Originally posted September 2011. This was the beginning of the end for me in regards to Rock ‘n’ Roll Series races. I appreciate the people I had worked with during this time who helped me get to my Rock Legend Heavy Medal goal. Since then, however, this race series has replaced numerous staff and their goals and behaviors as an organization have changed. And not for the better.
Three events in and it’s already over. I didn’t get injured. I didn’t have an emergency that kept me from showing up to or finishing a race. It’s over because in order to fulfill my goal, I would now have to plan and pay for an event that is half way across the country with just over 1 month’s notice and I simply can’t do it.
Today I got an e-mail letting me know that the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series was canceling their 2011 New Year’s Eve event, and thereby canceling my shot for Rock Legend. Here it is:
Competitor Group has a lot of resources at their disposal to make sure an event takes place and this has been in the works for a year at least with the event’s Facebook page becoming available as early as March of this year, if not before, and the awfully expensive registration (at $147.50 for a half marathon) available in June.
“Short lead time” isn’t the reason they cancelled. The “high standards” they speak of that are expected by their business partners is simply profits. Even with such an expensive registration fee, they weren’t able to make this race profitable enough to go through with and, with 3 months notice, they pull the plug.
For a lot of people this means that travel and hotels have already been booked. I’m lucky that I hadn’t booked a hotel yet. However, this late in the year, I don’t have the resources to get to the other events scheduled before the end of the year in CO, MO, TX, GA or FL. Even if I did, three of them would be back-to-back with events I’m already running.
You see, I’ve already registered for Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which is why their offer to transfer the registration to one of these events, though nice, is not helpful. The Arizona event is a moot point because it’s in 2012 and will not qualify toward my accumulation of heavy medals in 2011.
I’ve been planning this for nearly 2 years, as is evidenced by the existence of this blog. I’ve spent over $700 in registration fees alone. More in travel. I’ve used the majority of my vacation time for these events.
Now I see that I won’t make it. What a HUGE let down. There have been tears.
I understand that a business needs to do what a business needs to do. It makes good business “cents” to cancel an event that isn’t going to be worth it’s weight in heavy medals. However, sometimes good business sense equates to losing customers.
What have we learned?
I’ve known it all along but didn’t think it was too terrible of an idea. However, it is always true that investing into a gimmicky customer-loyalty program that demands so much of you (like receiving additional heavy medals for finishing multiple events that cost a lot of time, money and effort) is RISKY business. At any time, what you’ve personally invested in can be cancelled. Their discretion. A refund for the event wouldn’t take away the disappointment of a dream unrealized.
So unless I win the lottery and can magically afford to fly to San Antonio, TX* on November 12th, I’m just going to have to finish my last three events this year with a bitter taste in my mouth and a Super Six to show for all the effort. Would I have done all this if I would’ve known it would turn out this way? No. I wanted Rock Legend. Go big or go home.
On the positive side, I’ve stayed in good running condition because of all this and have been able to participate in two long distance relays, which will now likely replace marathons. They’re a lot more fun anyway. Check out The Relay: http://therelay.com/.
*UPDATE: I didn’t win the lottery but I am going to be able to run San Antonio! This post explains it all!