10 Things Race Organizers Want to Tell You but Could Not

When it is time to register for race events, this information would come in very handy.

If all of us are aware or vigilant of all the laws, rules and regulations that govern our daily lives, whether it be in school, work, at home, or in general, the community we live in, then we can avoid almost all daily problems we encounter.

But when it comes to registering for a race, such information is not boldly announced beforehand.   It’s like having to agree in a lengthy terms and conditions page of a software app; you just click agree at the bottom of the page.

For your own interest, it is great to inquire or read yourself the terms and policies of every race you plan to sign-up for.  Here are 10 topics that could answer all your inquiries, hopefully you gain information on them before signing up, so you could just focus on training and racing, and ultimately enjoying the race.

  • That Refund

Read the fine print at every race that you are going to enter.   Non-refundable entries are common among international race events, or even the bigger ones at your community.   A refund policy may be in place, but most often, it will depend at the time of your request, and it will be partial.

If anything happens for a reason that the race is cancelled or postponed, especially if weather conditions intervene, or in this case, a public health emergency, forget about seeing your entry fees come back.   Some organizers may give a favorable response, some may not.   Know what a “force majeure” means.

You must understand that expenses begin the moment the event is announced.   If you’re unsure of your availability on the race itself, look for their registration and refund policy.

  • Slot Transfers

There is a general rule to follow when it comes to transferring your race slots to another person:  Don’t even attempt to try it.   The slot is registered to your name, and most organizers won’t allow such transfer due to complicated reasons, mainly for safety purposes.

If in case you got to claim your race kit and let someone else use it to race, you are risking being banned from that organizer.   In any case.  You can ask for the transfer, but do not expect positive news, especially if timing is near race day.

  • Race Events are not all charity work, most are Businesses too.

Endurance events are an opportunity to test your mettle, check your personal boundaries on your physical ability.   Organizers hold it as a lengthy project to acquire sponsors, collect the right amount of sign-up fees, in the purpose of paying for the venue and facilities, the race kit and staff salaries.

See also:  Training article: Swim Fit

If they announced part of the proceeds goes to charity, funds go that route. If any funds are left beyond that, the organizers make a profit.   Bottomline, they would not bother to work hard and continuously put up events year after year if they don’t treat this as a business.  Accept that fact.

  • Can I Change Shirt Size?

While organizers do not have a crystal ball on how many would sign-up for an event, they aim to get the correct allocation of resources every time.  They rely on past information, and also the actual data you passed on the day you sign-up for the race.  If they were able to adjust their shirt requirements along the way, and make it accurate, your request to change size messes up the allocation.

Make sure to select the right size.   Ask for shirt measurements, or better try on a sample shirt.   Different organizers have different sizing chart.  If you messed up with your sizing, request for a change.   Expect only affirmative news though if they have extra shirts.

  • No more Loot Bags???

Organizers are expected to give out the correct number of medals, shirts, and hydration items.   If they plan it right, the race should not run out of those essentials.   But for goody and loot bags, most often they are supplied by generous sponsors.   If you’ve been left out with those bags, cool off.   You’re there to race, and not collect sponsor goodies.

  • Hello, Did you even trained?

Race Directors fervently wishes every participant would reach the finish line safely.   The glory of the finish line means most participants will try to gut it out to finish.   If you trained hard for the race but experienced unfortunate conditions that made you bonked, it is perfectly fine to DNF for your own well-being.

Others though may over-reach, and sign-up for the longer distances without any intention of training for it.   Often, they always come to the fence of being cut-off.  Organizers implement a cut-off time to abide by the permits they acquired for road and venue usage.

Respect the distance.   If you feel you don’t have time to prepare for that category, swallow the pride and sign-up for the shorter one.

  • Hey, You Don’t Have the Right to Use My Face

High-profile events have sports photographers scattered all over race route.   Since races are public events that are legally covered by media, race organizers may use your image for any post-event article or report, or even future publications for marketing purposes.

See also:  Triathlon Nutrition, Part 5: Race Day

Your image may be used for a website or local media, and if you value your identity for privacy reasons, try to keep away from any shutterbug.

  • The Liability

Organizers make sure that event is safe, with a contingency and risk-management plan on hand.   But when masses of people converge at a one time in one location, accidents and mishaps are bound to happen.

When you register for an event, it is always smart to read the terms and conditions on liabilities and waiver.  This statement protects the organizers and sponsors from damages and legal actions, that may include paying medical expenses if the need arises.

You will be asked if you have trained for the event and have no medical restrictions that would endanger your health by participating.  Generally, you are tasked to be responsible for your own well-being in the event.

While organizers and public officials have planned for the general safety of participants and spectators, any situation may erupt.   Be vigilant and expect the unexpected for any unforeseen events.

  • Route Change

You trained for the route announced weeks or months beforehand.   Then bam, only a few days the event or even on race day itself, the route has been changed.   Routes can be changed by organizers at any time for a variety of reasons.   Shrug it off.   These changes are made mostly to comply with public safety in mind, and that includes you, the participant.

  • Did the Race gave you Spark of Joy?

Make smart choices in choosing the race events you enter.   Do you know the organizers or sponsors behind the event?  Are they credible to run a well-executed race?   Are they concerned with your well-being by providing adequate emergency services?  Did you enjoy the last time you joined the event with that organizer?

With the popularity of the health and wellness industry comes the explosion of race events sprouting on an already busy calendar.  Make the wise choice.   For the fee that you paid for that race, did the race over-delivered and felt best in class?  Remember, organizer credentials are important.

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