Better Business Bureau Warns About Theme Runs

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If you’re getting ready to sign up for a new fun run or theme race, you might want to take a closer look before you register. The folks over at Runner’s World shared news this week that the Better Business Bureau is advising theme-race registrants to proceed with caution. The warning comes on the heels of a flood of complaints the Bureau received about organizations canceling runs and not issuing refunds.

Several national run series, like the Electric Foam 5k and Dirty Girl Mud Run, have canceled events or gone out of business completely without refunding registrants, causing a major uproar. (Note: Last summer’s canceled-and-never-rescheduled Electric Run 5K angered a lot of local participants, and it’s a story we are actively pursuing to parse out what happened. Stay tuned.)




To help would-be participants navigate future race registrations and avoid getting ripped off, the Bureau created a list of things to consider when you’re signing up. Runner’s World summed them up into a quick list of tips, which you can read over here.

But the basic takeaway is this: Use common sense, friends, and don’t sign yourself up for anything that seems shady.

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  • The Real Richard Cranium

    According to the folks at the Electric Run, the City would not allow them or any other “Themed Events” to reschedule, because they felt that it was causing too many problems when it came to clean up and it was taking away opportunities from the local promoters. Interestingly, it seems like there are more and more events in the City, so it makes me wonder if the ER people didn’t piss someone off with the City. We were offered a transfer of our bibs to another city. The closest venue was Baltimore. After we signed up, we thought about how much money it would cost to get there (i.e. gas, tolls, hotel, parking, glow sticks, etc), we just opted to no show. Apparently, it was a disaster anyways.

    • Emily Leaman

      We’re looking into it — thanks for the intel!