Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why We Are Fed Up With Competitor ( AKA: Rock n Roll Series)


Welcome to another edition of our Thursday Thoughts.  We are sorry to say that today's post isn't all that positive, but hey, we have to be real here, right?

As you know, we have been participating in Rock n Roll Virginia Beach for the last several years. There is no doubt about it, we love that race. Besides Disney races, it's one of our favorites. We love the expos, the swag, the entertainment, it's all good!


I was excited to sign up for RnR VA Beach again this year and was a little irritated that after I had paid my registration fee ( and that awful processing fee), a few days later Competitor came out with something called the Re-Mix Challenge. This is an additional race on Saturday morning.  You get an additional race shirt and an additional medal ( and then of course a third medal for completing both races).  I'm going to be there anyway, so of course I sign up and have to pay yet another awful processing fee.  Why couldn't Competitor announce this race when registration for the half marathon first opened. That way I could have just bought the "bundle"?  Ok, it is what it is and I dealt with it.

I really became irritated last night when I got an e-mail about the RnR Las Vegas Race (My family and I are running there in November).  And guess what? Competitor did it again.  Not only are they already offering the full marathon, the half marathon, and the quarter marathon, but last night they decided to announce a new race that would take place on Saturday night. What??? Yup, there is now going to be a 5K in Las Vegas.

I  must explain why this is irritating.

1) We are all already signed up. If we want to do this race we now have to pay ANOTHER processing fee.

2) Had we known there was going to be a 5K option, that would have changed which race some of our family members would have signed up for. Some of them signed up for the quarter marathon just so they could be a part of the racing action that weekend.  Had we known, they could have just had fun with the 5K instead.

3) So now we are torn. Right now our whole family is racing all different distances on Sunday night ( each doing a race that feels comfortable for them).  Should we all sign up for the 5K so we can all have fun running together?

Competitor and Rock n Roll series you really need to announce all your races at the same time. This adding more races once everyone has registered is NOT COOL. Please stop!

Oh, and guess what? They did the same thing to RnR Philly too!  We are probably going to sign up for that one, so at least now we know about that option.

~L

Have you ever registered for a race and then saw that they added additional events to sign up for?

* I know that we don't HAVE to do any of these races and of course it is all optional. It's just a bit irritating and I hope you can see my point.

60 comments:

  1. I can understand why you're both irritated. I know many people had the same complaint when Disney advertised the Castaway Cay Challenge after registration for Marathon Weekend had opened and many of the races/challenges had already sold out. Because we don't know when we'll arrive in Virginia Beach on Friday, I've opted not to sign up for the Saturday beach run. You never know how bad traffic will be on 95 between DC and Richmond (because of work we can't leave until Friday afternoon), and I don't want to risk not getting to the expo in time to get my bib. However, if I did have an interest in running the mile beach run, I would be irritated just like you ladies are. Hopefully, Rock 'n' Roll will reconsider announcing all race upfront in the future.

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    1. You can get your bib Saturday morning. I'm driving down the morning of - traffic should be better at 5 AM then 5 PM on a holiday weekend (I hope). Not that I'm trying to talk you into it, just wanted to let you know the option.

      Also, Disney has been doing this a lot, not only the Castaway Cay Challenge, but announcing the Star Wars weekend a week after selling Marathon. Made a lot of Star Wars fans unhappy because the two races are a week apart.
      @heatherlas

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    2. Well we were planning on driving down Fri morning anyways, but yes it would have been nice to know when I signed up for half marathon.

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  2. Do you have to sign up online and have yhe processing fee? Or do they have a mail in option. I would contact. the race director and just see if there is a way they can wave it. And if it was my family I would say it.would be fun to run a distance together. Most can do a 5k and still do another distance the next day without mich difficulty. Wish my family lived close enough to do this.

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    1. It's all an online registration. Yeah it would be fun to run a race as a family. We are still considering doing this since we will be there anyways.

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  3. Clearly Competitor is trying to replicate what Disney has been doing...except Disney is the BOSS and does everything perfectly lol

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    1. Yeah I suppose:) It just would have been nice to have known previously.

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  4. I would be pretty irritated too. At least Disney announced the Pixie challenge before registration opened for Tink. Yes, it was close since it was just last week, but at least it's before anything's opened for sign-up.

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    1. Yes I agree. That isn't a problem because registration isn't even open yet.

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  5. That sucks!!
    Is the registration handled by competitor or by Active?
    Either way I think "processing fees" are daylight robbery. Grrrr..

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    1. I believe it's competitor. Yeah I don't get what the procession fees are even for.

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  6. I will be in Vegas...just added the 5k this morning and was annoyed at the fee. I paid the extra fee for Philly too.....but I am trying to justify it by saying well this will probably be the norm now so next year I will just register as the bundle!! See you in Philly and Vegas!!!

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    1. Well luckily I didn't commit to Philly yet, and I'm glad I didn't since now I know about the bundle. We will probably do the 5k as well in Vegas.

