Pulling out of a race early.

41 to 60 of 88 messages
XX1
14/03/2013 at 16:39
Stevie G -- I've taken on board what you say about the tasks carried out by race volunteers; however, I can't help but feel that my views are being intentionally misrepresented... Who said anything could be changed in 1 click? Your words not mine... Also, I've only advocated the adaptation of web applications to facilitate race transfers... You might have a view on that but to suggest that that in itself would be an additional burden on event volunteers is a fallacy. Oh, and btw a simple implementation of my suggestion would be pretty much as DF3 suggests above... Basic add/edit functionality doesn't really = very clever system in my world but each to his own
XX1
14/03/2013 at 16:41
Stevie G . wrote (see)

But you can change it online in 1 click you say. Not really, unless you have a very clever system, which costs a lot of momey, and still has to be manually worked at some stage!

Got to pull you up on that point Stevie G ...... to implement the change online is a piece of p... and doesnt require any clever system ...... its simply changing one entry in a database input field with another .... check against the password entered, done .... honestly its bog standard, meat and potatos SQL ..... if a club already has the current sign up system in place it would take whoever built it not more than a half days work to implement this extra bit of coding.

Im not even sure there is much manual work needed after the event. Its not like they hand engrave the medals or anything, so the volunteers dont care if 2254 is Joe Bloggs or Jim Smith. So long as they arent changing things like the shirt size they ordered or anything. And presumably you would have a cut off point whereby once youve sent the race packs out thats it, game over. But anything up to that point, you should be able to change pretty freely without much hassle.


Actually thinking about it, even after the packs have been sent out, you could still do it, so long as the original recipient and the new person organise it among themselves to get the bibs etc to each other.

I think people think IT is really difficult. Its not. Especially for low level data processing like this, even for Reading, youve got what, 17,000 people to track? Thats nothing for even a small database. It probably seems complicated, which is why we get paid so much lol. So I cant really complain.

So as long as the manual logistics of someone swapping their bibs is catered for, the online aspect really isnt that difficult, and if you are organising a race and some IT nerd says 'Oh it'll cost an extra couple of grand to implement the ability to allow people to change their details' then send them my way and we'll go through their cost structure and lets see it suddenly drop when they speak to someone who can't be fooled so easily.

Edited: 14/03/2013 at 16:52
14/03/2013 at 16:48

The way of doing it is probably out of date, but that's where a couple of chaps like you 2 would have some value

And yes all depends on the cut off date of the change.

As it stands now, most races even with volunteers would probably help out for the odd change without a moan.

XX1
14/03/2013 at 17:03
I guess it would be good if there was a race director, who understands the legal/ insurance/ H&S/ etc aspects of putting on a race, in the house who could explain why transfers are generally not catered for... Is it purely to do with admin issues or is there actually some compelling reason to not do it.
XX1
14/03/2013 at 17:16

From RW.com - Ask The Race Director

 

As for races that don't allow transfers, I suppose a major reason why they don't is that, particularly for races that fill way in advance, they typically factor in a no-show rate when setting their field size limits. That is, they are accepting many more than they can actually handle knowing that a certain percentage will not show for any number of reasons. Thus, if they allowed transfers, then their no-show rate would decrease and they would have more runners than they had planned.

 

14/03/2013 at 17:20

 

god i hate this site on a mobile device. typed out a whole message and now deleted grrrrrr

 

14/03/2013 at 17:27
Tom77 wrote (see)

From RW.com - Ask The Race Director

 

As for races that don't allow transfers, I suppose a major reason why they don't is that, particularly for races that fill way in advance, they typically factor in a no-show rate when setting their field size limits. That is, they are accepting many more than they can actually handle knowing that a certain percentage will not show for any number of reasons. Thus, if they allowed transfers, then their no-show rate would decrease and they would have more runners than they had planned.

 

I'm struggling to see the logic in this explanation. Surely if there is a predictable "no-show" rate associated with races that don't allow transfers, there is an equally predictable no-show rate (including therefore non-transfers) in races that do?  So instead of allocating 30% more places, you only allocate 25% or whatever?

Could it have more to do with the insurance requirements of the licensing body that issues the race permit?

14/03/2013 at 17:33

but phil even the insurance doesnt really wash. did my entry as a 37 year old bump up Reading's HM insurance cost versus if an 18 year old had entered? the insurance would be very general and wouldnt care if it was phil smith who turned up instead of john jones.

XX1
14/03/2013 at 21:14
As for the insurance, does anyone know what's being covered?
XX1
14/03/2013 at 21:23

I assume it would probably be for the organisers to prevent being sued, so like for instance Im running along, trip and break my leg, I sue the organisers and then their insurance covers the legal cost for the action to defend it.

