Running and exercise are a great way to get in shape and one way to do that is by participating in a Fun Run event. However, BBB urges runners to use caution and do their homework before signing up for such races.
Fun Runs are more for enjoyment rather than the competition. They are open to all ages with themes including mud runs, obstacle course, foam and color runs. Race promoters sell entry fees to these events and there is usually some type of charity component attached to the race.
BBB has received several complaints of these Fun Runs being canceled on short notice, often with no refunds issued. These are not being canceled for weather related purposes, but in some cases it is because a promoter hasn't done due diligence when organizing their event. In other cases, the company has gone out of business. An example is Electric Foam 5k, which went out of business on July 17th. Their website states that all future events have been canceled, that they are declaring bankruptcy and they will not be issuing refunds for these events.
Here are some some things to consider when thinking about participating in a Fun Run:
Do your research. Visit BBB's website or use Google to research companies and read online reviews. Look for events that have a history and community support. Look for professional websites with race information posted online.
Understand terms and conditions. Read the fine print before putting a checkmark in the box and moving on. This pertains to any online purchase.
Check the local venue. Call to make sure the event is scheduled for that particular date, time and location.
Pay with a credit card. Entry fees average between $25 - $75 depending on the event. If a race is canceled, you can contact your credit card company to dispute the charge. You do not have the same protections when using a debit card.
Keep documentation. Keep for your files and for proof of registration.
Check out the charity. If a racing event is promoting that a donation will be made to a local charity, do some research. Which charity? How much will be donated? Is there a previous relationship between the charity and the event?