Withdrawl Policy from Edinburgh Marathon 2012

Is Edinburgh Marathon withdrawl Policy same as other Marathon Withdrawl Policys?

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26/05/2012 at 10:40

Nearing the end of my Marathon training (less than 2 weeks before the race) for the Edinburgh Marathon I came down with a chest infection . I went to see my GP to see if I would be I would be fit to run he told me (after listening to my chest and examing me) in no uncertain terms that I would be unfit to run. When I told him that I would loose my entry fee he was suprised/ shocked and offered to write me a letter stating I was unfit to run due to a medical reason to help me reclaim my entrance fee or get my entrance defered for a year.

Being an experienced Marathon runner I knew my GP was correct in telling me to withdraw and he was proved correct in that with in 72 hours I was not very well. Before I withdraw from the Edinburgh Marathon I decieded to try to contact  the Race Director (Damien O Looney) or a member of the organiser (GSI Events. I tried both Email (through contact the link on the web site)- I am still waiting for a reply, and by phone (the number listed on both the website & the Scottish Athletics website) it came back as number no longer in use. Yesterday I took my now arrived number and doctors letter to the "The Race Hub" when I explained my situation to a member of staff she found contact details for Damien O Looney. I rang Mr O Looney and explained my situation his attitude was: Edinburgh Marathon withdrawl policy is in line with other races and I knew the I would loose my entry fee if I had to withdraw when I entered the race! He then pointed out to me I could get a discounted entry to 2013 marathon (which is open to everyone) if I entered on Monday but no defered entry at a discounted rate! 

My questions to everyone is  this: Is this the standard withdraw policy for Marathons?

 Mike M-S

 

          

26/05/2012 at 11:10

Hi Mike, My boyfriend is after a marathon place but has been unsuccessful, if you want your money back and emf will not refund you to withdrawl, he will happily buy it from you, give him a call on 07814033982, his name is Andy.

26/05/2012 at 11:20

Yup, pretty much standard policy. Their reason being that they have already used your entry fee to pay for your medal, your t-shirt, all the water and gels on offer, all the marshals and other staff working on the day and various other things that they can't get a refund on so why should they reimburse you for something that's not their fault. Perhaps seems slightly harsh when it's not your fault either, but if you look at any race and the number of DNSs they get, if they were to refund all of the folk who didn't start on the day it would cost them a small fortune. being sick and unable to participate is just a chance you have to take, unfortunately. And Edinburgh's rules and entry conditions does actually state that pretty clearly.

Some events offer a graded refund system: e.g. if you withdraw 6 months before the event you get 90% refund, 3 months you get 75%, 6 weeks you get 40%, that sort of idea. Some don't. Almost all will let you defer your place i.e. give you a guaranteed entry for next year's event which is a big bonus for massively over-subscribed races like London but not such a big deal for most smaller races.

Sorry you can't run this year. Hope you make it next year though!

 

Edited: 26/05/2012 at 11:21
26/05/2012 at 11:30

I don't think any race will give you a refund if you can't run.

London will allow you to defer, and I think Brighton do, too, but you don't get a refund and you have to pay AGAIN for the entry for next year.

As R-W-D says, they have already incurred the costs and can't recover them.

26/05/2012 at 17:13

Thanks for the responses.

Hells85: As I have already withdrawn I am sorry that I cant give my number to your boyfriend.

I know someone at work who had to defer last years London Marathon till this year due to injury and had to pay a discounted rate, this seems to me fair compromise.

What worries me is that their are runners who are less experienced and who think they will be ok running with a chest infection and putting their health and in a worse case senarios their lives at risk, for sake of their entry fee and no insentive to take a safe option.

What annoyed me yesterday when speaking to Damien O Looney was his attitude of " you should have thought of this when you entered the race" which I don't think is a good attitude for a race director to have to a runner.

I am a local runner and coach in the Edinburgh/ East Lothian area and believe in supporting local events however with Mr O Looney attitude and what has happened to me this year (and with poor organisation etc in previous years) this is one local event/ race I don't think I will be supporting or entering again.

 Mike Malcolm-Smith

 

 

 

LIVERBIRD    pirate
27/05/2012 at 07:52

It's pretty much the same as buying a concert ticket and then not being able to go. Why should they give you your money back? The concert is still taking place isn't it? I think it's really very nice of them to offer you a discounted rate for next year. The Great North Run will also allow you to defer but you will pay the fee in full again next year if you choose to take them up on it. Other race organisers have a no refunds/transfers/deferral policy altogether and if you sign for one of their races, then you do so in the full knowledge that if you fail to make it to the startline, you lose your entry fee. It's already been spent. Most of the costs of staging a race are paid for up front. That's why races generally have cut offs weeks and months ahead of time.

