I am so bummed to hear that both the Dallas Marathon and Memphis Marathon have been canceled. After training for MONTHS and dreaming about race day for even up to a year, it can be devastating to hear that you can’t go out there and try to meet the goals that you have set.
This was supposed to be the last busy marathon weekend of the year, and with it being frigid in most parts of the country (feels like is currently 16* in Austin right now… whaaaat?), there just aren’t many other options.
Here is what you should do if your race is canceled:
1. Be upset. Allow yourself to be upset about it.
Seriously, it is a big deal. You’ve trained for this day, you’ve dreamed about this day for a really long time. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to have a race be canceled at the last minute, especially if its a destination for you. I think it’s perfectly fine to cry, be angry or simply laugh hysterically at the situation.
2. Don’t take it out on the organizers. So yes, you can be upset, but no, you cannot take it out on the organizers. Do not go on Facebook or Twitter and just start bashing the organizers of the race for canceling the race (although it does make for an entertaining conversation to read). The organizers are trying to do everything in their power to make the race happen… and when it comes down to it, they are concerned about safety. They don’t want to be known as the marathon that let 2,000 people tear their ACL because they were selfish and had the race on roads covered with ice.
(And remember that ice in Dallas is a different situation than ice in Minneapolis… they just aren’t equipped for it in the south like in the north.)
3. If you do want to voice your opinion, think first. So many people rush to put out their opinion about something without really thinking about it. The Dallas Marathon clearly states in their rules that there will be no refunds if the race is canceled due to weather. You agree to these rules before you sign up. Yes, it completely sucks that you paid this money for what feels like nothing.
Come up with a valid argument and propose that to organizers… and consider doing it privately through email or a direct message on social media. Maybe you can use your race fee as a tax-deductible donation since it does go to charity; or perhaps you can propose a special lottery system for those who were supposed to run this weekend. Flaming them in public will get you nowhere and will likely make the situation more difficult.
4. If you were traveling to the race, see if your hotel/transportation will give you your money back. It doesn’t hurt to call them and see what options you have for canceling your flight or hotel room, or if there is a chance to have a credit on your account. It is better to call and ask then to lose what you invested in getting to the race.
5. Find an alternate race. It’s winter, which means it’s not the height of marathon season. This can make it hard to find another race… but don’t let it all go to the wayside! Check out Marathon Guide, they have a list of marathons across the country (and world). Perhaps there is something near you, like:
- Hoover Dam Marathon (December 14) –> Lake Mead, outside of Las Vegas, NV
- Run for the Ranch Marathon (December 28) —> Springfield, MO
- Jacksonville Bank Marathon (December 29) —> Jacksonville, FL
- Last Chance 1/2 Marathon & Marathon (December 31) —> Bellingham, WA
- New Year’s Eve Marathon (December 31) —> Allen, TX
6. It is what it is. This is a saying that I learned from C… I tend to freak out and worry about things, but at some point there is nothing that you can do. Yes, it sucks. Yes, you had all these dreams. But it’s been canceled, it’s not coming back and now it’s time to move on. In a few months, it will be a funny story. But for now, it’s an open wound and just let it be. Going for a run may help, too. 🙂
Were you supposed to run Dallas or Memphis?
Have you ever signed up for a race that was canceled? What did you do?
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