I emailed the race director:
To Whom it May Conern:
I am writing to express my extreme discontent over the decision to change the official finish-time cutoff from 7:00 to 5:30 for the RnR Vegas marathon. I do believe that ranks right up there as one of the cruelest cases of bait-and-switch I have ever witnessed. How many other people besides myself registered under your false claims of a 7:00 finish? Congratulations, RnR. You successfully duped us out of your $145 registration fee. I would not have registered for this race had you advertised your 5:30 finish from the start.
This is to be my first marathon. I and two friends registered in April thinking we would have a no-pressure marathon in an awesome city. We and our husbands are taking time off work and flying across the country to participate in your race, and now I find out that there is a chance that we will not even get an official finish or medal for our efforts.
This does not sit well with me.
And I don’t feel like I am speaking for just myself. Did anyone bother to look at the results from last year? I certainly did. Out of 5905 finishers, 1087 finished in over 5:30. That is 18.4%. You are in essence telling 18.4% of your finishers from last year, “You are not welcome here this year.”
Your web site states, “Our staff is always interested in hearing your feedback in our attempts to make the event better every year.” Well, here is my feedback. And if your goal really is to make this event better every year, well then you have already failed miserably this year. My excitement and joy over this trip and this event have been replaced by worry and anxiety.
Great job, RnR.
And believe it or not, she actually emailed back:
Thank you for your e-mail. We are sorry for the inconvenience that this change has caused. We have created a new course, and because of this, we have had to work with the city to create new time limit changes. The course/The Strip must be reopened after the 5 ½ hour time limit. We contacted every person that gave us a predicted finish time of over 5 ½ hours (less than 300 people when we made that change) to inform them of this change and have given them 4 different options: Switch to the ½ Marathon, Change their predicted finish time for the marathon, Full Refund (which we don’t usually allow), or a transfer to a different Rock ‘n’ Roll event. With this new change, the runner must maintain a 12:40 pace in order to compete the marathon in the allotted time. If they are behind this pace they will be asked to divert to the ½ marathon at mile 12.8. Although you did not originally fall into this group, if you would like to make a change at this point, you can. Please let us know what you decide.
So there are my options.
But now that I really think about it (and after consulting Vegas Running Buddy), I think we are going to leave it as is and let the chips fall where they may! (No Vegas pun intended.) I KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can hold that pace through mile 12.8. Hell, that’s slower than any of my long runs have ever been, even when training and completing my first half mary a year ago. So I’m confident that I can train my way to 20 miles below that pace, too. Miles 20-26.2 still give me a little concern, but hopefully we will have enough time banked that we can still finish with no problems.
Vegas or bust, baby!