I'm genuinely sorry you're too ill to run and it's great that you've been to your doctor and are heeding the medical advice they have given you because it's not a pleasant experience to run while ill and you could be endangering your life if you run with a chest infection and that's no exaggeration but put this one down to experience and just forget about it. You can come back bigger and stronger next year and finish off what you started.

You say you're a running coach? Why is this policy such a surprise to you? Or is it more that you're annoyed that you they've refused to make an exception and you wanted to publicly name and shame? Just asking.......

27/05/2012 at 07:55
There's no discount for VLM. You are allowed to defer but you have to pay the full entry fee again.



Apart from that, did you read the T&C's of entry before you registered? I'm sure the refund policy would have been in there too.
Edited: 27/05/2012 at 07:55
27/05/2012 at 08:08

Did the 10k in Edinburgh yesterday,on entering Holyrood park I asked a marshall where the start was,he didn,t know.I finished near the back of the field and had to fight my way through the finishing area which was full of spectators.I got to the end of the finishing area and there was no indication of where to collect medals and tee-shirts. I asked another marshall and he didn,t know.I know they are mostly volunteers but is a basic knowledge of the event too much to ask for.Having said that I really enjoyed the day and will be back next year.

.Hope today goes well for everyone. 

 

27/05/2012 at 19:48

Thanks again for the responses

Liverbird: The reason I was so annoyed was that I felt that I had a genuine reason my GP gave me a letter saying I was medically unfit to run ( I looked on that as an eqivalent of sign GP letter signing you off as being unfit to work) and the attitude was one of not an apology but one of tough you new the risks. Yet if I had chosen to ignore my GPs advice and my own gut instincts and run and collapsed/ done long term damage to my health the organisers would have been the first to say I should have withdrawn. Being a coach (I didn't mention it the organisers) I would have adviced any athlete not to run feeling unwell.

Jim Hamilton: Sorry to hear your unfortunate exprenicenes yesterday but unfortunately it dosenot suprise me as I have suffered GSI Events bad organisation doing the Marathon over the last few years.

Well done to all runners over the last few warm days doing GSI Events 

  Mike Malcolm-Smith

27/05/2012 at 20:14

If all it took was a doctor's certificate to get your money back from a race, especially just a few days before race, organiers would be faced a feck of a lot of CBAs and injured people after refunds. The organisers would lose money. 

I'm surprised you are even querying this as a coach (assuming you are a sports coach of some type). Surely you appreciate how much time and effort goes into organising events.



 

Edited: 27/05/2012 at 20:18
27/05/2012 at 20:39
I can't really understand why any kind of apology was expected in these circumstances. What were you expecting them to apologise for - its a commercial enterprise with very clear T&C's. At best you could expect some sympathy and a pat on the back - but be aware that these people are incredibly busy at this stage of organising an event, and probably very stressed.

The scenario is nothing like being signed off from work - from an employer. As has already been used as an example, a prepaid concert is more simlar (although transferring a ticket from one person to another is easier- but thats another kettle of fish)..

There are no readily available insurance schemes to insure you against DNS situations. It really is a case of paying your money and hope to be on the start line.

I think any large city event is going to feel a little impersonal and commercial. I would take whats on offer for next years entry.

I wish you a speedy recovery
LIVERBIRD    pirate
28/05/2012 at 11:11

I've DNS'ed two marathons and a half marathon. The first DNS I was so ill I was under a neurologist and I couldn't even WALK in a straight line, never mind run. I went to Dublin and supported anyway but I had to sit on the kerb or I would've fallen over.

Twelve months later, fully recovered I crossed the finish line and burst into tears.

The second marathon I DNS'ed I simply wasn't match fit for. I had lost my mojo, was getting injured constantly and I knew that to run the race was going to make me miserable so I pulled out. I ended up supporting people and I handed the medals out.

I don't regret either decision. One was for a genuine medical reason, the other one was more a gut instinct. But I didn't ask for my money back and neither race organisation accepts transfers or deferrals. It didn't bother me. The right decision is the RIGHT DECISION and the money wasn't the point.

I wish you well in your recovery from the chest infection and look forward to hearing about the moment that you cross that line fully fit and healthy. Good luck.

28/05/2012 at 11:17

seems it is difficult to get the refund

 

 

 

 

Edited: 28/05/2012 at 11:19
28/05/2012 at 11:20

Sounds like more of a matter of bad customer service; if the published contacts worked and you had been treated with a bit of understanding, you still would be no better off but propably would have felt better about it. 

