Friday, February 12, 2010

Myrtle Beach Marathon canceled; no refunds

Myrtle Beach officials have canceled Saturday's Bi-Lo Marathon because of the snowstorm -- which The Myrtle Beach Sun-News reports is the first one to hit the city's shores in 10 years.


The City of Myrtle Beach issued the following press release tonight:
"We regret to report that the BI-LO Myrtle Beach Marathon has been cancelled for tomorrow, Saturday, February 13. The city staff has monitored weather conditions and delayed making a decision as long as practical, in hope that the forecast would improve. Unfortunately, the forecast consistently calls for snow accumulations overnight, raising concerns about the safety of all involved in the marathon.

"The marathon course is not completely closed, which means that runners and cars must safely co-exist on city streets. Given the potentially dangerous surface conditions which may exist tomorrow morning, that would not be the case. Safety is paramount for the runners, motorists and volunteers who assist, as well as for city employees who set up the course and monitor the intersections.

"The BI-LO Myrtle Beach Marathon is valued by the entire community, and we do not make this decision lightly. We are disappointed by the cancellation, but believe this action is necessary to ensure the safety of our guests, volunteers and staff members."
Good call? Probably. But I've heard in the past hour from multiple runners -- runners who paid for hotel rooms and in some cases took time off from work -- that they've been told there will be no makeup date ... and no refunds.

Could race officials not have tried again Sunday? Lots of participants wouldn't have been able to make it, but many probably could have. Or could, say, a 50 percent refund been arranged? Stuff happens, sure. But I wonder if MB isn't making a bad situation worse...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those sitting in a hotel room now wanting to run! The organizers had already pushed the start back 30 minutes. Why not start the race at 9 or 10?

I saw the runner finishing metals. They were really cool. They had 2010 stamped on them. Wonder if we could at least get one for our troubles?

Anonymous said...

Running is for people that are marginal at real sports and enjoy the simple monotony of mental anguish. Enjoy your misery.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:25am, Quote: "Running is for people that are marginal at real sports and enjoy the simple monotony of mental anguish. Enjoy your misery."

Said by someone who probably thinks getting on the computer is a workout and is too much of a fat ass to workout.

--Billy Shue

Anonymous said...

It's time to be creative, hold your 1st Myrtle Beach Snowmarathon

Jeff said...

The race organizers really blew this one. I witnessed my wife training diligently for 16+ weeks to prepare for this race, running in rainy and cold days alike for hundreds of miles.

It is weak to ignore the preparation of all the runners who trained and traveled to MB to run...every business knows to have a back-up plan. That they didn't is really pitiful planning. I'll bet their numbers fall in years to come because they have ignored their "customers" this weekend.

Anonymous said...

No refunds and no back-up plan?? The race organizers didn't provide the service that runners paid for...seems like a good reason to give refunds to me. Maybe Bi-Lo as the title sponsor needs to step up and do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Why can't they run on Sunday?? If this my first marathon I would be so mad.

beth said...

That has to be so disappointing for everyone who trained for the races and paid money to travel and patronize local hotels and businesses. I'm surprised there wasn't more of an attempt to reschedule or give some kind of refund. I wouldn't go out of my way to run the Myrtle Beach Marathon in the future unless they made more of an attempt to share the brunt of the costs and not leave it all to the runners.

Anonymous said...

This is my first marathon. I drove in from Greenville, SC. OK. The weather screwed me and everyone else. I thought, at least I can go to the HOB and get my finisher metal tonight. Screwed again...I am under age and can't get in to get it. I have always liked MB. Not sure I will sign up for this race again!

Anonymous said...

If BiLO has anything to do with it you will get ripped off! They don't care about their customers and I will never shop there again.

Anonymous said...

I just read an article from a MB newspaper stating that the city manager, not the race officials, made the call. OK, they are off the hook for the cancelled race. But still no excuse for not having Plan B. I wonder if the city manager is a runner? Probably not...

Brian said...

A co-worker was planning on doing the half marathon, which would have been her first. She did training runs in the cold rain and after working all day.
Can't imagine why someone would go to a running blog and make a trollish comment (on a Friday night/Saturday morning, no less) demeaning someone's effort. Doubt you'll come back and tell us how overweight you are or how bad your diabetes is or how many seats you take up on an airplane.

