Criticism of Racepass Continues

Race director writes scathing Article after Racepass fails To remove his races from their site. "As a race director, I hope Racepass suffers a quick death."

I’ve been keeping an eye on Racepass ever since they launched. For anyone that is unaware, Racepass launched in May amid much scrutiny.  Basically they claim to be the first subscription based service for runners. Runners pay a flat fee and can enter a set # of races depending the package they choose. There were a myriad of issues that came to light at launch. First, the races were not on board. There were potential legal issues regarding waivers. Most races thought this should be an opt-in program for the races. However Racepass was listing races without their knowledge or consent.

The RRCA issued the following statement regarding Racepass’s initial model.

 This service presents a violation of the RRCA’s insurance program requirement to obtain waivers directly from all event participants. Use of an official online registration provider contracted by an RRCA member is acceptable for the purposes of collecting waivers from event participants. Accepting a waiver for a participant that was agreed to by an unrelated, third-party does not comply with our waiver requirements for the insurance program.

Racepass responded by stating that they would change their model so that the runner would fill out the waiver themselves.

Also, as predicted, Racepass has officially done away with the unlimited race option. Their Pro option is now limited to 12 races per year.

 

Criticism Continues

 

This morning, the below article was in my inbox. It was written by Lance Bergeson, the race director of the Capital Pursuit 10-mile and 5-kilometer races in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mile posts: How Racepass is affecting Capital Pursuit

 

Lance writes that he contacted Racepass on Monday to remove his races from their site.

“I emailed Racepass on Monday requesting that our race be taken down immediately from their site map. As of Thursday night, Capital Pursuit was still listed on their map. And I’m furious.”

 

 

Lance goes on to offer blunt criticism regarding the founders and Racepass.com

“Shouldn’t Racepass fill out a contract with each race that it lists on its site? You bet. If they’re profiting from Capital Pursuit, we need to know.

It’s pretty clear Racepass is a money-grab for three guys, though avid runners, who are circumventing the critical approval needed from race directors nationally while avoiding forming these important relationships.

As a race director, I hope Racepass suffers a quick death.”

 

If you are a race director and find that your race is listed on racepass.com without your approval, you should email racepass at support@racepass.com to attempt to have your race removed from their site. If a runner does sign up for your race through racepass, and racepass fails to deliver, or if you cannot honor the entry that they sold, that will unfairly reflect negatively on the races.

Judging from Lance’s article, Racepass is failing at the one thing that is absolutely critical if they are to have any success. They absolutely need race director buy in. As Lance clearly states, it needs to be an opt-in program for races. They need to have contracts with the races that they list on their site.

At this point, I think there is such a lack of goodwill between race directors and Racepass, that I doubt that very many races would opt in to any affiliation with Racepass.

As such, I would not recommend that any runner sign up for Racepass at this time.

 

 

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7 Comments on this post.

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  • Olivia
    14 July 2017 at 11:16 am

    I personally know a few local race directors who have sent out cease and desist letters to race pass. Others should follow suit.

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  • Eli
    14 July 2017 at 12:02 pm

    seriously, why would ANY runner give these people any money? Frankly, this falls not on RacePass (if they aren’t breaking any laws and can look at themselves in the mirror every night, then, I guess it’s OK) but on the suckers who are supporting this wildly unpopular and borderline (from reports, that is) unscrupulous venture. Give your money directly to the race you want to run and that’s it! Really, I would love to hear from any legitimate (not racepass plants) runners who have subscribed to this nonsense.

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  • Michael
    14 July 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Although I understand the potential waiver issue I would bet they are still covered. I know that many races I sign up for allow me to register multiple people at once. The only requirement is usually to check a box (sometimes for each runner, sometimes not). The online registration never confirms the identity of the signer (accept through use of a credit card for whoever is paying). Same is true with in person sign up, or even less so. I even believe the language on the waiver covers someone agreeing to the waiver for others. Taking that issue out I can’t see why races would even care about this. They are paying full price just like any other runner would. They are probably gaining revenue through Race Pass process. As for Race Pass not making financial sense the RD in the article is correct, but wrong. They used the example that RP costs $695 when all the race fees would add up to $2000, a loss of $1305 for RP. Can’t see a company surviving long with a model like that. What the RD doesn’t consider (and I bet RP did) was that many racers will sign up for “x” number of races and then fail to sign up for some or a majority of them. Now RP sells 40 entries for $695 and the runner only signs up for 2/ RP pays out $100 and pockets $595. Would I use RP, heck no! I don’t see a cost savings benefit for me personally.

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    • Alex
      16 July 2017 at 6:08 pm

      But if a runner signs up for a race, wouldn’t RacePass then have to give money to the race? If they don’t show up, the race isn’t going to give money back to RacePass. There is no way that the race would ever agree to get paid AFTER the race only if the runner turned up – there would be too much risk on their behalf.

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      • Michael
        17 July 2017 at 9:39 am

        I think it works that the runner pays Race Pass now and then has a year to sign up for their races of choice. You are correct if the runner signs up for all their races at sign up then there would be no possible way to make money, but I don’t think that is how it works.

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  • Anya
    14 July 2017 at 3:41 pm

    I just don’t see how they succeed without race directors allowing discounts. They’re buying retail, and there’s no penalty for withdrawing for a race, so if I was a member I’d sign up for every race. Because if it was > the cost of me to do it myself, I wouldn’t subscribe. Either that or they need a set agreement of a block of registrations in hard to get races. I just don’t understand how these guys make money at all without an angle they obviously don’t have.

    If it doesn’t go straight out of business and these runners lose their money, then I forsee the only races that you can pick from are not very popular ones that never sell out or are tiny or are in a very rural area 🤷🏽‍♀️

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  • Greg
    16 July 2017 at 3:32 am

    Racepass has the following pricing plan: 3 races = $62/race, 5 races = $60/race, 12 races = $50/race. The majority of their races are 5K’s when I looked on the local map. Most 5K’s are $30-$40 / race. They will make a profit if someone signs up and enters all 5K’s and short races. Racepass would do ok if that person just entered one marathon and the rest 5K’s. They would in theory lose money on someone that uses their service for long races like marathons and half marathons. For the most part, most recreational athletes won’t do more than 4 marathons a year so it’s not like the company is going to have to pay out $1200. If that person were to get the pro package and do 4 marathons and the rest 5K’s racepass would lose money but not too much.

    I would encourage anyone thinking of using this service to just use it for halfs and marathons. You will do fine, assuming the company is still in business and the race honors the registration. If you’re a 5Ker don’t waste your money on this.

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