A month ago, when I realized I probably wasn’t going to be running for several weeks, I looked into the transfer and refund policies of the Chicago Marathon and realized there weren’t many options. I could defer my spot in the lottery race for 2015 but I wouldn’t be refunded my money this year and would still have to pay next year’s registration fee.
I was angry, sad and annoyed all at that same time. So that got me thinking, what if I had signed up for another race? Would I have gotten at least some of my money back? For the races I’m interested in running in the near future, the answer is mostly no.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon: No refund or transfer; Allows deferment of your spot in the race (you still have to pay another registration fee)
From the marathon website: “Per our official event rules: Sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited and will result in the disqualification and/or banning of any individuals involved from future events. All entry fees are non-refundable…There are no exceptions. Please refer to our event rules for more information.”
Deferment policy: “With the new lottery registration system, participants are allowed to defer their entry to the 2015 Marathon. Please note, however, that participants who registered with a guaranteed charity or tour group entry cannot defer their entry to 2015. If a lottery participant or guaranteed legacy finisher or time qualifier wishes to defer his or her entry, he or she must notify the Chicago Marathon office prior to the September 8 deadline. An entry can only be deferred one year; all 2014 deferments will expire after the 2015 race. Participants who defer will not be refunded their 2014 entry fee, and will be required to claim their entry and pay the full registration fee for the 2015 race.”
TCS New York City Marathon: No refund, deferment, or transfer
From the marathon website: “Your application will be processed upon submission along with the processing fee (US $11), which is non-refundable under any and all circumstances. Entry fees will be processed only if and when you are accepted into the Marathon. Your entry is non-transferable under any and all circumstances, and the entry fee is non-refundable if you cancel your participation or do not use your entry for any reason whatsoever.”
Boston Marathon: No refund, deferment, or transfer
From the marathon website: “Numbers and entry fees are non-refundable, non-deferrable and non-transferable. You may NOT give your number to someone else.”
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series: No refund, deferment, or transfer
From the Rock ‘n’ Roll series website: “All registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund. If you cannot participate, you may not give or sell your number to anyone else and entry fees will not be transferred from year to year.”
Walt Disney World Marathon: No refund, deferment and transfer from participant to participant; Can transfer to another Walt Disney World race within the same weekend.
From the Walt Disney World Marathon website: “Entry for The Walt Disney World® Marathon Events, Commemorative Items, or any other Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend related purchases are non-refundable….All races are non-transferable from participant to participant… If you are currently registered for The Walt Disney World® Marathon in 2015 you may transfer your registration to one of the other races, from one race to another, within this same weekend, subject to availability or until capacity in the category you are trying to transfer to is reached, on or before October 10, 2014.”
Asics Los Angeles Marathon: No refund, deferment, or transfer
From the Los Angeles Marathon website: “The sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited. All registration fees and ancillary purchases are nonrefundable.”
Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon: No refund, deferment, or transfer
From the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon website: “All registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable. Once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund. If you cannot participate, you may not give or sell your number to anyone else and entry fees will not be transferred from year to year…We do not offer deferments or refunds.”
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon: No transfer (no deferment or refund implied)
From the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon website: “TCM does not allow the selling or trading of Race Numbers and will take necessary action to prevent these transactions. If TCM Officials become aware of an individual involved in the buying or selling of an Official Race Number, the individuals involved may be banned from participating in future TCM events.”
Note: the website does not state whether or not deferments or refunds are allowed but does state the race reserves the right to cancel the race without refunds or race credits
Wait, I’m missing a race…
Marine Corps Marathon: Allows Deferment and Transfer
There’s a freaking reason why MCM is and always will be my favorite marathon. The course is in my backyard. The people are awesome. The Marines are literally the most well organized race officials on the planet. And they offer runners a “things-happen” deal!
“Things happen-injuries, business trips, and unforeseeable conflicts and the deferment and transfer policies allow runners to delay a year or give someone else the chance to run in their place,” says MCM Race Director Rick Nealis. “The goal is to enable as many runners as possible the opportunity to be a part of the Marine Corps Marathon.”
Deferment policy from the MCM website: “The MCM makes available to runners the option to defer their original registration to the next year’s marathon. Deferring an entry guarantees a spot to re-register in the following year’s MCM by forgoing participation in that year’s marathon. Runners may defer the original registration only once for a fee of $60.”
Transfer policy from the MCM website: “After registering for the MCM, some runners ultimately decide they are unable to participate in a marathon. These runners may opt to transfer their entry to a non-registered runner through the event’s unique Transfer Program. Only runners currently registered for the MCM may transfer an entry to another runner for a fee of $40. The MCM does not participate in this part of the process. Runners often find transfer partners on the MCM Facebook page. When transferring an entry, runners do not receive a refund on registration fees from the MCM. Any such monetary transactions must be handled directly between the transferring runners. Further, entries may not be transferred more than once. Additionally, the transfer program is ONLY available for the MCM and not any other MCM event. The runner currently registered for the MCM must complete the online form after clicking on the transfer link from this website. Access to this form requires the MCM Registration account log in set up during registration or select personal information. A webpage with a customized link will be unlocked enabling the runner to initiate the transfer. Runners will input the name and email of the individual receiving the entry for Runner-to-Runner transfers or verify their own contact info for a Marathon-to-10K transfer. An email will be sent to the transfer recipient with an individualized link. The new runner must complete the form and pay the fee to finalize the transaction. There are no fees for the runner initiating the transfer or for a Marathon-to-10K transfer. Once submitted, the transfer cannot be cancelled. There are no transfer or deferment programs for the Historic Half or MCM10K.”
NOTE: Transfers and deferments for the 2014 MCM is now closed
Let me know if you guys have any race recommendations that has a customer-friendly transfer/refund policy!