A very worried Race Director

As Covid-19 rushes across the country, and with this nation standing strong on it’s refusal to really and honestly participate in social distancing, I am getting really concerned about our races coming up in June.

Race For The Roc has many openings still, but we thought it best to suspend registration so it would be easier to refund if needed.

Many On The Genny is sold out – with a waiting list over 50 people right now. We have temporarily put the refund policy on hold. We usually have a generous policy – If someone is on the waitlist, we give you ALL of your money back. I cannot do this right now, because there is no way morally I would take money in from someone on a waitlist while not knowing if we will be holding the event.

Here is the thing though when it comes to postponements, refunds, etc…………

The money has already been spent.

We paid for mugs, stickers, plates, bowls, silverware, we purchased things like flags, extension cords, water jugs and coolers. The finisher medals are custom and are already ordered and delivered. Same with the mugs. We have paid for the ambulance, insurance, portapotties. We might be able to recoup some of that. Our permits are paid for. We have paid for gas to get on site and check the course and bought tools to fix and repair the trails. We pay our annual web hosting fees out of registrations, we pay for registration for the trailer or upkeep on equipement. Those are all lost and sunk costs.

In essence, we have already spent the money on the race for everything except the police and the food/beer. Police bill us after the events

I am in a few Race Director groups online and almost every single RD who has had to cancel has runners demanding their money back -Threatening litigation, promising to bankrupt the events and the community they claim to love.

To postpone an event means:

1. We as the RDs need to be free. MOTG is where it is on the calendar because we are educators. It is the best weekend for us and within the local race calendar.

2. The parks and the army corps of engineers free dates would need to line up with ours. The lodges and other facilities book up a year in advance, we can’t find a weekend where they are all available to us.

3. Our race crew availability to help needs to line up.

4. Our aid station captains and volunteers ability to make the new weekend would need to line up.

5. Camping/reservation availability is changed for many people traveling to the race. (runners from 10 states/provinces)

6. Contract services need to line up with the new date: Food, beer, ambulance, on site emt, photography, police, etc.

So a postponement is not really that easy at all…; in fact it is logistically harder than an original date, same work – less time to prep.

The best option is to simply cancel the event – and then try to roll as many registrations over in to next year as possible.. If people can make the event next year – Which of course then messes with the income the event needs for certain things in the future, and makes the challenge of filing taxes off for the next 2 years – It would show a higher “profit” of money we set aside for next year in this years budget line, and then we would be taxed on that profit and then it will likely show a loss in the 2021 budget because there was no “income” from registrations that year, but significant expenses.

It also means no donation to the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, The local first responders, or the Friends of Letchworth.

I know that people are pinched right now, they may have lost a job, wages, etc. Doing this is not the answer though. It will ruin our sport and turn people off of putting on these events. No one is getting rich by directing races – – Even the chains or major companies putting them on are going to struggle with this.

So we are pretty worried over here in our tiny little RD world – So please, if we need to cancel -Know it is not our fault, and we will do the very best we can to be fair to everyone.

 

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