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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Please consider a small contribution to help support the site. Contributions help to offset costs associated with running the site.
Thanks to all of you that that support Marathon Investigation!