28/05/2012 at 16:00
jim hamilton wrote (see)
Did the 10k in Edinburgh yesterday,on entering Holyrood park I asked a marshall where the start was,he didn,t know.I finished near the back of the field and had to fight my way through the finishing area which was full of spectators.I got to the end of the finishing area and there was no indication of where to collect medals and tee-shirts. I asked another marshall and he didn,t know.I know they are mostly volunteers but is a basic knowledge of the event too much to ask for.Having said that I really enjoyed the day and will be back next year. 

Volunteers cover the bit they've been assigned to. They got there at the time given and were briefed to cover their role. It's odds on they hadn't been anywhere else to see the layout. The number of people who know the full layout of the entire race is probably measurable on one hand, and trying to give all knowledge to all volunteers is very time consuming and untimately a waste as most will just forget.

Of course one of the issues with really big events is keeping people moving at the end. If they'd managed that and kept the spectators out then you probably would have just been able to follow the flow directly past where medals and shirts were being distributed. As it was you probably walked past it and simply couldn't see it. Personally I think there's no excuse for not keeping runners and spectators apart until the runners exit the race area with all formalities completed. The only exception would be the bag drop, but even there it would be far better if that was also inside the race compound where possible.

28/05/2012 at 17:25

Little Ninja: Yes I am a qualified UK Athletics Coach with 14 marathons and numerous other distance races behind me.

 Why I am querying this policy? Their might be a runner (with a chest infection) who for whatever reason feels under pressure  to run a marathon because he will loose his entry money (entry fees for Marathons are not cheap). The resulting possible scenario from running a marathon with a chest infection is the virus spreading in this runner and not only making his chest infection worse , but possibley causing long term damage to his heart , or even in extreme cases death. 

The comparison with concerts is that with concert tickets is with tickets at 2 weeks notice if you cant use concert tickets you can usually find friends/ family members who can use them. Race numbers are non transferable and a few years ago a couple from a running  club did transfer and got found out by The Edinburgh Marathon Organisers  and to put it mildly had the book thrown at them by the organisers.

JLB3: I think you are right some of the customer handling could have been handled better. Certainly the attitude of the race director was: tough and you should have of that risk when you entered.

Thanks Again Everyone. The come back starts now to get rid all the pent up frustrations!

 Mike Malcolm-Smith

 

 

 

 

28/05/2012 at 17:49

I don't know of any race that would give a refund for any reason and I wouldn't even think to ask, doctors note or not.

Mike Malcolm-smith wrote (see)

Why I am querying this policy? Their might be a runner (with a chest infection) who for whatever reason feels under pressure  to run a marathon because he will loose his entry money (entry fees for Marathons are not cheap). The resulting possible scenario from running a marathon with a chest infection is the virus spreading in this runner and not only making his chest infection worse , but possibley causing long term damage to his heart , or even in extreme cases death.

Surely no-one would run the marathon if they were that ill just because they'd paid for it? 

Mike Malcolm-smith wrote (see)

 Race numbers are non transferable and a few years ago a couple from a running  club did transfer and got found out by The Edinburgh Marathon Organisers  and to put it mildly had the book thrown at them by the organisers.

Quite right.  I'm involved in the organisation of a fell race and you do need to know who's taking part for obvious reasons.  I have also seen prize presentations where men have run with a ladies number and qualified for a prize, completely mucking up the results.

 

28/05/2012 at 17:56
Mike Malcolm-smith wrote (see)

Why I am querying this policy? Their might be a runner (with a chest infection) who for whatever reason feels under pressure  to run a marathon because he will loose his entry money (entry fees for Marathons are not cheap). The resulting possible scenario from running a marathon with a chest infection is the virus spreading in this runner and not only making his chest infection worse , but possibley causing long term damage to his heart , or even in extreme cases death. 

Well really, that would be rather stupid, entirely his/her own fault and absolutely nothing to do with the race organisers. As for losing your entry fee, once you've paid it, technically you've 'lost' it whether you run or not, in that you don't get it back by running the race! If you can't afford it, I think you probably shouldn't enter in the first place.

28/05/2012 at 20:09

Unfortunately this worse case senario has happened! I can speak from experience.- Back in the day when I was young inexperienced and reckless I ran a half marathon with a slight cold, I can only vaguely remember finishing and according to a medical friend was very lucky not to end up in hospital. If I had an option to withdraw from that race and have had my entry deferred or refunded I don't know.   

Minni- Is that a Wooler vest I spy?

 Mike Malcolm-Smith 

 

 

seren nos    pirate
28/05/2012 at 20:22
Anyone who runs and puts their life in danger for 40 pounds is an idiot...people have to be responsible for themselves and have already signed that they will only run if they are fit...
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