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  7. Boo that's so unfair. I think they pulled the same thing in Chicago. Maybe it their underhanded way of making more $$$.

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  8. That is ridiculous :( It would be nice if they offered an option where the processing fee would be waived for people who had already paid it in connection with another race that weekend.

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    1. Yes it would be, but like someone stated it is a way to probably make more money. As if they need that!

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  9. I totally understand and it's really frustrating. They did it to the Chicago Rock 'N' Roll race too. It's a way to make more money. When really, I would think they would make more money offering the 5k race at first too along with the other distances since a lot of people aren't quite at the half marathon mark yet. To charge a processing fee in general is just ridiculous. Registration is expensive enough!

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    1. Yes it is. I bet they would get even more participants if they did offer the 5k race first as well. Because I'm sure others are thinking the same thing that signed up. Well I'm not paying more money and the processing fee again.

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  10. I'm signed up for RnR Cleveland (my first RnR race), and they announced last week they were adding a 10k to the already-existing half marathon and 5k, but I don't think I've heard anything about a challenge. I thought it was a good thing at the time, because I have a couple of friends who are looking for 10k races to use as proofs of time for the PHM, but now I see it was all a dastardly scheme ;)

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    1. Well if they added 5k and a 10k I'm sure it is only amount a time that they will come out with a challenge. It'll be another fee to bundle them probably....haha. So expensive these races!

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  11. I totally agree with y'all! Having to pay two processing fees is absolutely ridiculous especially when the races are added after the regular registration time. They should refund those fees in my opinion. Have you tried contacting them?

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    1. Oh I called and asked them about that. I did say it was unfair for the people that had already signed up and now have to pay another processing fee. She said yes people are in the same boat you are but that's how we have to do it because we just found out we were able to have the race. I thought to myself they probably knew that, they just chose to add it for more $.

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  12. As others have said, Disney has been doing the same exact thing. I would probably try emailing Competitor to see if they will refund some of your processing fees. Or to see if they would let you switch things around. They may say no, but it can't hurt to ask. And also get some feedback on how inconvenient and difficult the process has been.

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    1. Oh I did. Look up at my previous comment to Lauren about what they said.

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  13. That's REALLY irritating, especially since it clearly wasn't a one time thing! And processing fees drive me crazy, its such a fluff fee, I'd rather them raise the reg cost to absorb a "processing" fee than to call it out separately!

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    1. I know right! Processing fees are so ridiculous. I went to an expo the day before to sign up for a race, because I didn't know if I could get off work, and I did not have to pay a processing fee when I signed up there.

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  14. I definitely understand your irritation. Racing is not cheap- in my opinion, anyway! Especially not the big, popular marathons. It would be nice to know all the options before registering. I would email Competitor and just ask why they didn't announce the race at the same time? I doubt they will give you your processing fee back (they want to make $$$$$) but maybe if enough people email they will get the message.

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    1. I am sure there are many people irritated about this too. Well I asked why they didn't announce it earlier and they say they didn't know if they had approval or not to do it, which I think is a lie!

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  15. I completely understand your frustration. I think part of the problem is that the logistics of the actual additional races are not finalized when the original race is announced. I think they end up in a time crunch trying to make additional races and challenges and then what ends up as a fun addition or challenge ends up pissing everyone off. I'm sure Competitor Group figured they could cash in on some of rundisney's genius for making money.

    Instead of being so money hungry, they should really get their logistics worked out ahead of time. It's not fair to announce a challenge after the fact and then have to pay two fees. I guess the upside is that, unlike RunDisney, you qualify for the challenge by signing up for individual races rather than having to sign on as a challenge for MORE MONEY.

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  16. Yes I completely agree. They did say that they didn't have everything finalized that's why they hadn't mentioned it sooner. But it is still upsetting to pay that extra procession fee.

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  17. I totally understand your frustration, and I wouldn't be happy either, but bottom line? They are a business and in it to make money, period dot.

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    1. Yes I know that's the way it goes, unfortunately.

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  18. Honestly... This is why you will never get me to run either Disney or Rock N'Roll. It feels like just a money machine. They are adding these challenges because they know people will want the medals and want the extra challenge and have no problem paying for it. I know I have missed out on some amazing races. But I only have so many dollars to race with and I want to make sure I get the most out of the dollars.

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    1. I agree. They are super expensive. I have run several races that are just as nice and half the cost that they charge.

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  19. I completely agree! It's frustrating not to be able to plan correctly, especially when you are traveling. I saw that email from Vegas yesterday (which I would love to do but I am doing the Avengers half that morning) and now I wonder if they are going to try and add something for the LA Rock n Roll I signed up for a long time ago. Last year, they added a mud run (which was about 70 min outside of LA) about 3 weeks before the half! My friend did it and was rushing to get to the Expo in time for her half bib.

    i think Rock n Roll needs to announce all of them at the beginning when you can begin sign ups.

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    1. Yes, just announce it all at time of registration and then we wouldn't have to pay more darn processing fees!

