Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Half at the Hamptons Postponed to Day of New Bedford Half-No Good Will Hunting

Warning: The blog below is pretty much a long rant so feel free to stop reading now.

Still here?

Well, before I start my complaint column, here's a free pictures from my recent trips to Colorado and Aruba(see: can I really complain with two awesome trips under my belt? errr yes).

Carnavale in Aruba

 And the transition to colder pursuits:

And now that I've drawn you in with pretty pictures, let the rant begin!

Against my better judgment I signed up for the Half at Hamptons this year. I find it hard to justify spending $75 for a half-marathon, especially one that I have done a few times and hadn't found exceptionally exciting. And yet, I eventually sucked it up and shelled out what turned out to be $81 after a 6 dollar transaction fee. Yikes! That's more than several of the marathons I ran last year. You could do the entire snowshoe series for that and still sneak in a couple of Mine Falls Trail Races! In fact, I can think of several things that I could do with the price difference of that race and most other halves. You could do the Monadnock Half Marathon AND pick two things on my list of fun things to do in the Concord area and still have $9 left over!

Okay! Enough complaining! So I sucked it up and registered and started to prepare myself for running my first fast 13.1 miles (or any distance) in about a year. Looking at the schedule it actually started to make sense, a half in February then again in March with New Bedford to build towards my marathon attempts in the spring and summer. Maybe it would all be worth it.

Then this past Thursday, I received an email stating that the race had been postponed due to weather and was rescheduled until March 15th. Now I realize that this weather has been crazy and everything, but to reschedule it to the SAME DAY as New Bedford, the New England half-marathon championships, is ridiculous. Even if it were the same weekend but the day before it would possibly worked.

I contacted Loco Running to see if I could transfer my entry to another of their races and the response I received back seemed to be cut and pasted right from the legalese citing no transfers or refunds. I understand that refunds would be nearly impossible with all the upfront costs, but to transfer my entry to another race really wouldn't cost them much(especially since I don't want any more t-shirts) since insurance is a few bucks per runner at most. Instead, the response with terse and without any indication that they seemed to want to retain runner loyalty.  Additionally, I was told that "Ultimately it is your choice to go to another event or function and that is beyond our control." Well, it was within your control to not schedule your race the same day as the biggest half marathon in New England but okay. Maybe this is just a ploy to keep the fast runners away from Half at the Hamptons since they'll all be done racing in New Bedford. Could be a good time to cherry-pick a race?

Bad News: Time Flies.
Good News: I am the pilot.

Ultimately, it is within my control as to where and when I race and you won't be seeing me wasting my time racing any Loco Races in the future.There are plenty of good local options offering well-run and organized races that I shouldn't bother with the ones I'm not interested in and who don't seem interested in me.

End the negativity. Sorry about that.

Silver Lining: Originally, the Amherst 10 miler was the same weekend as Half at the Hamptons so I wasn't able to represent GCS. However, Amherst is STILL ON so I'll be heading down there instead.

If you're still reading, you may be interested to find out that Amber came in 4th at the Snowshoe World Championships in Quebec a few weeks ago and is ramping up to start her Ironman season with the South Africa Ironman in late March. To see her entire race schedule, click here.

ADDENDUM: After writing this blog, I received an email from the race director citing that 94% of the participants were expressing support for the change in date of the race. That means there was only 6% that were asking for a race transfer or refund. In an age where there is PLENTY of half marathons, it would have been a great show of good will to extend an invitation for a race transfer to those few runners for whom the postponed date did not work. Oh well-apparently hunting for any good will.

No comments:

Post a Comment