Last Minute Race ‘Postponement’ Leaves Runners with Many Questions

3 Days in The Park Ultra Races were cancelled just 3 days before the event was set to start

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3 Days in The Park was scheduled to take place November 17-20th in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. In total there were 12 fixed time events planned to run throughout the weekend. Events range from a 72 hour race all the way down to a 3 hour race.

On November 14th, registrants received this email:

Any time a race is cancelled, it is an inconvenience. In this case, at least one runner had already flown into town from Switzerland for the race. According to the email from Scott Richards there was an issue with the park and the race “couldn’t be held.”

However, the park claimed otherwise. In an email that was posted online and forwarded to me:

The city did not cancel. The applicant (Scott Richard) requested that it be rescheduled.

Mark Almy, Park Operations Superintendent, City of Ft Lauderdale

Follow up From Race Director Scott Richards

Scott apologized for the ‘hastily worded email’. In fact saying there was an issue with the park, was not something that seems hastily worded in my opinion. It seems like a statement that was intended to deflect blame.

Now, the cause of the postponement is being shifted to a ‘major source of funding’. When I asked Scott to confirm this source, he stated that ‘Its complicated and politically a nightmare’. What is clear is that, for whatever the reason, Scott did not have the funds in place to put on this event as promised.

Concern from Registrants Regarding Refunds

I messaged with a couple of registrants over the past week.

Chris Stephens spoke with Scott on Wednesday, November 16th regarding a refund. According to Chris, Scott told him “Any refund would have to wait until he had money coming back in”, and “There are a lot of people in front of you. you will have to wait awhile”.

I also messaged Joey Lichter who was similarly told that “It would take several weeks for reimbursement”.

2019 Palm100 Ultras Cancelation

Joey, and at least one other runner that I am aware of have yet to receive their refunds for the 2019 race cancellation despite the promise that everyone will receive a full refund.

Since this race, was pulled from RunSignUp, I have been unable to contact additional participants to confirm if anyone has been refunded. An email to Scott asking about the 2019 refunds was not answered.

Summary

Unfortunate circumstances sometimes force races to cancel or postpone for reasons beyond anyone’s control. I can give the benefit of the doubt that the 2019 cancellation was unavoidable – but I am not certain that a lack of a pavilion would truly be a deal breaker – but if it limited power supply, etc. maybe it was. However, in that case Scott did not follow up on his promise to refund all participants.

His communications with registrants for 3 Days in The Park also raise flags regarding his ability to issue refunds for this race as well.

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