Healthy Happy and Sweaty

Fitness Journey of an empty nest mom and wife trying to balance a healthy lifestyle with a busy life!

Dealing with disappointment 

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Aka – how Asics screwed up my plan for the year
I apologize for the rant that is going to follow, I try to avoid sounding like a crazy person but sometimes situations get so frustrating that you need to vent, and I have this platform to do it! So if you don’t want to read my venting, feel free to go about your daily business and wait until Monday’s regularly scheduled posting.

Ok…here goes:

Part of my fitness journey has been to challenge myself, I can’t remember if it was late December or possibly earlier, but my goal for 2016 was to complete a half marathon each quarter of the year, with 5k’s and 10k’s here and there for good measure. Not only to complete them, but to improve my time with each race.

star wars

My hard earned Star Wars medals

In January I completed the Rebel Challenge at Disneyland – 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. I not only completed them, but got a personal record in the half. Next up was the Asics Vine Body and Sole half marathon in May and up until a week or so ago, it was the race I was the most excited about. I had posted about on Facebook multiple times and had even tweeted about it.

This race was going to finish in my hometown of Calistoga. My friends and family were going to be able to meet me at the finish, I knew the area, I had a general idea of what the course would be. My hope was to be at my goal weight by then, and to finish with another personal record to celebrate losing what will be 50 pounds in 7 months. I will still hit my goal weight by then, this was just going to be a great way to celebrate that milestone! This was also the most expensive race I had ever signed up for, and that includes the two Run Disney events I have run.

This was so much more than just a race, it was my way to celebrate my personal accomplishments, in my hometown, with people I love there to witness it.

My excitement changed to disappointment when the course got changed. The race now still started in St. Helena but was now a loop that started at one winery and ended at a neighboring one. Not only that, but the flat course now had a pretty decent hill at mile 10 which was going to make it difficult to improve my time. To add insult to injury, with the road closures that will have to be in effect, it was going to be very difficult for my friends and family to meet me at the finish. But I was still going to do it, I had made a promise to myself that I would complete 4 half marathons this year, and I wasn’t going to let myself down.

That all changed yesterday when I found out that not only had the course changed, so had the packet pick up time.  I had planned on leaving work an hour early to get there in time to enjoy the expo and pick up my packet, but now to do that I would have to leave work 3 hours early just to make sure I could get there in time to get my packet! Or, I could pay $50 to pick up my packet on race day.

This was the last straw for me. The race experience I had signed up for no longer exists, and I am done. With this many changes happening this close to race day, what was going to happen between now and race day?!?! All I want at this point is a refund of my money.

So I told them via their Facebook event page that I wanted my money back and promptly got on the website for the race to do the same. I sent an email which was promptly returned as apparently it didn’t work. I found a form on the website and sent the following request for my refund:

When I signed up for this race, I was signing up for a race that went from St. Helena to Calistoga, was flat and had a packet up that I could get to if I left work in Healdsburg an hour early. 

This race is now a loop that begins and ends in St. Helena, has an ending spot that with road closures will make it nearly impossible for my friends and family to meet me at the finish, as was the plan when the race ended in my hometown of Calistoga, and has a rather steep hill at mile 10!
To make sure I make it to packet pickup I will now have to leave work by 2:30 to insure that I am there before 4 with time for the packet pick up, or pay $50 on top of my $250 registration fee for packet pick up the morning of the event.
While I understand that as with most races, I am sure I said that I understood that there were no refunds, however what I signed up for and what is happening now are two entirely different events, and I respectfully ask that my entry fee be refunded. 
Perhaps next year if this race happens again, I will sign up, but wait until much closer to race day so that I can see what the actual details are and not hopeful details. 
I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. 
Thank you in advance, 
After a couple of hours had gone by, I also sent a Facebook message asking what I needed to do to get a refund. I was told that they were working on finding an answer for me and that they understood my frustration. I explained that the only solution would be a full refund of entry fee, including the taxes and fees. I also pointed out to them that their own website still said that the race was ending in Calistoga. After 3 hours, they finally responded that they were still working on an answer for me, but could deliver my packet to my hotel room. Apparently they were unable to read the part of the conversation where I explained that I am local to this race and would not be staying at a hotel.
As I waited another two hours for a response, I also told them how disappointed I now am that my personal challenge to myself will not be happening due to their disorganization and lack of communication.
Around 9 this morning, I received a phone call telling me that I would not be getting my refund. They could deliver my packet to my home and give me 4 wine glasses though. Really? That’s the solution? I explained that the race I signed up for no longer existed and I would not be participating. The lady on the phone, who I will be polite enough NOT to name, would not listen, would not budge and told me that I was not getting a refund end of story, this was all she could for me. I told her that I didn’t want to publicly state my frustrations with the Asic’s and their lack of organization and cooperation with potential customers, but that I would if I was not told that I was getting a refund by noon.
A few minutes after she hung up on me – yes, I was short and not very friendly, but frustration will do that to a person – I received a Facebook message asking for an email address or phone number, I told them that she obviously had my phone number and gave them my email address.
At this point, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle of the situation.
I signed up for a race that started in St. Helena and ended in Calistoga. I had made arrangements to arrive to the expo – which I consider part of the race experience – and pick up my packet while losing minimal time at work. All of these things have changed through no fault of my own.
Yes, I realize that when you sign up for a race, it always says no refunds.
Yes, I realize that course changes happen. But course changes usually mean it’s on a different road than you originally thought, not that it’s ending in a different zip code miles away from the original plan.
If I had suffered an injury, or had had something else come up, I would have never asked for a refund, that’s on me and that’s the chance you take when you sign up for something months in advance. But that’s not the case here – the entire makeup of this race, everything except the distance, has been changed, and that is on Asics, not me.
When I went to lunch at noon, I checked my Facebook messages and saw that the message I had sent with my email address had not even been read. Wow…way to actually care about what I am thinking. I let them know that I would be posting this to my website, both of my Facebook pages, both of my Twitter accounts and to my Instagram. While I was typing that they checked the first messages with my email address. I also called the lady back who had called me this morning and left her a voicemail asking if my refund had been processed, and letting her know all of the places that I would be publishing this. That was over an hour ago, and I have had no response via Facebook, phone or email.
I am afraid at this point I have been left with no choice but to publicly state how disappointed I am in Asics as a whole. The lack of organization and communication in regards to this event have been glaring and unprofessional. The fact that they didn’t even update the event website with the new ending location until I pointed it out to them yesterday says a lot about the level of professionalism and organization and level of care that they are giving this event and it’s participants.
This doesn’t even touch on my personal disappointment in not being able to finish a challenge I had set for myself. I may find a fourth half marathon to run this year, and I think there is one that ends in Calistoga, but I don’t know if it fits into my schedule. I put a lot of time into planning when and where I would be doing races this year, and it really sucks that this one isn’t going to happen. I will still meet my goal though, I won’t let them take that away from me. It just won’t happen according to plan.
I can and I will
But at this point, I have no desire to participate in such a poorly managed event, not to mention one that is run by people who don’t even care about the people running in it.
The worst part of all of this, when I get to the gym tonight, I have to put Asics shoes on, because they are what I have. Guess I will be going shoe shopping this weekend…
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