Race Worthy Score

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all have been enjoying the NBC Olympic coverage and have found the time to watch your favorite athlete(s), team, and sports on the tube.  Unless you are like me and know the final outcomes before they are aired during prime time by checking twitter every 5 seconds for the latest updates and live streams.

However, I thought for a moment that I was living under a rock when I tuned in over the weekend to watch some live events on the TV, hoping to catch some track & field events, to learn that synchronized swimming was on instead.  I had no clue that this dancing in the pool sport has been part of the summer Olympics since 1984.  I guess you learn something new every day like how these athletes use unflavored gelatin to slick their hair back for competition.

Moving on to business..

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Have you ever paid $124 for a t-shirt? I know, I know, that’s a hefty price tag for something you can only wear while your working up a sweat.  Normally, I would never consider paying that price tag for a work out t-shirt even if it came from my favorite workout store- Lululemon.

I did agree to pay that price on November 1, 2011 when I registered for the Athleta Iron Girl Syracuse.  If I didn’t pay the premium back in November, I would never been able to pick up this technical short sleeve beauty made by Leslie Jordan at Oneida Shores in Brewerton on Saturday because this event sold out in less than 24 hours.

If not being able to run, bike and swim due to a serious injury was not enough for me to swallow emotionally. I had to then rub more salt into the wound by throwing away $124 for a  race t-shirt that will probably never get worn.

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I knew the rules and the risk before I hit the final enter key during registration so I am not sure why I am complaining.  The rules were clearly marked on the Iron Girl website as follows:

“Transfer & Refund Policies
All participant entries are non-transferable and non-refundable. You may not transfer or sell your race number to another person and we do not offer deferrals to events in the next season or another event in the series. There are no exceptions to this policy so please don’t ask for one.”

I do not complain at all about race entry fees and I have been paying these fees for over thirty years.  I understand that there is alot of work, coordination, technology and up front financial costs that go into planning and executing a well run event.  But c’mon in today’s technological world where everything is in electronic format, I don’t understand what the big deal is to transfer/defer.  I would rather have another athlete who really wanted to participate in the event that got closed out during registration be given the opportunity to compete.  And I was not about to sell my name and number to someone else for fear of being banned forever from future USAT events if something were to happen to the other athlete during the race.

However, many other events, including big time marathons,  are much more lenient when it comes to deferments, transfers or refunds and in my opinion, there needs to be some flexibility when you have to fork over some serious money (let’s say over $100) for an event that is a year away.  I’m not asking for a refund;  but, have serious doubts that I would ever sign up for an event like this that is so far away.  I don’t have a crystal ball and as far as I know, I don’t have the powers to predict the future.

Granted, I have been lucky since this is only the second time in 30 years that I was a DNS for a race that I signed up for. The first one was for Flying Pig marathon due to the same injury that prevented me from doing Iron Girl.   Perhaps there should be a database that keeps track of an athletes pattern of the number of times they transfer and defer from the big time races.  Kind of like a credit score – it would be a race worthy score.  If you have excessive transfers and deferments within a specified period of time then the athlete may be considered a risk and lose future privileges to transfer or defer based on racing history.

I’m really joking about  the being race worthy score thing but I really think that these big-ticket races with stringent transfer & refund policies need to rethink their policies.  It is what it is and I knew that, I just can’t imagine how I would feel if it were the price tag of a full Ironman.

Have you ever had to sit on the sidelines for an event you signed up for and lose your entry fee without refund, transfer or deferment?  I’m curious, what are your thoughts on these strict race policies?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.