Summary: Forces beyond our control can lead to the cancellation of a VHTRC event. If a VHTRC event is cancelled, it is possible that you will receive no refund of your entry fee. We will, however, endeavor to issue refunds or make other compensation to the extent funds are available to do so.
Discussion: In the summer of 2002, two major 100 mile races, Hardrock and Angeles Crest, were cancelled because of fires in the forests. In 2008, Western States was cancelled. Angeles Crest was cancelled again in 2009. On two occasions, the VHTRC had to consider cancelling the Women's Half Marathon. One year Hurricane Fran had come through two days before the race, and in 2001 the event was three days after September 11. In two years, the latest being 2006, there were forest fires in the mountains where MMT is held. None of these occurrences caused us to cancel the event in question although the 2006 MMT fire required substantial change to the middle portion of the course.
In 2010 we were forced to cancel the Hashawha Hills 50km Trail Run when the record breaking snowfalls of February closed our race venue. In this instance, we were able to contact all entrants before the race date, and we were also able to offer a partial credit for entry into the 2011 race to those entered in the cancelled 2010 event.
The occurrences that can cause a race cancellation are not predictable. Cancellations usually occur when there is a serious threat to the safety of runners and volunteers, such as forest fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, or in the event of a national emergency. These generally occur with little advance notice.
As run organizers, we are at the mercy of these events. The VHTRC is a volunteer, non-profit organization. Our events are costly because they provide quality support, apparel, and awards. We cannot absorb all of these costs and take the risk of cancellation by ourselves. Consequently, the effect of our policy is that the entrants to an event must share in the risk that it will be cancelled. Please understand this when you enter one of our events.
Here is the policy we expect to follow when a case is subject to cancellation. Each situation is different so these are only guidelines.
Keeping You Informed: We will try to keep entrants informed when there is a potential for cancellation. We will likely use the Web site to do this.
Reimbursement: In the event that a race is cancelled, we cannot promise any refund. We will first pay all outstanding bills associated with the event that we cannot cancel or legally avoid. If there is money left over after paying the expenses we have incurred, we will try to make a reimbursement to runners from the remaining entry fees available to us. The closer the cancellation is to the race date, the less likely there will be any reimbursement. If a race is stopped while in progress, there will be no reimbursement. If the amount of the refund is small, we may not bother with it, or we may only give credit toward future entry fees.
Rescheduling: Rescheduling the event is unlikely given the complexity of putting on an ultra or trail run, and that there are other events scheduled for other weekends, but may be done on a case by case basis. If we do reschedule, we will not likely be able to give you a refund if you withdraw from the event.
"Regular" Refunds: Refunds for events that are not cancelled are governed by the policy of each event. Those policies vary. Some VHTRC events do not give refunds to those who withdraw. Others give partial refunds if you notify the race director that you are withdrawing early enough before the event.
If you have any questions about this policy, ask the director of the event you plan to enter or a member of the VHTRC Board of Directors.
Updated: June 2010