And I assume medically it would cover the cost of basic care? I really have no idea, bet most people have no idea.

 

XX1
15/03/2013 at 11:25
DF3 -- I'm sure most people have no idea about the insurance too... My local running club -- I'm not a member -- allow people to join but without being a member of UKA and they say that if you do that then don't sign up to an event as affiliated as you won't be insured... Which might imply that the individual has some cover... But like most people I have no idea.
XX1
15/03/2013 at 11:36

Theatres do offer refunds on tickets if you can't make it.  Malvern Theatres, for example, accepts returns up to 48 hours before the performance.

15/03/2013 at 11:47

So are we all in agreement its easily do-able and that its just red tape that prevents this from happening?

XX1
15/03/2013 at 14:19
I had a look at the link that Tom77 provided... Even the guy answering the questions, the Boston Marathon Race Director, concludes that the current state of affairs is poor customer service. Clearly it is do-able, it's not complicated or difficult, and shouldn't be expensive... I don't even think it's red tape that prevents it from happening, I think it's more a question of attitude... People who don't like change will always invent reasons why something can't, or ahouldn't, be done.
XX1
15/03/2013 at 14:35

 

Just as an aside,  on a slightly different note, my old club that I was the "races rep" for, used to do a XC race series that started at 11am.

A couple from my club really nagged that they didnt like the 11am start as it used up too much of the day (morning/lunch/into afternoon), so insisted I brought this up.

Brought it up with the organisers, told me that they started setting up in the pitch black as it was (races are Nov to Jan largely), so certainly weren't going to be getting up a couple of hours earlier!!

Just a small bit to think about for those on the outside of race organisation who presume an apparently small change is easy to do.

Edited: 15/03/2013 at 14:36
15/03/2013 at 14:41

The thing about UKA and not signing up to races as affiliated is not to do with insurance.

If you are not a "competing member", ie. if you have not paid the (currently) £5 per year to England (or Scotland or Wales) Athletics, you are not entitled to the discounted entry rate.

Being a member of a running club, even one which is affiliated to UKA, is not enough to claim the discount (although it used to be, years ago).

My club has two types of membership - competing members and non-competing, because some people don't want to do races, so why should they pay the extra?  Especially as this April it goes up to £10.

 

15/03/2013 at 14:43

You chaps who are saying "it's really easy to make a computerised entry system which allows......"

It might be easy for you, but not eveyone is as expert as you are.  Many races are organised by running clubs, who rely on people whose day jobs are in things other than IT.

 

15/03/2013 at 14:49


I can kind of draw parallels with the airline industry. Remember for decades, you got on a high priced airline and you HAD to have a meal, and you HAD to have an allocated seat and everything just HAD to be so.

Then someone came along and said ... well why do you have to have a meal on your flight? Why cant you just board a flight and take the first seat available?

And you know what, it happened, it worked and everyone wondered what all the fuss was about.

I think its trying to shake runners from the old school 'oh dont make any changes its too hard' way of thinking.

15/03/2013 at 14:55

 

PhilPub wrote (see)
Tom77 wrote (see)

From RW.com - Ask The Race Director

 

As for races that don't allow transfers, I suppose a major reason why they don't is that, particularly for races that fill way in advance, they typically factor in a no-show rate when setting their field size limits. That is, they are accepting many more than they can actually handle knowing that a certain percentage will not show for any number of reasons. Thus, if they allowed transfers, then their no-show rate would decrease and they would have more runners than they had planned.

 

I'm struggling to see the logic in this explanation. Surely if there is a predictable "no-show" rate associated with races that don't allow transfers, there is an equally predictable no-show rate (including therefore non-transfers) in races that do?  So instead of allocating 30% more places, you only allocate 25% or whatever?

Could it have more to do with the insurance requirements of the licensing body that issues the race permit?


I think Tom's link gives the logical explanation.  I would guess that for a half marathon, with 20,000 places, they can rely on, say, 25% no shows. = 5000 people.   

Now my guess is, if the system allowed easy number-swapping, then (in a highly sought-after event) maybe 4000 of those 5000 no-shows would be replaced by friends/internet swaps.  Keeping is simple, let's say that they would need to reduce the initial place allocation down to 16,000 to avoid overcrowding.  At (say) 25 quid a head, that would be ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS down the drain - for nothing! 

There's your answer

15/03/2013 at 14:55

So how does a club, run by volunteers, who are a mix of quantity surveyors, nurses, truck drivers, office workers and so  on go about setting up this very easy computerised system (in their spare time)?

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