BBB Offers Tips for Runners to Watch Their Step
DENVER, COLORADO — In recent years, the number of fun runs—themed races such as Color Runs, Foam Runs and Mud Runs—has skyrocketed. Although these runs are meant to bring fun and adventure to running enthusiasts and beginners alike, there have been some issues regarding races of this nature.
BBB is receiving reports that a Bubble Run, which is scheduled to occur in Denver on July 8, created issues for consumers in Minnesota earlier this year. The race was originally scheduled in June, and then rescheduled for late July. This is problematic because Minnesota runners who cannot make the new date may possibly be out their registration fees, as per the organizer’s website they have a no refund policy.
This is not the first, or likely last time, that an event of this type was moved or canceled. In Colorado, in 2015, for example, the Lozilu Denver Mud Run was canceled in August, just a few weeks before the event, and the Boulder Marathon was canceled two years in a row due to a variety of circumstances, including flooding in the area.
Better Business Bureau serving Denver/Boulder offers tips to help runners avoid potential obstacles and common pitfalls:
- Do your research. Check out the race organizer’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org and look online for additional information before signing up. Read customer reviews from runners who have participated in previous races or events.
- Don’t be fooled by a well-designed website. Scammers can easily create an official-looking website. Look for misspellings or poor grammar, which is a sign you might be dealing with fraudsters.
- Check the local venue. Contact the park or host venue to confirm that the event is on the calendar. It’s also a good idea to contact city officials to ensure race permits have been obtained.
- Pay with a credit card. Charges made on a credit card can be disputed after a purchase, whereas debit, cash or wire transfers are tougher to dispute.
- Understand the terms and conditions. In a lot of cases, promoters say right on their websites that they don't offer refunds. However, many consumers don't read the fine print before hitting "I agree" when registering for a race.
- Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online registration process, you should receive a confirmation receipt. Print out and keep a copy of the confirmation and any supporting documentation for future reference.
- Check out the charity. Many fun runs are for-profit, but some have a charitable aim. If race organizers claim a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, ask for more details. Contact the charity to make sure there’s a connection. You can also do your research on give.org to make sure your donation is going to a trustworthy charity. Be wary of sound-alike names similar to those of more established charities.
- File a complaint. People who have issues with a race should file complaints at bbb.org.
Fun Runs can indeed be fun, but just as it’s a good idea to stretch out and train before undertaking a race, it’s also a good idea to do your research ahead of time to ensure your fun run delivers the goods.