Readers here will be familiar with stories from last year about race management companies cancelling events almost without warning, even though hundreds of runners had signed up and paid their registration fees to participate in several of their events.
Another race company appears to have folded in the opening weeks of 2013, as the California-based IO Events — which organized half marathons in Temecula, Calif.; Vista, Calif.; and San Diego — has closed its doors and cancelled its events.
So far as we can tell, this doesn’t appear to sink to the level of instances we saw last year, in which races were simply cancelled for no apparent reason and refunds not provided (though after major pressure from local officials and entrants in the cities where those races had been scheduled, refunds were later made in some cases).
It looks as if the race company has simply gone out of business here. Though surely that’s small comfort to anyone who signed up and has been training for months.
As they say, with the popularity of the half marathon and other distance races driving the creation of so many new events, buyer beware — most new races are obviously run by well-meaning people who simply want to stage fun, meaningful events for runners. Occasionally you run into people who aren’t so scrupulous, however, so please be careful.
If you signed up for the Rapid Running Buffalo Half Marathon — which was cancelled abruptly last week, leaving hundreds of runners who’d signed up for the race without an explanation or refunds — you’ll have a chance to run 13.1 this weekend after all, thanks to the efforts of a local group of organizers.
The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission and the town of Orchard Park scrambled quickly to put together a race that will finish where the original race had been planned, on the playing field at the Buffalo Bills’ home stadium. Now called the “50 Yard Finish,” the race will honor registrations for the cancelled Rapid Running race, provided you can provide proof of registration.
From Scientific American magazine, a report today on the damage that extreme running can do to the heart, which certainly gives me pause in the passing thoughts I have about training for a 26.2-mile race someday in the future. Even Running Times magazine weighed in last year on the side of not running full marathons, for most people anyway.
The authors quoted by SA looked at a study posted in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, which found that extreme endurance training can cause inflammation and scarring in cardiac tissue both during and for days after extreme long distance runs:
“Physical exercise, though not a drug, possesses many traits of a powerful pharmacologic agent,” O’Keefe said. “As with any pharmacologic agent, a safe upper dose limit potentially exists, beyond which the adverse effects of physical exercise, such as musculoskeletal trauma and cardiovascular stress, may outweigh its benefits.”
It’s just another reason, in my mind, that exercise should be kept in the “Goldilocks” zone — not too much, not too little. And why training for races like 10Ks and half marathons may be the optimal way to balance both fitness and goal-setting without going overboard. That’s my two cents, anyway.