Monday, January 9, 2017

7 Races that got brought to a halt

Do you remember your first race? Was it a local 5K? Was it a half marathon?  Was it a race you traveled a good distance to run?

Whatever the distance or where ever it took place, I'm sure you put a lot of hard work into your training, a lot of blood sweat and tears (especially for the half marathon and marathon training) but you knew it would all be worth it to make it to the start line and then get to the finish line and collect your reward.

Yes, that is always the plan, but what happens when things don't work out like that due to  circumstances that are out of your control.


That is exactly what happen this weekend at the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday.  The race cancelled on Friday evening when the weather was predicting storms and lightning the morning of the race.  My heart went out to those people who were doing this half marathon as their first half, or their first Disney race, or as part of the Goofy or Dopey challenges. I know it just plain stinks to have trained so hard for something to not be able to run it in an "official" capacity.  Plus, Disney trips are not cheap so I feel awful for those who have saved up to make this their one and done race. I know it's just not fair. However, I do understand that Disney is looking out for everyone's safety and if the weather was threatening even one life, it was better to be safe than sorry.

When you sign a Disney race waiver, you are consenting that you know there are risks involved and that you will not be refunded. So, if it cancels, it cancels.  However, Disney did offer some compensation through park tickets, refunds in the form of Disney cards, entry into another run Disney race, or limited entry into the Marathon on Sunday.



Now I know there are many logistical issues that go into planning a race of this size and I don't claim to know nearly as much as others do about races but I was wondering why Disney couldn't hold the half marathon during the same time as the full marathon like they use to years ago.  If they didn't have the staff to man the half marathon route as it broke away from the marathon route then perhaps they could put a mock finish line at mile 13.1 of the marathon.  This way folks would still get to run their Disney race.

Even though the race was cancelled, runner's still received their medals. Many of them decided to make up the distance with their own runs around Disney property!


This year was the 20th anniversary of the WDW half marathon. Since it was not actually put on, I wonder if they will name the 2018 WDW marathon the 20th instead?


Now, this isn't the first time that people have been disappointed in a race that they did not get to complete due to issues beyond their control.

In 2015 The Disney Wine and Dine race became a half of the half when the course got cut short due to lightning.

In 2016 Some runners dreams of a BQ were cut short when a freight train went through the Lehigh Valley Marathon course bringing runners to a halt for more than 10 minutes. (But they DID finish)

Also in 2016 the Vermont City Marathon ended early due to excessive heat.

                           
In 2013 The Boston marathon was brought to a stop. I'm sure you remember this story. If not, You can read Lacey's experience HERE.

In 2007 the Chicago marathon was shut down after temps reached 88 degrees and 185 runners were sent to the ER (and one death).

Of course we all remember the controversy in 2012 when the NYC Marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. (The race wasn't really cancelled due to the storm but due to the fact the city could not dedicate the resources to it during that time).

Also this weekend the Mississippi  marathon was cancelled due to ice and snow.

This is in no way a complete list of races that have been cut short or cancelled. We'd love to hear about more from you guys.


Have you ever traveled for a race that didn't happen or got cut short? Tell us about it.







                                              We'll be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

49 comments:

  1. I've luckily never had a race be cut short or cancelled due to weather. I feel so bad for everyone who signed up for the WDW marathon! I also know someone who was in Mississippi and is still stuck there because of the weather :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I didn't realize the weather in Mississippi was still that bad. I hope your friend is safe.

      Delete
  2. Thankfully, this has not happened to me -- yet. There are a few halfs I ran I think I wished they would have canceled . . . well, one comes to mind. The other wasn't a disappointing finish time, but I didn't have the life sucked out of me like another race I won't mention.

    I feel soooooo bad for everyone. As a bystander, though, you can (sort of) understand it. How frustrating it must have been for WDW half people when it turned out the weather wasn't that bad. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had it happened to me either and if I did I know I would be upset (if I traveled for the race) but I would totally understand it was for the safety of all.

      Delete
    2. Oh, the weather WAS that bad. Lightning and thunder all through the night when the staff & volunteers would have been out setting up. There was no way to safely do this race unless they started it much later; and then that couldn't happen due to the parks & roads needing to be open. We were there (I was supposed to run it) and it was the right move.

      Delete
  3. I ran the VCM relay and they cancelled it in the middle due to the heat. I was so angry that I continued to run and fought to get a medal.

