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Wayne Post
Deferral
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By Eric Eagan
May 30, 2013 12:01 a.m.



I recently posed a question to my runner friends on facebook – It was about runners being able to defer entries to a race to the following year. I think you should ALWAYS be able to defer – I posed the question "What do you think?"



(See that conversation here).



As the Race Director for the 0 SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon I have had to consider if we would allow deferrals for our race. I thought about it for a good long time and decided there was no good reason other than sheer greed for profit to say no.



We have set up our race that we were not dependent on money  from entry fees AND we are not a business making money – We are donating our money to non-profit trail organizations.



The deferral process is more of an administrative headache than anything else. It seems to me, that organizations that are more grass roots – or should I say more "for the runners" than "for the dollars" are more willing to offer deferrals.



There are many things that a race director can do to improve Public Relations – The most important is not taking advantage of an injured runner – or a runner with a family emergency.



When you defer a runner to next year – You do not lose any profit on this years race – If they defer early enough you can replace them with another runner – If they do not – You can simply try to cover that expense for NEXT year by adding another racer to your event next year. You already have the money for the race THIS year as a race director. You are not refunding, you are deferring and that is something that should be allowed- with almost no exceptions. I can understand in the final 24 hours before the race  - Most runners know well before the night before if they are not able to run. 24 Hours seems like a pretty fair policy.



Runners want to run – they do not defer because they are lazy – To train – to put in sweat -hours on the roads/trails/gyms/fitness classes – To talk about the event – to dream about crossing the finish line and then when something happens and you find out that is not a reality they should not also be told "Hey too bad, but thanks for the money" .



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That reeks of corporate greed. It reeks of big business – You know, the kind that thinks the dollar is more important than the person who is bringing you the dollar. I think the larger the event the more difficult the deferral process may be – The bigger the event the more difficult ANY process would be – It also means a deferral has much less of an impact on your event. Same with bib transfers. (another post/another topic).



It seems many of the Race Directors in this area offer deferrals – Many of us are runners ourselves and know what it is like to need a deferral – I want to hear what you think though. What races have allowed you to defer? What did you think about them after – What races have NOT let you defer, and what did you think about them after?



Are you a RD who does not allow deferrals? Why not? What is your take on things



Leave me a comment – Lets start the discussion.

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