Friday, September 18, 2015

*My* Half is not happening...and I am pissed.

I don't want this blog to turn into a bitch-fest, but it really has not been my week. And I feel like I'm more than entitled to the opinions I have about what happened last night, so please bear with me, because there's a wall of ranty text coming.

Yesterday, right around 4 o'clock, I got the following email from the race organizers for Women Rock Chicago:

I got through the first bit and thought, 'Okay, that sucks, but I can deal with that. We just have to leave a bit earlier...' but I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was as I finished the email, quickly calculating how much time that gave me to run my 13.1, and realized...

I can't finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Given my mile times during training, my estimated race time is between 2:38 and 2:40 (it took me 2:24:59 to finish my 12 miler). Factoring in start times (since I probably wouldn't cross the start mat until about 6:40), there is no way I'd be off the course by 9:00.

This has wound through my head so many times now that I don't even know what to say anymore.

The "conflicting events" they're talking about is actually the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final...which happens the same weekend in Chicago every year. The race organizers have to have known about this conflict for at least 6 months, probably more, as ITU books the date a year in advance. What all that means is that this is a total and complete fail and muck-up on the part of Team Ortho and Women Rock (the organizers of the Women Rock Chicago race). This information alone makes everything feel really shitty and shady.

But what really, really makes me so upset about this is that I chose this race. I picked it for it's size, the seemingly enthusiastic and supportive crowd, and for the fact that it would be mostly women racing. And the medal looks pretty sweet too. If not for this race, I would have run my hometown's half last weekend. But no...I chose this one. And now it's come back to bite me. And moreover, if the time limit had been a prior stipulation, I would not have picked this race. When I signed up I had to I estimated and enter my time, and I estimated it at a minimum of 2:30. When I signed up. Because that is what my average mile time worked it out to (factoring in slightly slower miles for the longer distance). So if I'd known from the get-go that I would be limited to my minimum time, I would have picked a different race because I'm not an idiot who thinks I can train for a long distance AND greatly lower my min/mile time as well. I've even gone back and checked the terms and conditions to see exactly what I'd agreed to. Which is not this.

I attempted to request a refund through their website, but a few weeks ago after they finally released the pre-event info and I realized I probably couldn't make it I submitted a request to have my packet mailed to me. I was charged for this on September 3rd, and got my packet on Monday (the 14th). Apparently if you have it mailed to you, you are no longer eligible for a refund, which I think is totally bogus. Also...when I initially emailed them about getting my packet mailed, I was NOT told that this precluded me from any kind of refund, and this information is not in the terms and conditions. So I paid an extra $30 for that shiz-nitz, and I'm not even sure why it cost $30. I mean...what they sent me (the athletic jacket and race bib) would probably cost about $6 to send via USPS.

Fortunately, I used my American Express to pay for everything and I'm calling them today to see if there's a way they can help me handle this. I feel totally and completely swindled by what's happened.

Moreover, the organizers' suggestion of running both the 10k and 5k to compensate for not running the half is so incredibly indequate as a solution. And I feel like even showing up will give them validation for their incompetence in organizing, and for the "solution" they offered.

And for other reasons that I'll talk about next week, I have decided not to pick and run another half. I'll explain later, I promise. I was willing to push myself to and through this race, but now I'm throwing in the towel on the endeavor (which probably isn't the worst idea I've ever had).

So...there's the update. I still plan on enjoying my weekend, but I feel frustrated and let-down, and it's not even like I could have done anything to stop it. It just sucks.

Thanks for reading. This has been my goal for the year, and it doesn't look like it's happening (right now). I'll update you all on what happens, but for now I suggest NOT registering for any Women Rock Events OR for anything organized by Team Ortho. If they handle this well, I'll reverse that suggestion. If they don't, I'll be boycotting their races in the future, for sure.


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