Over a year after the 2015 Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon was set to take place and then was cancelled, participants have yet to receive their refunds. “Race production costs and lower than expected entrants” cancelled the event, race director Rusty Snow said in previous interviews. A number of disgruntled runners vented their frustrations on the marathon’s Yelp page. “Still waiting for my refund from the 2015 Marathon they cancelled at the last minute. We are nearly one calendar year way from the day I paid the entry fee, and all I get are excuses and delays,” wrote one reviewer of her experience.
She is not alone in her frustration. The page is teeming with runners disappointed by the cancellation three weeks before the November 7 event and the failure of the organizers to deliver promised refunds. At the time of cancellation, marathon participants were offered a number of options: transfer to the half-marathon and receive a $20 refund; transfer to the half-marathon and receive a 50 percent discount on the 2016 half-marathon as well; defer registration to the 2016 half-marathon and receive a $20 refund; request a full refund for event registrations, which was $129 for early registration.
One runner, Ian Cummings, received an email confirmation after selecting to receive a full refund that stated, “Although most races have a no refund policy in the fine print, we want to do what is right by those impacted by the cancellation.” The email does, however, warn participants of a lengthy timeline. “This process should be completed by the end of June ,” reads the confirmation. Well past June, Cummings and others continue to wait.
The website sbmarathon.com currently lists a strict no-refund policy. Attempts to contact race organizers were unsuccessful.