Anonymous said...

Is it devastating for the runners who trained so hard? Certainly! Is it devastating to the credibility of the organizers? Absolutely! Would it have been devastating to the family of the runner, or volunteer or police officer, who was killed during the race due to the combination of weather and an idiot driver? Without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

They should either move it to next week or offer free entry next year. Problem almost solved.

Aaron Linz said...

I really feel bad for all of you that trained your tails off and were ready to go today! I know how much a half or full can be to build up to it and then to have it yanked away from you! ughhhhh!!! March 20 has a couple marathons still open as an alternative for several of you looking for another opportunity. Lots of half marathons that weekend too. You fitness will still be really good then.

Anonymous said...

I got up this morning determined to first see if it was safe to run and then try to get in a few miles. Well the roads were wet but not slippery. So I was definitely running. I was amazed to see about a hundred runners running various parts of the course. Most were running in the street as though it was the official race. Many had also put on there running bib. I did 10 miles instead of the marathon I had signed up for. After reading news accounts and blogs, it now appears that the race organizers wanted to hold the races. It was the City who axed the event. We all have to remember the wavier that we sign when we signed up for this and many other races. I still think the race should have been held.

Anonymous said...

I stay away from events in SC. Wierd place

Anonymous said...

Typical podunk backwards planning from Myrtle Beach govt. They can't look four inches past their nose unless its a pile of dollar bills.

Anonymous said...

They should at least give a discount on next years registration to runners who signed up this year.

Anonymous said...

Im a marathoner and it seems that these cities use them just to generate an temporary economy at the expense of good people . They get their money whether they cancel or not . Its getting worse every year . Look at the entry fees . They should leave it up to the running officals to decide . We pay fees to cover all the things that are required to keep us runners safe . No race equals refund . No services rendered then give the runners the money back . I wont be going to this one next year or Chicago.

Anonymous said...

maybe they could give these people a free entry into next years race since the city has benefitted anyways from their tourist dollars anyways . They cold make two marathons next year maybe two weekend in a row . They still benefit because the city will get more revenue from two races . Win win for businesses.....mikey

TrailDawg said...

Yes, it was a freak storm. Yes, it could have been dangerous to run with cars on icy streets before it melted. Yes, the city is inexperienced at dealing with any snow. Thus, it was a tough decison that they needed to make.

Having acknowledged their difficulties, it now behoove the city to reciprocate and admit that THEY MADE THE WRONG DECISION. I went out and ran 20 miles of the course at 11:00. The snow was gone and the water had mostly evaporated. My feet did not get wet.

The race could have been started any time after 9:00 with absolutely no problem. This was entirely predictable. The forecast called for temps above 32 F. Water melts at 32 F!!! Why did they not delay? Would the race have interfered with traffic and business later in the day? Tough! You are a tourist town and tourists are inconvenient. Suck it up and do your job!

I left Delaware Thursday afternoon and left for home Sunday morning. My wife and I spent about $600. There were two other couples with us who spent at least that much, also. Mytle Beach took our money any gave us nothing in return. That is stealing. Myrtle Beach stole our money.

I am telling my running group (>200 members) and everone else I know to avoid the Myrtle Beach Marathon henceforth. The event and City of Myrtle Beach is unfriendly to the running community and not to be trusted.

bmorton26.2 said...

I think the Corporate Cup in Charlotte ought to get a list of registrants for the MB race and offer them a heavy discount to register for the Corporate Cup. That way, the runners get a pay off for their effort without too much additional cost, and the Corporate Cup wins by (i) adding a lot of runners to this year's event and generating a ton of good will for years to come, which I bet would translate into a lot of people who might otherwise run MB would opt for the CC instead.

Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Myrtle Beach is becoming a joke! They have already run the Bikers out of town, which brought Millions to the city twice each year. They are trying to become another Hilton Head, noses stuck in the air and smelling for money from other venues.

Anonymous said...

From the event website:

What is your refund policy?
Once your registration has been accepted, all fees are non-refundable (for any reason). This includes all circumstances including the event not being held.



All who entered this race (& about every marathon on the planet) knowingly agreed to this policy. Grow up. None of you are even remotely entitled to any refund.