    I feel so bad for the WDW halfers. It's expensive and all that training!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was it a "Run at your own risk" type of thing?

      Delete
  4. My heart goes out to those in Disney this weekend. I did wonder why not line everyone behind the marathoners and put up a half finish line, but who's to say how complicated that really is. I would have been pretty sad though.
    So far I've only had two fun runs get canceled due to storms so it really wasn't a sad experience like a big trip like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good thing it was at Disney though cus even if the race was cancelled it didn't make the entire trip a waste!

      Delete
  5. My heart sank when I heard the runDisney news Friday evening, but it sounds like the best, and safest, decision was made. I was so impressed by how people came together on Saturday to virtually run, but more important cheer on and support, the half marathoners who chose to run around the resort or on the treadmill in order to earn their medals. Kudos to them for turning a situation that was out of their control into a more positive outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right! I was amazed at all the positivity I saw on social media regarding the situation.

      Delete
  6. I was so bummed out for the runners Saturday seeing that. But they have to be safe with all those runners. Cant blame Disney.
    Good point - I wonder if they will make it the 20th race next year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically next year would indeed be the 20th "running" of the race, so I am truly curious what they will do.

      Delete
  7. As disappointed as I was about my race being canceled, I didn't have near the money and time tied up in this race. I sit here today thankful I didn't try and venture out on the unsafe roads. There are so many things that go into make a race happen til one glitch and it all could fall apart.
    I really feel bad for the Disney runners, I had friends there too but you know we just have to move on and accept that plans do not always go our way. It's how we handle the obstetrical is what counts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly! I'm glad that you didn't venture out to your race as well.

      Delete
  8. Yeah, I felt sad for the people who were doing their first half marathon, or doing Goofy/Dopey this weekend. But sometimes safe is better than sorry. I'm glad they were refunding or allowing sign up for another race instead. I was there for Wine and Dine the year it was shortened but at least we got to run half of it. I hadn't heard about the Mississippi race this weekend being cancelled too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, I felt bad for everyone, but especially for those whom this was their first race or Disney race. Not such a magical experience for them.

      Delete
  9. It is truly unfortunate!

    I just went and read Lacey's recap of Boston!! and OmG!! I can't believe the bomb went off just a few minutes after she finished!! That is chilling!! it must have been so scary!

    ReplyDelete
  10. It would be so sad to do all the training for a race and have it cancel, kind of like when you train so hard and get injured and then can't run. So far I have never had a race cancel although I have had do DNS a few

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that feeling of being injured and then not performing the way that you hoped at an event you trained so hard for. I suppose it's not exactly the same as the event being cancelled but the emotions are similar!

      Delete
  11. I do know Disney split the races because the half marathon was growing at rate that made capacity tough on the course. I knew people who were down in Orlando for the races, and some doing challenges. I don't know if they went out and did the half in the rain, but I did see pictures of runners doing just that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus it now allows for people to do the "challenge" races and for Disney to earn more money..lol

      Delete
    2. I also think just things like transportation to the start and from the finish could be impacted if they were to combine the two races, it's an extra 8000ish people to transport! More medals to hand out at the end, more people congregating at the end etc. It really sucks, and I now consider myself very lucky that my one and only Disney half didn't get cancelled!

      Delete
  12. I felt so bad for those Disney runners, but that weather was bad - you just don't mess around with lightening. Agree that there might have been a way to let the halfers run on Sunday, but I'm not a race director so...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, not sure of what the logistics of that would be but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

      Delete
  13. I've only had a small 5K get cancelled on me but there were some where I thought they should have cancelled due to ice and snow that were not cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
  14. There was an IronMan that was canceled a few months ago. A friend of mine was supposed to complete it. Can you imagine training for THAT, traveling and having it canceled?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Are you referring to the Ironman distance race at Cedar Point on September 11, 2016? A drunk driver lost control of his car and rolled it about a mile from the finish line. No racers were injured but the driver died. They had to shut down the race.

    Triathlons, particularly Ironman distance, quite frequently have to cancel the swim due to unsafe water conditions. It's not really a triathlon if you don't swim, but that is part of the reality of the sport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness that's awful! Good thing that RD are doing what they need to do to keep people safe.

