seen it happen at least 4 times this summer. There are greedy people out there that see an opportunity to get into this crazy market and think they can jump in and compete without realizing they need to start small and take what they can get. Just because Warrior Dash (fyi – not a fan) can get 16000 people per day to an event does not mean you can. Take the 300 to 500 you can get and be happy or don’t even come to this region. The area is saturated with events and most of those are local, home-grown events with lower overhead, lower costs and an all-around better experience. If you absolutely have to have more than 1000 people at your event just to break even, go to Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa or some other part of the country that is begging for events like this. I honestly believe the true underlying reason is low registration and they are using the rash as an excuse.

          1. Kevin, I used to live in Ohio and just flew up there to introduce my old school friends to OCR . . . for the cancelled HR race. In my search for an Ohio race I only found Hero Rush (cxl), Superhero (cxl), Warrior Dash (not a fan) and Tough Mudder (been there, done that). What other races are/were there?

  22. I’m a race owner, albeit one of those small local races that is happy with 500 people that is very involved in my local community. I can’t imagine our race not going on as scheduled and I hope this postponement was done for the right reason. We put great effort into our event and my team has been working their butts off to bring a great run here in Madison. So any heroes out there that want to have a great time on August 24th, please come & check us out.

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