Up until recently my racing over the years has been relatively 99% unaffected by delays, weather, or even cancellations. It happens though, inevitably. If not to me, than to you, or your friends.
I’ve been in races that were delayed 10 minutes, 20 minutes, even a half hour, due to logistics. Either waiting on more runner filled buses to arrive at the starting line, or a train on the course, or traffic congestion on race morning. Things happen. We can all agree on that. Sometimes the weather even plays a roll, although I have been incredibly lucky when it comes to even rain during a race. I can count on one hand how many times it has rained/snowed during one of my races. Snow in Asheville, rain in Hilton Head. I haven’t been through a major disappointment like the folks that were signed up to run the New York City Marathon a few years ago when Hurricane Sandy forced cancellation altogether. What do you do when a race cancels?
My last marathon in Colorado had logistical issues. Luckily I was a marathoner, and made it to the starting line with time to spare. Others weren’t that lucky, and Half Marathoners got the shaft completely when the number of contracted buses for the event failed to show up, meaning 1,000’s were sent home when the Half was cancelled a mere hour before the event was to take place. I would have been livid, if that were me. All the travel related expenses I forked out to get there, and no race? Wow! But, it’s a risk we all take. Who buys travel insurance anyway?
Just yesterday another race cancelled altogether. The Greensboro Marathon scheduled for mid October cancelled due to low numbers of registrations. They debated the thought of canceling for weeks, and finally had to cancel because the race would have cost more to put on than the fees being paid in to run it. It’s very disappointing. This particular race I was pacing, so it clearly wasn’t my “A Race” this Fall. I guess knowing this far in advance, it gives those that were specifically training for this marathon the opportunity to find another race.
A race being cancelled can be heartbreaking though for anyone involved. I felt horribly for all those runners that didn’t get to run the Rockies Half. Again, things happen. Both races I have referred to here in this post both offered full refunds for anyone registered, so kudos to them. Sometimes this could put a race company out of business. I’m surprised Revel Races could afford to refund 3,000 or so entries especially after everything race related was already paid for. I hope they bounce back even stronger than before. This is the same wish I have for the folks at Trivium Racing who not only put on the Greensboro Marathon, but other races in the area. As runners we must forgive when event cancellations occur. It may be tough at the time, but we must.
So, question for the day. Have you ever been involved in a race being cancelled? What did you do? Did you get a refund, or just have to suck it up? Good races, and great race companies need to be forgiven and given another chance as far as I am concerned. Anxious to hear your thoughts.