the great north rip off

Last year both me and the wife paid our entries to the 2012 great north, nothing wrong ith that, we had done so for the past 5 years, long with the manchester, sunderland and the edinburgh. We even became members to avoid having to go into the ballot. We asked wht to do as far as deferring our places due to us both being injured and were told to hand in our packs at the pasta. party booth. tried to re-enter this week to be told that our entry fees are non returnable, The greedy ####### have cost us ??100 by playing by their rules. We could have sold the places through work if we were informed about this, but as we read that entry places are not transfereble we obliged. The whole thing is a total rip off You have been warned looks like its fell running from now on, one gnr is equal to a full years racing Dissapointed TD


  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Unfortunately - it's how most of the races go nowadays. Just a note: according to the rules - the race bibs are also non transferable so even if you hadn't of known - you would still be risking being banned by the great run organisers for selling your place
  • The real rip off is £50 to enter in the first place!

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    I'd actually agree with that. I've stopped doing the great run series for that reason but wanted to point out that the money was already lost when you chose to defer
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Fifty quid is too much for a half anyway.

    It does seem like some races do their best to rip you off. I don't see why they can't let you transfer your entry if you are injured seems like very bad customer service but as they sell out every year they probably don't care.
  • fifty quid is fifty quid, ive worked out that as a family weve shelled out over ??1000 in entry fees for both us & the kids over the years to BUPA, thats their lot, I intend supporting local events from now on.

    but then again, we have to keep brendan foster in a manner he has come accustomed to.


  • Can you not pay again and claim the place you deferred last year ? That's the same system as London marathon has.

    I'd take this as a chance to explore other races - there are a lot better than the GNR.
  • I sympathize - these big corporate events are best avoided.

    Point of interest - who's to stop you from selling on your place? You bought it and can you not dispose of your property as you see fit? The organizers may say you can't but does that mean you can't in law? Is there any mileage for you here in the small claims court?

    And in future, of course, prefer small local club-organized events.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Most small races offer a transfer system if you can no longer run. As with the nature of the sport surely they realise that people may get injured in the lead up to the race.
  • What it boils down to is that you expected a refund for the place you deferred so you didn't have to pay again. VERY few events actually allow this, so don't moan at Great Run about it! If you aren't happy with their T's and C's then there will be many people happy to do it instead.
  • I thought everyone knew the policy. Deferring a place simply means you have the RIGHT to a place next year. It doesn't mean you don't have to pay again.

  • I agree with those who say that the £50 entry was the rip off.  

    All the half maras I've done have cost less than £20 - and they're all well-organised, properly measured and waaaayyyyyyyy less crowded, and you can just enter without any ballots or memberships or what have you.


  • A race is only worth what people are prepared to stump up for it.

    As the ballot process proves, Great Run events and GNR in particular is oversubscribed so 50,000 people WILL pay it.

    I did it once. Actually I had to defer and pay again so I guess it cost me £100 as well. Didn't even think about it at the time. I knew the score.

    Perhaps they need to make people more aware of the deferral policy if it's catching people by surprise? :-/

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    LIVERBIRD wrote (see)

    Perhaps they need to make people more aware of the deferral policy if it's catching people by surprise? :-/

    I'd agree to that.

    Muttley wrote (see)

    Point of interest - who's to stop you from selling on your place? You bought it and can you not dispose of your property as you see fit? The organizers may say you can't but does that mean you can't in law? Is there any mileage for you here in the small claims court?

    Ultimately you're breaking the T&Cs that you signed up to and if they find you out - they can stop you from participating in any of their events.

  • I do get fed up with the "no transfer" policy - what's it to them who runs?  I know they claim health and safety blah blah but isn't that why you write your details on the back of the bib?  If they're going to rely on what they've got on their computer why do they get you to do that?  

    Given that they have so many drop-outs, and so many people wanting to get a place but unable to, there should be a transfer system.  These organisations are large commercial entities, not small running clubs with a bunch of volunteers (though it's usually the running clubs who will arrange a transfer if you let them know in advance).  If you're paying £50 to enter, I guess a lot of people would pay £5 to join a waiting list and get a place when one comes up.  I think the Great South was down about 5000 participants in 2011 - it's ludicrous.

  • Hellywobs, they count on a certain number no showing up.  All races have a no-show rate (injuries, didn't do any training, it's pouring with rain on the day, cba), and typically it's about 20%.  

    It may be less in the case of runs like the GNR and VLM, but no doubt they do still have a drop out rate which they factor in.  

    Very few races (that I know of) allow transfers.  In the case of club-organised events they don't need the extra work for the volunteers.

  • I have a place this next year but as I have done it three times anyone who wants to purchase it can do by PM me. And dont start telling me off Wilkie!!!!image

  • I don't care if people pass numbers on - I was just explaining why race organisers don't want to do transfers!


  • image Just having a digimage

  • Hellywobs we had a runner end up in hospital via a ditch, number passed on by registered runner to the 'ghost' we had no idea who he was.  Caused no end of stress for us, the runner in the ditch and the family of the person the number was registered to. 

    The policy is there for a reason.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Why not have a system, for a small charge if needs be, to allow official transfers?

    Therefore the injured runner does not lose all of their money

    Someone else gets a chance to run,

    The organisers then know there will be no ghost runners, happy customers and a bit of extra money for them or to donate to a charity.
  • Taking another's number can get you banned too so be careful out there. I've never done GNR just because of the cost...I tend to vote with my wallet. Did defer FLM in 1999 due to broken ankle and did not get deferred place as next up was the millennium so went on to 2001 and paid again

  • The rules may be in the small print, but as a family who take running very seriously, weve always taken care of ourselves and not been injured. Its only when injurys do occur, that its a case of ,oh, you have to pay again.

    In our group there are 4 adults & 3 kids, who all compete at the adult & mini bupa events every year, as far as were concerned they can shove it.


    lakes runner
  • Lots of races do have transfer policies, the Edinburgh Marathon do and it works well and is good for customer relations. We run as a family and its always going to happen someone is going to get injured and the costs are going up all the time for races.  Local races and fell races are the way forward I think now. £4 to do a fell race in our village the money goes to Edale Mountain Rescue Team, no one makes any money. There is first aiders on the course and local people provide food and drink, timed finishing value or what!!!

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