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  20. I can understand your annoyance. Believe me, as an "old" marathoner (though the quotation marks are probably unnecessary, I am getting old), I've been complaining about race pricing in general for years Rock and Roll and Disney (sorry) are the worst at this. And that they now tack on extra after extra, at an extra cost of course, really adds to it all.

    The problem is that as long as people keep anteing up, it is going to continue to happen. Why on earth should they think that maybe they're charging too much when they keep maxing out the numbers?

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    1. Agreed! If people are willing to pay for it they will keep charging more. That's one reason why I like doing some of the smaller races because they cost a fortune to register for.

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  21. That's messed up!
    I hate that races are screwing people who register early! There should be benefits with that - not things that mess you up.
    I have registered for races only to see them on Groupon for half off... I'm like WHAT?!?!?!? Not cool!

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    1. I know. You sign up for races early so you pay the price before it goes up just to find out later on they add more to it. So I guess it doesn't pay to sign up early anymore for races.

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  22. Sounds like very poor planning. It's funny, I was looking into that Vegas HM and thinking what a fun race it would be. I planned to do the first R & R HM in Pittsburgh last year, but they canceled it. Sounds like they need some better management.

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    1. I have heard of some issues like that before. I have a friend that used to work for Competitor, however they have left and is very happy where they are now.

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  23. Totally understand your frustration! Processing fees are very annoying. I've never done a Rock 'n' Roll race, but I'm hoping to remedy that this fall. I've heard they're a lot of fun from so many runners. But it would be nicer to know all the options up front.

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    1. Yes don't get me wrong, they are a great race series, but it would be nice to know all your options when you register.

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  24. I ran my first half in Nashville in April because the St Jude Memphis race was cancelled last year (my registration just transferred over). Well, I had already decided to do the Memphis race this year but I couldn't sign up until June or whenever it opened. After the race in Nashville I got an email saying if you did Nashville and Memphis and raised at least $100 for St Jude in each race you would get an additional "road series" medal. Instead of raising money for the Nashville race I decided to just save all my fundraising efforts for Memphis. I wish I had known beforehand. Ugh. Also, think they did that 5k business like you mentioned. I didn't know about the 5k until we got into town that weekend though.

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    1. Well that was nice that your registration transferred over. I'm surprised you didn't have to pay another processing fee for that:) Yes, just let us know before hand, not after people already signed up.

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    2. haha I was shocked about the processing fee too! And really I was shocked because I registered for the half but when I got the transfer code, I entered it and had the option to join any race I wanted. Basically the fee I paid for the half would have covered a full if I had felt like it. Weird. But yea, they just need to put all the info out there from day 1.

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  25. I totally get it! There's been issues with this company and the running community for years. Have I run their races? Yes. Will I again? Probably. But I agree that at times (several occasions) they go about things all wrong. They could at least waive the processing fee for those that signed up early. Curious to see if you and the fam do the 5K after all.

    Stopping by from SITS,
    B
    www.naughteebits.com

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    1. I don't know if we will or not. I'd like to run it has a family. I think that'd be fun. It'd be nice if they did waive the processing fee, but somehow I doubt they will.

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  26. I can definitely understand your frustration! They did the same thing for Chicago, but I didn't decide to do the race until that was already announced, anyway. The processing fees are killer with all races. As if the races weren't expensive enough, the processing fee's high cost always irks me. What do those fees actually go towards? I'd rather those costs be factored in to the race itself, but I know that isn't feasible. It would just be nice to know upfront how much the race is actually going to cost.

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    1. Yes it would. I have no idea what those processing fees go towards. It's probably just a money maker I'm sure. Well I didn't sign up to run Philly yet, and I'm glad I didn't because now I know about the Challenge.

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  27. I just signed up for a 5K with the Say No to Drugs organization, then they announced that they'd been approved for a 10K. All it took was an email to change, so I was fine with that.
    Competitor could have been waiting for course approval from the municipality and that's why it was so disjointed. However, if that was the case, they should make allowances for people who've already signed up.

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    1. Yes, that's what they did say when I called. That they just got approval. But if so, like you said, why couldn't they waive the processing fee for those who had already signed up.

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  28. It seems like such big races would be more well organized. That would be super frustrating, I hate processing fees, so I would hate to pay more than one for a race.

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  29. Yep these destination races need to consider families who might be running. The fees are annoying, necessary but annoying...and to see it multiple times, crazy.

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  30. That's really annoying - those registration fees add up! And especially that they added a distance some of your family would have preferred to sign up for in the first place. It feels a bit like those infomercials where the host announces, "But wait! There's more!"

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  31. I can understand your frustration. I would feel the same. I'm actually a Tour 3 pass holder so I had to register for the additional races. I'm also doing Philly!!

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  32. Just found this post! We were vacationing in Ireland and were not paying attention to our blog feeds! I wonder if you register at the Expo this weekend if they charge processing fees. All the races are available except the 5k.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.