This month one of my friends approached me and asked me to join her in a Spartan Race in April 2017. I viewed the website and although, I was greeted by hundreds of photos of people completing the obstacle course, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to train in time to complete the race.
I decided that it would be best to focus on something smaller, less intense that could help me determine the best ways to prepare for the Spartan Race in the coming months. When I logged in to Facebook on August 10th I saw a sponsored Ad and great opportunity from Terrain Racing for an event on September 17th at Aviator Park in Brooklyn.
www.terrainracing.com (company logo)
On August 13th I signed up and created a team for $38.70 then 3 additional people joined at $33.84 for a total of $101.53. Now $33.84 - $38.70 isn’t a large amount of money for an obstacle course. The Spartan Race is $139 and that depends on the heat or wave you sign up for. However, since the date we signed up two additional people attempted to join our team on the RunSignUp website and received a notification that said, "you are not allowed to view this race." This notification occurred without any communication to participants already sign up via email or social media.
I immediately logged into my RunSignUp account for the Terrain Race to check my account information and noticed that there was a small red box which said "This race is in draft mode." This wasn't present on the date of sign up for me or any of the other participants. After reviewing this I immediately went to social media to see if others were experiencing the same issues.
According to Facebook, Terrain Racing scheduled an event in New England on Sept. 10th and another in New York Sept. 17th followed by others in October and November. The event in New England has 186 people going on Facebook and New York says 94 people are attending. These registered participants are currently trying to figure out if the event is still going on , how to register people to their team and if it is cancelled will they receive a refund or an option to sign up for another event. If the event is cancelled my individual loss of $38.70 may not seem like a heavy loss to many but hundreds of people losing their money is.
Th following events are on Facebook and provide great insight to evaluate the amount of money at stake for Terrain Race customers:
New England 186ppl x $33.84 = $6, 294.24
New York 94ppl x $33.84= $3,180.96
However, these two races aren’t where the errors or issues with Terrain Racing end. An article from Obstacle Race Media stated that two additional races are receiving this error. The first November 5th in Miami and the second November 13th in Houston. In reviewing their event pages for these two events the following cost are associated:
Miami 18ppl x $33.84 = $609.12
Houston 14ppl x $33.84 = $473.76
The cost for the race varies by whether or not the individual bought a drawstring bag, the time of the race etc. I used the basic sign up price for this example. In totaling these races up the founders of Terrain Race are collecting over $10,000.00 that according to their racing policy doesn’t need to be returned to any of the customers if the event is cancelled. The practice of a non-refund policy isn't unheard of for marathon or event racing. However, it is clear that there is an under lying issue to the removal of participant sign ups for these selected dates that currently has nothing to do with an act of God.
My frustration is that people have bombarded the Facebook page for Terrain Racing as well as emailed, texted and left voicemails regarding this issue. Not one has received a response to explain what is currently taking place. As September approaches I can only hope that tomorrow I wake up with far more clarity regarding the state of Terrain Racing events, the money spent on them and how these issues will be corrected in order to maintain support for the organizers and the event as a whole.