      Delete
  16. I almost didn't want to read this post because I can't imagine how heartbreaking it would be to train so hard for a race and then have it canceled or end early due to weather or a freaking train. So sad. :(

    When they canceled NYC's a lot of those runners came to Harrisburg to run the marathon because it was the same weekend. People in Harrisburg held up signs with the boroughs names on it to welcome the NYC runners. I thought that was nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I did not know that the NYC runners came to run the Harrisburg marathon! So cool that PA folks were so welcoming!

      Delete
  17. I guess its pretty common for this to happen! Id imagine it would be SO hard to have your goal race or a first race cancelled. But I guess the race directors are just looking out for everyones safety!

    ReplyDelete
  18. My husband and I were signed up for the 2003 Nation's Marathon, but about three weeks before race date the company went bankrupt and canceled the race... We were able to collect our medals and shirts about two years later at the Baltimore Marathon expo because they had somehow acquired all of the "stuff."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very odd that they still still gave out the medals weeks later.

      Delete
  19. I ran Twin Cities Marathon the year that they cancelled Chicago midway through... and it was actually hotter in Minneapolis than in Chicago and they kept the race going! I remember it was just awful -- not a great second marathon experience. :( But, what can you do ---> it's Mother Nature and like you said, a risk when you register.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I was there this weekend running the WDW 10K and half. On a personal level, I was ok with the cancellation because I wasn't going to have a great race. Or even a good one. Ha. But I also know that Disney has never cancelled a race before- so they must have truly had no other option. It's a 26,000 person half marathon- which is too crowded already! So running it and the full together would have been a disaster. The poor runners who really wanted and needed this run certainly got the raw end of the stick from Mother Nature. The lightning started around 10:30pm and was still going strong by 7:30am. Too many people would have been exposed on those long empty stretches of highway if they had run the race.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been lucky and never had a race I was running be canceled, but I was supposed to work a local half marathon that was canceled. The organizers agonized over it, but decided to be safe. And, of course, in typical Virginia weather fashion, it turned out to be a perfect running day.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't think I've ever signed up for a race that had been cancelled/altered-lucky! There is one race I can think of that should have been cancelled/cut short---> the Love Rox half in Richmond a few years ago-they held it during an ice storm.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I had a client running VCM when it was cancelled. It was her first marathon, and she had really had to fight for the starting line to begin with. It was pretty devastating.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My BRF was running Disney this weekend -- her second half marathon -- and she was so excited. I felt so bad for her when they canceled it.

    Seriously? 185 runners were sent to the ER in 2007? That's insane!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's ALWAYS freezing for the MS Blues (just a few miles from where I just moved from) hence why I never ran it!
    Logistically speaking I don't think they could have done corrals, volunteers, a finish line, etc. all by sunday morning to hold the half. Remember back when the races were on the same day there were way fewer runners. That also still wouldn't "help" the goofy and dopey runners as they can't run the full and the half at the same time. I was super happy to hear they gave so many options to everyone to run again or get money back etc. Props to them for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I ran Dopey this weekend and logged my miles for the half around parking lots. The weather was scary and awful. Disney made the right call, but we were all still so bummed. Disney offered everyone great options in my given the circumstances. It was a fun weekend anyways!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I didn't think about it that way but you're right...there's been many races cancelled due to unforeseeable circumstances. I was sad for the Disney runners but definitely understood their reasoning. I also loved that they offered so many options to runners to help make up for it. The stories that came out of the weekend also brought me to tears many times!

    ReplyDelete
  28. i still cant believe the half was cancelled-it was a really surreal experience but I made the most of it as I headed back to the park to hang out with my friends that were there. Those extra 4 hours of hanging out (instead of sleeping) were awesome! i didnt run the half-by the time the weather was clear to the point i would have felt safe, it was cutting into our fastpass and dinner plans and also cutting my recovery time shorter and shorter. i have done goofy before so I know I could do it and cant wait to go back next year for Dopey

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm bummed for those Disney runners that were affected but better safe than sorry. Yeah this happened to me right out of the box at my first marathon (Chicago 07) when it was stopped due to heat. In hindsight I wish I'd chosen to DNS and do a smaller marathon a few weeks later but when you're new to the distance, you do not think that way. I do not envy race directors one bit for having to make these kinds of calls.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hmmmm I was supposed to run NYC 2012, I did W&D when it was shortened and I was there for marathon weekend, even though I wasn't running the half...maybe it's me?

    All joking aside, I felt badly for people that didn't get to run but it was pretty cool seeing impromptu "races" happening at different resorts.

    ReplyDelete

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.