Need more on the day entries

I entered the Lichfield 10k for this Sunday 10th September. I have made the run before on a number of occasions, and I was looking forward very much to the event this year.

But yesterday afternoon I tore my calf muscle playing football; and I will not be fit to run on Sunday, so I asked the organisers for either a refund, or to defer my entry to next year. They refused point blank. I can understand how refunds may not be possible (many fixed costs already committed) but why not the deferral? This is not the cheapest race at £19 to enter, and I feel that I've been ripped off. And refusal to allow deferring entries is NOT in their terms and conditions.

We are all enthusiasts, a bit mad to punish ourselves this way, and this has encouraged some organisers to take advantage by banning OTD entries.

I will never enter the Lichfield 10k again, nor any other event that does NOT support OTD entries. I hope that you might do the same, and that sites like this introduce a filter which shows ONLY OTD entries for potential runners.


    The race organiser has already incurred the costs of your entry, exactly as for a refund so why should they defer your entry?

    OTD entries are a huge admin nightmare for race organisers and in the past events have had delayed starts as more than expected runners turned up and they are queuing for car park or to enter the race.   It would also make it difficult to predict the number of runners, so how many medals do you order etc.  What happens if more runners turn up than you have a race permit for, if you allow extra runners to take part you are invalidating your race insurance.

    Injury is unfortunately what we have to put up with in distance running and sometimes that means losing a race fee.

    Did you offer to marshal on the day to help out in return for a deferral or just out of goodwill?  I think not.

  • Err... No, I didn't offer to marshal. I had torn a calf muscle.
  • As a race organiser and runner...

    On the day entries are a pain. As well as the problems Shades mentions, runners quite reasonably want a set of accurate results as soon as possible after the race. If you take a large number of on the day entries it's impractical to enter all the data required to be able to award team and age group prizes.

    I'm interested though about deferrals, would you be interested in paying slightly more for race entries if it included more flexibility. My suspicion is that most runners wouldn't want to pay the extra. If you feel otherwise, I think that Strava premium has insurance included that will refund race entries, check whether it meets your requirements.
    PPP - I don't think paying more for a deferral option on an entry is such a good idea.  That takes you down the route that if those that had deferred couldn't attend the next year they'd want a refund, it also puts an obligation on the race organisers to make no changes to the event, such as different time of year, altering the race distance or terrain.

    The Strava premium insurance is a good idea for those that want it.  

    I just accept that I will probably DNS a couple of races a year and if I only lose a race fee, then so be it.   I've had to DNS races further afield too and sometimes have lost a hotel cost if I've opted for a cheaper no cancellation option, in the case of flights I usually pay to switch them to another event later in the year.   I accept that injury is a part of running.   If the race is local I will offer to help out on the day even if I'm injured and need to keep off my feet, they can always find something for someone to do even sitting down.
  • As I understand it only the big runs, like the London, offers deferrals, and no runs that I know of will give refunds if you can't run for whatever reason.

    OTD entries are becoming increasingly rare as most races these days seem to sell out, so they're not even offered, which suits the organisers as OTD are a pain for them.

    So, enter in advance, but its just bad luck if you can't make it, and by the look of how many numbers aren't claimed before a run, you're not alone!

    Only the race organisers could give you the figures but I think some allow about 25% no-shows when deciding on a race limit, and they may factor that "free" entry fee into their costings. But on that scale refunds are definitely not on the cards!
    senidM - there are a few that offer refunds or at least a % of the entry fee, but there aren't many and there's no reason why they should anyway.   Some offer a transfer list and so if you are able to transfer with the race's permission at least you'll get your entry fee back via the replacement runner.

    You're right 25% is about the average of DNS's, it's increased since we've had online entries as it's so easy to sit at your PC and enter a race without the faff of cheque writing and stamps etc.  Also races that are likely to be oversubscribed you sometimes have to enter not really 100% sure if you will be there.

  • And refusal to allow deferring entries is NOT in their terms and conditions.

    That seems a strange double negative way of looking at it.

    I assume deferrals aren't mentioned at all?

    In which case safe to assume it will not be allowed.

    They don't explicitly have to state "no deferrals" because it is not the norm or a default situation.
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Must admit I would really like ODE no pressure, no stress, no commitment. However, my club organises a race and we would not be able to with ODE. If it rained and noone turned up we would still have to pay all the costs and that would mean no race in the future. Also how would a race, such as the GNR manage? Over 50000 people turning up on the day? Who would volunteer to cope with that? I anticipate that I will only run 75% of the races I enter so consider the costs of entering with that in mind. 
  • Most races today are designed to make a profit for a club a company or charity. So why turn away possible extra profit ! by not allowing EOD. It always was a bone of contention as far as I was concerned. 

    I think the best compromise is that now 99% of races are online entries that they keep the closing date for entries open as late as possible, unless of course the race is full.   That way you should be able to enter up to say 2 days before the race, by that time you would have already decided whether to race or not that weekend.
  • Nice theory Shades, but in practice, if you want to run a particular race, leaving it until late to enter is a risky strategy. Lots sell out really quickly.
    senidM - yes, but I'm referring to those that want to enter on the day, not those of us that like to plan ahead and enter early.  

    I've already entered a few races for 2018

  • I think you just need to take it on the chin. Stuff happens. Deferrals are rare and only for big races in my opinion and rightly so. If you want low key, low stress, entry on the day you could try joining a club and accessing a whole pile of free/low cost races - I can think of 3 series of road, xc, trail local to me that are free or nominal entry (quid) and you just turn up on the day. 
  • My club runs a series of cross-country events that are predominantly on the day entries.  Which I think is great.  Until you work on registration, but also want to run, so need to pop to loo etc and have people who turn up at the very last minute (5 mins before) and get annoyed because you had finished registration!  So yes to OTD entries, but a cut-off time is also needed, eg 30 mins before.  The organiser of our races refused to introduce one so I stopped helping.  
  • I turned up at my last race ( low key ) 250 runners . EOD, a couple sat at a desk one taking the money and handing out the numbers the other writing your details on the computer , job done . The organisers are 8 euros better off, every ones happy.

  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    I often can't commit to being free until a few days before, so most of the races I've done, I have entered a day or two before. Marathons being the exception.
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