14 March, 2014

runDisney Stops Allowing Packet Pickup for Friends at Expos

Not sure if anyone saw this coming but runDisney quietly added a little caveat and wrench into packet pickup when they posted information about the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend...


from the runDisney website

In the past, runners were able to pickup race packets and bibs for their friends/family, as long as there was a waiver signed stating that you're allowing the pickup.  This was seriously a godsend for many of my friends and I.  My best friend is a teacher so was never able to fly down with me on Thursday mornings.  She would always have to fly down Thursday night or Friday morning so I would pick up her packet for her, saving her a trip to ESPN and wasting her short time in Disney when all she wanted to do was go to the parks.  This past January, I didn't want to drag my boyfriend through the expo since he hardly ever gets to go to Disney...so I had my friend pick up all of our bibs.  So much easier!

The exact reason for the change hasn't been disclosed yet.  I do understand that there is a safety and liability issue if people run with an incorrect bib and get hurt.  They didn't sign the waiver, etc.  Emergency contact info isn't accurate either.  This also could be a way for runDisney to possibly make more money.  More people that go to the expo...more money spent on merchandise.  This also means the expos might get even MORE chaotic than they already are... oh joy.

This also could have come about from the re-sale of bibs becoming more popular (which isn't allowed by runDisney).  On every forum I keep an eye on, I constantly see people trying to get rid of their bibs...for good reason mostly!  Whether it's an injury, a family emergency, some fluke accident, etc...some people really can't make the race after registering and losing the registration money is a HUGE hit to some people.  It's not like runDisney races are cheap by any means.

Unfortunately I think people are just upset about this because this was 'secretly' added into the information on the website.  It wasn't there during registration for some of these races so now many runners are stuck since their original travel plans didn't include a trip to the expo.

What do you guys think?  NYRR has a similar rule in place (at least for their big races).  Good idea? Bad? 

11 comments

  1. During marathon weekend this year, I had to show up in person with my photo ID in order to pick mine up. There was no other option, and I had, unfortunately, lost my ID. I talked to a lot of people while I was trying to sort this out. They told me there was nothing they could do, and the photo ID rule was in place to stop people from selling their race entries to other people. So maybe this is related?

    (Luckily, my ID was found just in time, and I still got to race!)

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    1. Yikes! I would have been freaking out too. I definitely think it's related, as well as the safety issue thing. I guess marathon weekend was the last time I was able to have my friends pick up my bib. Ugh, I hate going to the expos. :(

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  2. I mean I understand why the do it this way...but at the same time considering a lot of races are "destination" races for people - this will sure mess with travel plans

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    1. Yeah, I definitely get it but they should have at least implemented this for all future registrations, not races that people have already registered for!

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  3. I'm actually kind of glad to see it, though I definitely feel for those who got hit with the policy change after registering... on that specifically, I think it's at best unfair. I have heard that they are planning to have race morning pickup available, though, so this shouldn't really affect anyone's ability to do the race.

    I think this will do two things. Obviously, greatly limit the change for someone to resell a bib, which is a practice I don't agree with at all. Secondly, it may help ease up registration pressures just a bit; hopefully people will now spend a few moments to think twice about their plans before just registering.

    I don't buy the line of thought about "losing the registration money", however. It's a sunk cost once you sign up and register. Whether or not you ultimately go or participate, for whatever reason, isn't really relevant.

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    1. Definitely agree that in the long run this will be beneficial to everyone. Just a pain for those that already registered without knowing this new rule. Race morning pick up I've heard also so hopefully the rumor it true! As for the losing registration money, it's def a sunk cost but it still hurts not being able to reap the 'reward' of running the race. I registered for the NYC Marathon and they have a very strict no bib selling policy. I'm not 100% sure I'm going to run either but I'm ok with losing the money if I have to. Ouch.

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  4. This is the norm at most other races. Whether for safety/security, to limit bib selling, or just to get people to the expo, they are just doing what most races have done for years.

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    1. Yup, like I mentioned NYRR does it for all their big races. They'll also ban you for all future NYRR races for life if they find out that you sold your bib or tried to. I get why runDisney is doing it and agree they should but people registered before this rule was in place and now have to scramble and change travel plans... IF They don't have race day pickup like is rumored.

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  5. I'm mostly surprised by this because I've heard about it from the blogging world, not the runDisney world. The fact that they didn't make a formal announcement for the change is surprising.

    The change doesn't bother me too much because it shouldn't ever affect me, but I do worry for those who live in cities/states where bad weather is normal during certain times of the year. Flights get delayed/cancelled and what if someone can't make it in time for the expo for reasons beyond their control? That's the only thing that I wonder how they'll handle.

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    1. Totally agree! And honestly though? Most of the runDisney announcements are made or discovered by bloggers. The end of the free meetups? runDisney told a few bloggers and the news spread. Who knows why they don't make it official though. I have heard (again, through other bloggers) that there will be race day pickup in case there are travel issues. We'll see how they handle it!

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  6. With these being destination races, hotel costs, flights, and vacation time is difficult to juggle. I don't see a problem as long as they continue to provide the ability to pick up bibs on Race Day. Example, I was only able to run the 10k Marathon weekend because my p's made it to Orlando before me. I had a work requirement and didn't land in Orlando until after midnight the night before.

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